Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson (as he's billed in Hollywood) has found fame and fortune as the real-life embodiment of everything your typical policeman would be interested in arresting you for. Now, the former drug dealer and street thug is playing a cop for the first time in this month's "Streets of Blood" — and yes, he is fully aware of the irony.
"It's absolutely a huge difference,"
"[Both] are from a more rebellious place, dealing with the harsh realities in a city," he said of the similarity between his gangsta persona and playing a policeman onscreen. "I could see where you'd say there's a huge difference between what I do in music and the actual character I'm playing in the film ... but that's what I was looking forward to in film projects — telling stories that have way more depth than music."
Although he began his acting career with "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," a movie in which he played, well, basically himself ... Fif has spent the past four years selecting some challenging roles, from the emotionally scarred Iraq veteran in "Home of the Brave" to a violent club owner in "Righteous Kill" to upcoming roles as a boxer ("The Champ"), a loan shark ("Dead Man Running") and even a monster ("Jekyll and Hyde"). "Streets of Blood" gave him a chance to stretch out behind a badge — and to film in a part of the country that needs all the attention it can get.
"We shot on location in Shreveport, Louisiana," he said of the flick, which also co-stars Sharon Stone and will premiere on DVD July 28. "I felt good about the actual project ... it's crazy down there. The news shows things, but when you're looking at it, you see what's really going on out there. Anybody who's socially conscious has to be aware of Hurricane Katrina."
And with his Hollywood career taking off — 50 has a new production company and nearly 10 films in various stages of development — the rapper/actor is eager to keep flexing his sizable muscles by not only releasing the album Before I Self Destruct in late September, but also by building a movie career that has him telling stories as a cop, a thug or whatever else may come up.
"You see, a song only has two minutes and 50 seconds, maximum of three minutes, before you start reaching an overkill point," 50 Cent explained of the two different storytelling mediums. "There's not time for you to create like there is in these scripts, because [movies can] create cause and effect, reasoning for those actual behaviors. So, going into these projects, it allows me to pick things that I have a personal investment in."
And since he's already one of the world's biggest musical stars (and that Vitamin Water thing worked out pretty well too), 50 Cent has a rare financial freedom that allows him to choose movies that he cares about.
"It's not so much a financial draw for me," he explained of his Hollywood side gig. "If I read the script and I'm passionate about being a part of the actual project — from an artistic standpoint — then I'll commit to it."