Wyclef Jean Acting In Action Flick, Biopic

Former Fugee plays killer in 'Shottas' with Spragga Benz, himself in autobiographical 'Passport.'

Wyclef Jean is involved with not one but two upcoming films. He plays a gangster in an action flick and himself in a biopic he has written about his own life.

Due in summer 2002, "Shottas" features Clef playing Richie Effs, a character director Cess Silvera described as having "a little Joe Pesci vibe. He'll be killing you, but he'll be laughing while he's killing you." The character is based on the real-life past of Richie Effs, Silvera's cousin and co-owner of Access Pictures, which is producing the film.

Jamaican dancehall star Spragga Benz and reggae artist Ky-Mani Marley, son of the late Bob Marley, will star as two successful "shottas" — Jamaican patois for "gangsters" — who move their successful thug operation north. When the feds come down on them in the United States, they return to Jamaica, only to find that the island's government has it in for them, too.

"It's about friendship, loyalty, greed, the whole nine yards," Silvera said, adding that he tricked his friend Wyclef into getting involved. Wyclef had agreed to score the film, but when Silvera asked him to play Effs, Clef "wasn't feeling it," the director said.

"So I had him come to the set and watch us shoot, and then I just said, 'Here are your lines,'" Silvera laughed. The director joked that Wyclef might be taking this acting thing a little too seriously. "I gave him confidence. He'll be going for an Oscar now."

Silvera said Wyclef has written and intends to star in "Passport." The film is based on Wyclef's and a friend's experiences trying to make it in the United States as Caribbean immigrants.

Wyclef's film projects haven't distracted him from his day job. The MC/producer said he's aiming for a more sensual mood on his next album, which he hopes to have out by the end of the year (see "Wyclef Jean Gets Sexy On Upcoming Masquerade").