After releasing his "Before I Self-Destruct" album and going on a massive world tour, 50 Cent traded his mic for a script for the new movie "Twelve," due in theaters this Friday (Aug. 6). The Joel Schumacher-directed drama, in which the rapper plays a ruthless drug supplier opposite Chace Crawford and Emma Roberts, is one of multiple film projects he's lined up over the next year to establish himself as an acting force.
"[Working in film] came down to the actual timing," 50 tells Billboard.com, adding that he was offered a role in the Sylvester Stallone-directed action flick "The Expendables" but had to turn it down to focus on promoting his last album. For "Twelve," however, a little downtime in his schedule coincided with a juicy dramatic role and the chance to work with Schumacher ('Batman Forever," "Phone Booth").
"I thought a lot of his projects in the past were well done, and I wanted to be associated with that type of artistic integrity," 50 Cent says. "He was intrigued by my confidence walking in, and then he saw through our conversation how passionate I was about being a part of the project."
50 Cent will also star with Val Kilmer in "Gun," an action film currently in post-production and released under his new production company, Cheetah Vision Films. The rapper, who presented the film at the New York International Latino Film Festival on Friday (July 30), also co-wrote the screenplay and says it was fascinating having "110 pages to write everything, versus three minutes of time in a song."
However, the most surprising role that 50 will inhabit may be the cancer victim he plays in Mario Van Peebles' upcoming drama "Things Fall Apart," a part which required his weight to drop from 214 to 160. The acclaimed performances of Tom Hanks in "Philadelphia" and Robert De Niro in "Raging Bull" helped motivate the dramatic weight loss, although 50 says he was "pigging out" as soon as shooting wrapped and has regained his normal weight.
"I understand the significance in the transformation and the weight loss process, but it's my performance in the actual film that I hope will be impressive," he says.
As far as musical projects, 50 Cent says that he has been dabbling in some different production styles, including more dance-driven material, for a new release called "Black Magic." While he believes that the project will eventually see the light of day, 50 says that it will probably be after the official follow-up to "Self-Destruct," which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 in December.