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CraveOnline talks to 50 Cent

Now part of the growing Rapper/Actor crowd, 50 talks film.

CraveOnline talks to 50 Cent

50 Cent is continuing his acting career with the new movie Home of the Brave. He plays a soldier returning home from Iraq traumatized by killing an Iraqi woman who turned out to be no threat. It should show fans and critics a different side of the edgy rapper. He’s not so edgy in person, disarming you with a smile. He had a couple of guys walk him into the room but nobody too imposing. We got the scoop on his acting and music prospects when we caught up with 50 Cent. 

CraveOnline: We expected a bigger entourage.

50 Cent:  I’m sorry to disappoint you.  But I’m not touring.  When I’m touring, I have some people around me.

CO: What do you get out of acting that you don’t get from music?

50:  Well, I mean there’s so many other elements involved.  See, I mean sometimes, you might be acting in the vocal pool, you might not be in an emotional state when you walk in there to create a song that comes to you as you start writing, that’s emotional.  And you change your voice to capture that feeling, but you’re not actually matching your mannerisms physically, delivering it to camera.  So it’s a whole other process.  When in a music video, you spend the majority of the time performing directly to the camera, and in film, the last thing you should be doing is looking directly at the camera.

CO: Are you officially Curtis Jackson as an actor and 50 Cent as a musician?

50: I think that would be a cool way to separate them, you know. People expect, when they see 50 Cent, they expect a certain type. They want the aggressive content that’s in my music, that’s a reflection of the environment that I grew up in.  And when it’s missing from the character, because it’s not even written in the screenplay, they may be disappointed if I continue to use 50 Cent.

CO: What do you think your voice represents in your films that speaks to kids?

50: Wow, I think when they see me initially, the idea of me is 50 Cent.  And the interest that’s raised through music will draw my base to the box office. That’s what makes some film companies feel like it’s a good idea to put 50 in. And until you actually deliver a good performance, they start to see other reasons, to actually involve you in those projects, and I feel like, with this actual project, he’s not able to adjust after the experience of killing.  There’s a scene where it’s a flash back, there’s still a woman that’s killed regardless of an immediate threat, and it’s justifiable by the standards of the U.S. or any other country, for that matter.  It still was killing a person, and it alters him for the duration of his life, in the actual film.  In some cases, we don’t see it that way, because it could be long term before we get these responses out of these people. There’s no such thing as a good war. There’s no such thing as war without casualties.  So, if they are lucky enough to overcome, the people who do make it back, there’s no time line to when their reaction will come forth from their experience.

CO: As a young guy, you sort of had to be ready for battle at any time. Did that help you for this role?

50: Well, I’ve been in life threatening situations before, so in the scenes I can kind of use that. But it’s so far from what war is.  I mean, war is maybe 10, 20 times worse than what I’ve experienced. It’s like, that’s who being shot. They ain’t shooting little bullets.  I’ve shot a nine-millimeter. Those bullets are a lot bigger over there.  Take nine of those and you’re serious.

CO: Did you have any apprehensions about doing a movie with Samuel L. Jackson, considering he said he never wants to be in a movie supporting some rappers acting debut?

50: I didn’t have any apprehensions on that level.  I actually understand it now, what he was saying.  You know, you’ve got people that went to school for acting, and have acting as a goal, like all their lives.  And they see someone receive an opportunity to do what they really love, working with people that they haven’t had the opportunity to work with, even though having the type of accomplishments that Samuel Jackson has, it’d make him uncomfortable, because he’d actually like to work with Jim Carrey, and hasn’t had the opportunity to do that.  So to look at it and go, "A rapper?" I don’t think it was he wouldn’t work with a rapper, I think it was he didn’t want to work on a project under a rapper at that point.  It’s impossible for him to be in a film based on my life story, 50, starring Samuel Jackson.  Because when you say a rapper, you can actually work with Will Smith, he’s a rapper.  You can actually work with Queen Latifah, she’s a rapper. You actually work with Ice Cube, he’s a rapper.  There’s a lot of people who have successfully made the transition from music to film, and Sam, on the actual set, I didn’t take that as any disrespect in any way.  I watched him, because there’s nothing I can do but learn from Samuel Jackson at this phase. This is where I’m at.  So when I wasn’t acting with him we had really good conversations.  We actually talked about his film Snakes on a Plane.  And I told him I’m absolutely not goin’ to see that one. Snakes and planes at the same time?  It’s a super duper phobia, for that one.  He laughed at me, he said, "All right, I’ll see you at the box office. You’re gonna go see it with everybody else."

CO: Speaking of rappers acting, have you seen Idlewild?

50: I didn’t get a chance to see the whole thing. I went to the movies to see it, the beginning, then I had to leave the theatre because they realized who I was.  But I guess the period pieces don’t actually do well like that anyway, as far as that goes, but I was entertained by it.  It was exciting to me. The last film that I saw outside of that was The Departed. I thought that was incredible.  You know what was exciting about that film?  Is everybody could’ve played the other character.  And this guy could’ve easily just played that guy, and this guy could’ve just played that guy, because you have so much talent on the actual screen that they could’ve just switched roles.

CO: What’s going on with you musically?

50: Musically, I’ve got a new album.  Finishing up.  I’m about two songs away from being done.  You should be looking forward to me releasing it late in the first quarter.

CO: Do you have a title?

50: Yeah, "Before I Self Destruct."

CO: Did Eminem contribute to it?

50: Absolutely. We already worked together, we recorded eight records.  Well, three of them are physically going to  be on shelves in December, because he got a project called Re-Up." I actually performed on the single. It’s me, Eminem, Lloyd Banks, and Ca$his.

CO: Did Eminem give you any hints about acting?

50: I spoke to him before I did Get Rich, but he’s not a big help for me. [laughs]  In some situations he’s not, like we’ve become such good friends that he’ll take advantage of opportunities to make me uncomfortable for a moment. Like he’ll call and go "Yo, they told me you’re doing a film."  I said, "Yeah, they told me they thought it’d be a good idea if I did one based on my life, because you did 8 Mile," and he said, "You’re gonna hate it, you’re gonna be there for like eight hours every day, they’re gonna expect you to make amazing songs in between. Cut!  50′s gonna go make an amazing record.  Come back." So he made it sound like hell, then he called me the first day after I’d been shooting, after they wrapped, and he called right after we wrapped, and he said, "Yo, you like it?"  I said it was all right.

CO: Can you speak about the rumored feud with Ghostface Killah?

50: What Ghostface thing?  Everybody seems to have an issue with him. Rappers convincing themselves mentally like whoever falls in the championship space becomes their target.  So there’s always gonna be like, that’s the nature, the competitive nature of hip-hop, is gonna always cause conflict or friction.  So you just be paid to see it, it’s WWF, baby.

CO: How will you make sure your next album keeps the top spot?

50: I’m gonna just control the quality of the material.  I run into the pressure between each one of my projects. There’s a shadow of doubt cast over every artist in between projects. They don’t say, "Can I make a good record?" because I’ve proven that over and over again. They say, "Can he do it again?"  Which means, can I have the same success I’ve had on my last projects?  When I had my first album sell eleven million records, my follow up album The Massacre sold nine 9.5 million world wide. It’s a huge task to create material that can compete.  And music marks time, so right now we could play music that makes reference to moments to each one in our lives.  You’ll remember what you were doing around that time when that record was really hot and you enjoyed it.  And it’s difficult to come up with something that marks the tomorrow. When you look at it from that perspective, it’s a lot more difficult than just saying "She’s got a really nice booty, let me see you move it baby." [laughs]  But you can do that for fun, but how much of that is gonna work? Before you’ve gotta come up with something that has some real content and some substance that people can sink their teeth into and really enjoy.

CO: What gift would you like to get this Christmas?

50: Christmas? I got my two front teeth. I don’t know, I mean, this year, I always buy myself nice things. Last year I bought Lamborghini. They actually pulled me over in it in New York City. New York City‘s not a nice place to go with nice cars.  The cops will still harass you.  They pulled me over.

CO: How about LA?

50: L.A.‘s better. They’re familiar with seeing those things in Hollywood.  The police look and go oh, okay.

CO: What could someone get for you?

50: Wow. Basic things.  They don’t have to buy nice stuff.