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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with CURTIS '50 CENT' JACKSON in Aruba!

Interview with 50 Cent in Aruba at AIFF


On June 15th, 2011 I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson at the Hyatt Grand Hotel in Aruba during the 2nd annual Aruba International Film Festival. ’50 Cent’ and I spoke about his music career and his highly anticipated acting role in the soon to be released film THINGS FALL APART (2011) by director Mario Van Peebles. ’50 Cent’ stars in the film and also worked as producer.

ME: Hi ‘50’! How are you today?

50: I’m doing good. How about yourself?

ME: Great thanks. So, here we are to talk about your film, which I saw last night. But before we get into detail about the movie, tell me, is this the end of your music career? Or will you continue to produce music while also making films?

50: No, no, I’m gonna’ keep doing music. I have a new album, right. It’s my fifth one and it’s called ‘RECKLESS’ and I’m like a song away from completing it so I’m excited about that and they should hear something from me in the next few weeks as far as the first song off of that new project. It’s gonna’ be good. I think I’ve finally got back in the groove where I can create something that’s as relevant as the first project that I finished so I’m excited about that.

ME: Now, last night at the opening of your film you had a huge reception from fans. How does it feel to be such an icon to so many around the world?

50: Oh, it feels great. Like I mean, I’m a long way from home now and yet it feels like I’m at home so it’s interesting. Music I think what’s really amazing about it is how it breaks language barriers. You know, some of the people out there last night don’t speak English and it’s interesting how they all come and enjoy the festivities and everything. It’s exciting. I mean, everywhere I’ve been it feels like, Hip Hop Culture is now Pop Culture because it’s everywhere. It’s so broad. Originally it was something that was in NY and now it grew outside of that and now it’s everywhere so I was blessed with being there to kind experience some of the early stages of it, not actually participate in it but be influence by having it played around me from when I was really small. Now it’s exciting to go and do different things in film and develop interests in different areas in art and have the ability to go after it is just amazing. It feels great.

ME: And being such an icon internationally and for all ages do you feel a sense of responsibility to set an example?

50: Well, I feel the responsibility for myself and to a lot of people in the environment that I grew up in to continue to be successful and I think also we can’t escape the possibility and responsibility for parents to take the responsibility for their children to create a separation between what’s entertainment and what’s reality so doing that I think everybody, I think every parent is an icon, every parent is a superhero on some levels. You know, they’re the answer to every problem for a child. You know, being the child’s guardian and if they can convey the information of right and wrong to them on different levels that you know have issues art influencing children more than their parents are.

ME: Let me ask you a few questions about your film THINGS FALL APART. Was it a great challenge to play this character and will you continue to go to such extreme measures in your work as an actor? Like losing sixty pounds for the role for example? I know you get asked this question a lot. (After this film people will start calling you ’60 Pounds’ instead of ’50 Cent’. LOL.)

50: It was really rough to play this character and role in the film. I’d like to continue to challenge myself on the highest level possible. I think once I commit to things I can commit to something I have no information on and I’ll figure out how to do it. Once I’ve actually committed to it. When I want to do things I’m able to pull it off, to get close them I would say. It depends on what projects come up. I’m not gonna’ consistently do what I did in that film but I’ll look for projects that have depth to them. You know, I don’t want to do projects that don’t mean anything.

ME: How do you feel about the outcome of your film and the reaction to the premier you had last night?

50: It feels great. I mean, when they talk about Aruba they make reference to this film festival like it’s small. And I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the artists that came before were small and they didn’t receive the same reception I did and they felt like it was a small film festival but this was bigger than the film festivals that I’ve been to so far and I’ve been everywhere. I mean, I was at Sundance this year. Maybe it feels that way for me because of the whole turn out last night and just the whole festivities, it felt great.

ME: Can you talk a little bit about your greatest inspirations and influences?

50: Well, musically or film?

ME: Both.

50: I drew a lot from my experiences. You know, even if its not necessarily something I was involved but I’m aware of it or someone close to me was involved in something, I would write it and it’ll feel like I know it feels authentic because I have something to draw from writing it. Then it’s exciting to me. If I’m just making things up when I’m rapping, it’s not that good to me. When Artists convey information or write a song you know is not from their background and things like that, I kind of get turned off by that when it’s not who they are because I think there’s a space for them as themselves within the culture rather than them trying to be something else.

ME: I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times but how did you pick the name ‘50 Cent’? How did you come into that name? And does your medallion here represent your name by any chance? (He was wearing a gold piece medallion).

50: [laughs] That’s not 50 Cents. There’s the Queen of England on there. I’m named after the guy ’50 Cent’ from Fort Greene Housing Projects in Brooklyn. It was kind of a name they gave me so I started utilizing it as my entertainment name.

ME: Well, it works. People love it. Do you want to speak about your multiple upcoming film projects?

50: Well, actually, we started three of the ten-picture deal I am now working on. I raised $200 million for my film production company project called ‘Cheetah Vision’ and we broke them into a ten-picture deal. Lions Gate wanted domestic rights to those ten films and the first of those ten films was SETUP (2011) with myself, Bruce Willis and Ryan Phillippe and the second was FREELANCERS (2012) that just wrapped with me, Robert De Niro and Forest Whitaker and the third film is FIRE WITH FIRE (2012) in pre-production right now. We’re shooting in New Orleans. That’s with me and Bruce Willis again and Joshua Duhamel, an action project. I play a smaller role in that project but it’s through my production company. I read the screenplay and initially they wanted me to play one of the bad guys in it but I felt like it was too extreme of a change because he was like a white supremacist, the guy just got out of jail and I like the way the character was written and I said, ‘this is too good for us to change it you gotta’ leave it like this’, so I play a smaller role in that project. It’s pretty cool because now I’m shifted back off to full focus on my music with me having a smaller role to play in the film. It’s pretty cool. I’ve always traveled. Every time I’ve been on set I’ve had music trailers, specific trailers from the foreign studio with me while I’m actually filming it. Interesting things come up while I’m in character and doing different things and, just my process is starting to be different all over the place. I’ve also been doing a little writing for a film project that I want to release alongside of my two albums so actually instead of packaging this time like last time I’ll do separate packages but they’ll come out simultaneously.

ME: Well, huge congrats on your latest film release, THINGS FALL APART. I hope to see many more in the future with you in them. And enjoy Aruba! Thanks 50!

50: Thank you!

read also my red carpet interview with '50 Cent' here:

Interview conducted by Vanessa McMahon, June 15, 2011

50 Cent in Aruba!


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