David Banner Hooked On Acting Thanks To Samuel L. Jackson

Rapper keeps his eye on movie work while readying new single and production projects.

HOLLYWOOD, California — David Banner has a hit single on the charts, but he sees a brighter future in a different profession.

"I actually think [I'll] do a lot better in the movies than in the music situations," the rapper said last week on a set that combined the two: the video for Korn's new single (see "Lil Jon, Snoop, Xzibit, David Banner Star In New Korn Video"). "Acting is something that's internal. And for the most part, if you do what you need to do and you handle your business for that three months, then you put it off in other people's hands and they're going to take care of it — they're going to run with it, they're going to promote it."

"In music, sometimes you can get out there and give 100 percent," he continued. "You can make the best music that you can possibly can. But if the people around you are not handling their business, it don't matter how good the music sounds, no matter how good your performance is. If the record company or the people promoting you are not doing their job or if you're not with the right machine, there's only so much you can do."

Banner's only just finished his first movie, "Black Snake Moan" with "Hustle & Flow" director Craig Brewer (see "Christina Ricci Cured Of Nymphomania By Samuel L. Jackson In 'Black Snake Moan' "). But he's already hooked — thanks, in part, to one of his co-stars.

"Honestly, I have a tendency not to enjoy my work, and the one thing that I got from Samuel Jackson is ... he wants me to enjoy it," said Banner, who also acts alongside Justin Timberlake and Christina Ricci in the movie. "He tells me that all the time, 'Loosen up a little bit.' But the thing is, me coming from Mississippi, I understand these opportunities are not readily available to my people. So I have to make sure that everything that I do, I do it to the best of my ability because it's a reflection of more than just me. When people look at David Banner they see Mississippi, so I have to make sure that it's good. And you have to understand my acting debut was with Samuel L. Jackson, so imagine that flavor. If you suck and he is as good as he is, he's going to show you how bad you suck in front of the whole world."

Banner's currently reading scripts, but has yet to decide on his next role. In the meantime, he's hardly abandoning music. In fact, he's preparing for the release of Certified's second single, the follow-up to "Play" (see "David Banner To Confront Backward-Thinking Mississippi Family"), the Jazze Pha-produced "Touching" (the dirty version is called "F---ing").

" 'Touching' is more or less just about the relationships that people really have and how close you get," he explained. "It's gettin' wintertime. It's about to be cold, the holidays are about to come, so people are going to want to be a little bit closer to each other and touching each other and just really be around each other, have a wholesome environment," he added with a wink.

After a few recent one-off tracks with Ludacris and Twista, Banner is also jumping back into producing.

"I sort of shut down for a minute because one of my biggest problems was that I was giving everybody else heat, and by the time it came to me, I didn't have nothing for myself," Banner said. "So [now that] I just finished with my album, I got a new artist named Marcus from East Memphis. I've been really working on his album, and I'm about to do something for Snoop and the Dogg Pound. And past that, I'm back open for production."

The Mississippi rapper is also continuing to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina through his Heal the Hood organization, which has hosted two big benefit concerts in recent weeks (see "Chappelle, Banner, Memphis Bleek, Saigon Bring The Healing To NY").

"We're now in the process of making sure the people who really need [assistance] get that," Banner said. "I haven't been home in about three months, but it's been a blessing."