Thug cinema: An interview with 50 Cent

Music movies, especially those loosely based on the musician’s life story, have a history of either being well received hits or huge disasters. For every “Purple Rain” or “A Hard Day’s Night,” there’s a “Glitter” or a “Spice World.” Rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was well aware of this when making his first film, “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” (Paramount). 50 Cent talked with The Hatchet and other publications about his new film, his musical career and the future.

“Having it be my first film, my focus was doing a good job,” Jackson said. “You see a lot of successful musicians going in and making films, and not being successful in that. I went there with that on my mind, to stay focused, ’cause I wanted to give the best possible performance.”

The film is a loose adaptation of his life story (much like Eminem’s “8 Mile”) and furthers the mythology behind the character of 50 Cent, whose colorful past has made a lot of press. The plotline follows Marcus, a young drug dealer whose aspirations of becoming a rapper are hindered by gang violence, prison and nine bullets.

One of the most powerful scenes in the film is when Marcus is shot nine times in front of his grandparents’ house. The scene is replayed throughout the film, and its impact is clearly seen as a life-changing event. 50 Cent said that while this scene was difficult to relive, it wasn’t the worst one he appeared in.

“When I was on the operating table, that was the eeriest scene to film,” he said. “I had all these prosthetics and makeup on, so I couldn’t really move. So when it was like ‘cut’ and I open my eyes, all I saw was an operating room. So for me, I had been in that actual place before, but I was unconscious. When I got up from that particular day when we were done shooting, I wasn’t really in the mood to talk to people, I went straight back to my trailer to relax.”

Recently, the film has been the target of protests from parent groups, who claim that the film’s billboard ads, which feature him holding a gun and a microphone, promote violence.

“Well, you gotta’ accept it,” he said. “Because I’m coming from music, they think I’m just promoting more violence directly. There’s no reason for me to get all worked up or upset about it.”

After tackling music, film, and fashion, what’s next for 50 Cent?

“I’m always looking for new options,” Jackson said. “As far as acting is concerned, I won’t do it again until I find a screenplay that’s exciting enough for me to commit to it.”

“Get Rich or Die Tryin” will be in theaters Friday.

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