In his new movie "Assault on Precinct 13," Ja Rule had no time to catch the jailhouse blues in his role as a prisoner named Smiley. He was too busy trying to escape and defend himself against some homicidal police officers operating on the other side of the law.
"I play a n---a that's about to go to jail for 15 to 20 years," he described. "We're on our way up to the maximum-security prison from a mini [prison]. We get caught in a snowstorm. We have to pull over to a rinky-dink old precinct. It so happens I was on the same bus with this n---a who's doing some sh-- with crooked cops. The cops think he's going to tell on them and [screw] up their operation. It's a lot of cars blowing up, it's ill!"
Since the good police are operating with a skeleton crew, they're forced to team up with the inmates they're escorting against their ambushing brethren-in-blue who have turned bad.
"A criminal is going to be a criminal," Ja said about whether his character's valor will give the audience a chance to see him change his ways in the movie. "I try to escape."
"Assault" also stars Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, Gabriel Byrne and Laurence Fishburne.
"Fish was cooler than a mutha----er," Rule said. "He taught me a lot. He was schooling me on the industry and movie sh--."
Ja's next role will be in the movie "Animal," where he acts alongside Ving Rhames. "I try to pull from these dudes 'cause these dudes been in the game for a long time," Rule said. "It's different acting tips they give me."
Rule described the movie as being based on the life of Crips gang member Monster Kody. Rule and Rhames also shot "Back in the Day" last year, but that film still hasn't been released.
"I got a sex scene in that one, my first sex scene," he smirked about playing Tatyana Ali's lover in "Back in the Day." "My wife didn't like that one. She wasn't there for the sex scene. It's a little awkward [during filming]. They try to keep it so you're as comfortable as possible, but even with closed sets it's still 10 people there. And Tatyana's mom and her aunt were there. It made my job a little harder."
In the next few months, Rule's most grueling task will be keeping up with his own schedule. His label is negotiating with opening acts for his tour with Ashanti. The Inc. says it's too early to tell when the plans will be finalized, but the label is thinking the trek may be ramping up in April. Ja is a little more optimistic and says he may be going out on the road as early as next month.
Rule is also looking forward to hitting the studio in February to begin recording his next album. "I think I might make it a double [album]," he said on New Year's Eve (see "Ashlee Attacks Green Day, Lindsay Nearly Loses Her Dress: Backstage At MTV's New Year's").
For a full-length feature on Ja Rule, check out "Ja Rule: It's A Wonderful Life."
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