You always hear the old cliché about having to "do your homework" if you want to succeed. For Ludacris to excel in acting, he literally has to go to school.
"I'm supposed to [take classes]," Ludacris said last week in New York about having to go to stunt-driving school before he starts filming John Singleton's sequel to "The Fast and The Furious" (see "Ludacris Will Rule Road In 'Fast And The Furious 2' "). "[We're going to] start doing stuff that we kind of used to do in the streets, just messing around, but taking it to the other level.
"Shout out to my man John Singleton," he added. "If it wasn't for him, I might not be in this movie."
Cris, who is currently on the road promoting Golden Grain, the debut album from his group Disturbing Tha Peace (see "Believe It: Disturbed Top Billboard Albums Chart"), said the director handpicked him to star with Tyrese and Paul Walker in the film.
"[Singleton] asked for me personally," Ludacris said. "He saw the energy I brought to the camera whenever I'm in front of one, and he asked me to come read for a part. I went there and killed it. Just knocked it out. Next thing you know, I'm 'a be in Miami for like two or three months knocking this acting gig completely out."
Aside from the chance to break into Hollywood, Ludacris is also excited about getting a chance to tear up the road behind the wheel of a vehicle. Any vehicle.
"I already had a lot of love for cars, but after doing this movie, something tells me I'm 'a have a whole new love for them," he said with a smile. "Everything from the inside out, no matter what year, I'm loving it."
The Atlanta MC is also in final negotiations with MTV Films to star in "Skip Day," which centers on a group of high school students.
"We're gonna involve a lot of things in the South, because I don't feel like the ATL or the South has been depicted in urban movies," he quipped. "That's what I'm here to do straight up. [The movie] is kind of like a mix between 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and 'House Party,' but it's 2003 Disturbing Tha Peace style. It's gonna be innovative and new and from the mind of one crazy individual."
And while Luda's loco antics on camera may someday make him an A-lister in Tinseltown, the wilding out won't spill over to his off-screen preparation for his roles.
"Acting is a whole 'nother story [from making videos]," he said. "You have to be a hundred percent into it. You have to do your homework, you have to study up, you have to practice. Once you enter into that game, there ain't no messing around. You can't just half-ass that situation.
"I know I'm a hundred percent with my music — nothing will ever change that. So I'm trying to make sure I put my all behind acting, because I don't want to be a flash in the pan."
— Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway