The shocking photos that appeared earlier this week of a dramatically gaunt 50 Cent is just another example of the extremes to which he'll go to win. The G-Unit general lost the weight for a role as a football player with cancer in the upcoming "Things Fall Apart," and he spoke to Cleveland's Call and Post about why the movie was worth the sacrifice.
"It's myself, Mario Van Peebles, Ray Liotta, Lynn Whitfield, and it's a project that I wrote, produced and financed myself," he said of the film. "It's about a Heisman hopeful who could possibly be going to the league and everyone is assuming he's gonna make it, and then he's hit with an illness. I had a friend of mine who actually experienced cancer, and it's what motivated me to write this screenplay. You don't have to make everything personal, but that project was. That's why I committed to playing a role where I lost 54 pounds. I had to discipline myself enough until I achieved it but ... I got it."
50 also implied that acting is a great outlet when he wants to take a break from music — particularly when he and the public don't see eye-to-eye on what he's cooked up in the lab.
"I'm actually passionate about the actual music when it's done right," he said. "But, sometimes I feel like something is right that the public didn't respond to, just me creatively. Because of that, I'll perform the record until they actually enjoy it [laughs]. But the reality is they won't embrace every idea you come up with, not all of your life. I have artists I have a lot of respect for who aren't the same as when they started and they're great artists. Look at Stevie Wonder.
"I think the business itself is conditioned to say, 'Out with the old in with the new,' " he said. "I'll continue to make music because I love it, but I developed an interest in other areas because a lot of times to escape music, for enjoyment, I might go and watch film or television, and there's an interest there because I've been utilizing that for entertainment for so long."
50, who is now getting back to his normal size, said he was only able to take the time out to lose the weight because he financed the movie himself. "There's not a whole lot of actual situations where a studio will break for four months to allow the talent to make the transition they allowed Tom Hanks to make in 'Philadelphia,' " he pointed out. "You gotta be Tom Hanks for that to happen."
50 launches the Invitation Tour on Friday (May 28) in Cleveland, a place he hasn't played since he and Jay-Z toured with Rock the Mic in 2003.
"I haven't toured in the U.S. in three years, so I wanted to choose somewhere that wasn't like home plate," said 50, who also revealed that despite Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks being free agents, G-Unit Records still has a home at Interscope.