PARK CITY, Utah — For most performers, transitioning from music to film can be an uphill battle. Just ask Lance Bass, Mariah Carey and Jessica Simpson. But for every singer who failed to find his or her stride, there's one who didn't. Mark Wahlberg went from Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to a potential Oscar nominee, Beyoncé Knowles has garnered so much clout that she's about to be directed by Clint Eastwood in a remake of "A Star Is Born," and the only thing left to remind audiences that Will Smith used to rap is that music video at the end of "Men in Black."
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is trying to join the latter group. He returned to the Sundance Film Festival for the third time to represent his production company, Cheetah Vision Films — the company that produced the Chace Crawford-starring film "Twelve," which was purchased at Sundance last year — and talked to MTV News about his experience trying to transition into acting.
"The first time I came here, I was here as additional talent. Music. Now, to be here, to actually be a part of the filmmaking process, is great," 50 said.
50 Cent is best known as the rapper who likes to party "In da Club," so he was careful not to alienate his music fans when he transitioned over to film. That, he explained, is why he uses the name "Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson" rather than just Curtis Jackson when making films. His name is directly associated with his music, and he said that wasn't something he was trying to downplay with his film career.
But it's still a work in progress. By returning to Sundance year after year, 50 Cent is proving that he's taking his acting career as seriously as he does his music. He said he surrounds himself with directors looking to help him develop his acting abilities so the public will continue to accept him as an actor.
"With each individual project, I work with someone that makes sure I'm completely prepared for it," the rapper and actor said. "I feel like I'm growing. When the projects get bigger and better, the public will start to shift and treat [it] like anyone else's progress."
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