PARK CITY, Utah — Pacino. De Niro. Cent.
Two of them are Hollywood legends, and the third is determined to get there himself. This weekend 50 Cent rolled into Sundance with an entourage big enough to fill an entire screening, taking the time to perform in concert, feed a gourmet meal to several dozen celebrities and announce the formation of his own film company.
During a candid chat with MTV News, 50 talked about shooting guns with De Niro, taking Hollywood into his own hands and the single he'll have off the "Righteous Kill" soundtrack. "This is the 50 Cent Sundance," he grinned. Who are we to argue?
MTV: You just had a standing-room-only press conference here at Sundance. Give us a summary of what you were announcing.
50 Cent: I was talking about my new production company. Me and [producer] Randy Emmett — we worked together on "Home of the Brave" and "Righteous Kill" — I've had a chance to be a part of some great projects with him, and I've watched him work. He's knowledgeable in that field, so I thought it would be smart for me to partner up with him to create my [currently unnamed] production company.
MTV: For the average person who might not understand Hollywood workings, what does it mean for an actor to get his own company?
50 Cent: It means I'll have creative control of some of the projects I commit to, and I can choose things to develop. I won't be [on camera] for everything I'll be producing, but now I'll be producing films too.
MTV: With this new freedom, what do you want to do? Play a superhero? Do a comedy?
50 Cent: A lot of times, it's the actual screenplay that inspires me. I'll read a character that they present for me as part of a project, and if it's something I want to be, I'll commit.
MTV: You're in "Righteous Kill" in a few months, alongside Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
50 Cent: Yeah, that's great, you see what I'm saying? You read that script, you do that one!
MTV: Tell us about it.
50 Cent: Working with Robert and Al on the same project, that's amazing. Outside of ["Kill"], I think "Heat" was the project to work with them on, but that was years ago. ... It's an amazing project.
MTV: Give us the plot, as you see it.
50 Cent: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are both police officers. I play Spider, a young guy from Harlem who gets caught up in their investigation while they look for a serial killer. I own my own nightclub.
MTV: What's the one scene from the movie that you can't wait for everyone to see?
50 Cent: I can't wait for them to see the one where it's me, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino! [Laughs.]
MTV: Tell us about the first time you met your legendary co-stars.
50 Cent: Well, I met Robert De Niro prior to this film project. We were going to work on [another] project, and we met months before that. That didn't materialize; it went away, but first I went to his house. We went to the firing range and hung out a few times.
MTV: You went to a firing range with Robert De Niro? What was that like?
50 Cent: He has an amazing accuracy with it. You'd think, because he's in films and acting, he might not be able to do it. [Laughs.]
MTV: Who's the better shot?
50 Cent: I'm gonna say I'm the better shot, because it sounds better coming from me.
MTV: You don't strike me as a nervous guy. How did you feel the day you were first going to work opposite two Oscar winners?
50 Cent: Not nervous, excited. I'd been at table reads with them, prior to that, where I'd seen other actors — established actors — that were shaking their knees under the table. They have so much respect for them.
MTV: It wouldn't be Sundance if you didn't hit some parties. Tell us about your plans.
50 Cent: I've got a performance tonight and I've got a dinner. So make sure you're there with the cameras because you'll see Robert and everybody.
MTV: Tell us about this "50 for 50" dinner you're having here. It's the hottest ticket at Sundance.
50 Cent: It's going to be exciting. Now it's for a little bit more than 50 people. I put it together. I've got a way of doing things, you know? This is the 50 Cent Sundance!
MTV: Does this production-company announcement mean you're putting music on the back burner?
50 Cent: No. My passion for music hasn't changed. I'll have plenty of time to create the music I'm conditioned for while moving around. I created the entire soundtrack for "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " while I was on set. And it was the best-selling movie soundtrack of that year. We sold 3 million copies of it.
MTV: Will you be on the soundtrack for "Righteous Kill"?
50 Cent: I've already created music for the film. You'll hear some things shortly, and there'll be a single off it.
MTV: What's that called?
50 Cent: "Get Low."
Wait, the credits haven't rolled yet! See our complete coverage of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival — including breaking news, celebrity interviews, red carpet photos, movie clips and tons more.