50 Cent doesn’t need to prove anything else in hip-hop. The Queens, NY rapper has dominated the charts and the streets — real and cyber. Business-wise, it’s kind of the same deal. Vitamin Water, anyone? In the last couple of years, he’s turned his laser sharp focus onto Hollywood, starring in and producing his own films and TV series, including Freelancers and Power. Next up: a spot as himself in the Melissa McCarthy vehicle, Spy, out in theaters everywhere on Friday, June 5.
Here, 50 Cent talks about getting tackled by McCarthy, working with Robert De Niro, diversifying his career, and, of course, why he’s head-over-sneakers in love with Latinas.
What exactly is your role in the comedy, Spy?
It was a piece where Melissa McCarthy is playing a spy and they come across an event that’s happening randomly. They have to make a diversion so she comes over and tackles me while I’m performing on stage. It was cool because I shot my portion of the film in Budapest, which I haven’t been to that area since 2004. When I performed the song it was interesting because the crowd was clapping afterwards and the director, Paul Feig, said he couldn’t ask for anything more authentic. I flew back out there because they just kept extending pieces of me in the film.
Your movie career is going at full speed. You’ve worked with stellar actors like Robert De Niro and Forest Whittaker so far.
I got a chance to work with both Robert De Niro and Forest Whittaker in one shot. Freelancers was my pet project. I kind of got them to do for me as a favor. Of course, they wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t think there was some worth there. I did call them on a personal level to get them involved. After doing Streets of Blood, I was bitten by the bug of financing films because I was able to be closer to it than usual than other projects. It made me feel like I didn’t have to sacrifice my music career or the things I wanted to do in business and still be a part of film and television. Being a part of the actual financing enables me to say this movie is green lit and it’s going to start shooting at this date. Later on I came back on Righteous Kill and financed that film.
Which is how I’m assuming Power came about?
I was talking to Mark Canton [Power’s producer] and told him I wanted to do something that felt like Super Fly. That there would be points where the music would play and you could tell what the lead character was thinking because the music would be exactly what his thought would be. And it was hit music on top of that; for Power I ended creating almost 11 songs for it. Listen, there’s a place for bad music and it’s on television. If you think about the trailer of a film they usually get something that works for it. In television someone’s cousin gets their song played in the background. It worked out because Mark got me our showrunner, Courtney Kemp Agboh. She’s really responsible for being the way it is. I’ve given her the insight and honesty to each of the characters. At one point I thought I would play the lead, Ghost. That was until I realized how much of a commitment the network wanted from me. It meant I would have to shut down the 50 Cent businesses to go be the lead of a television show. And I wasn’t ready to that and do everything else that I enjoy.
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