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GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN'

About The Story
"I guess you could say that ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin” is a collage of my life,” offers Curtis "50 Cent” Jackson, the hip-hop star who makes his motion picture debut in the new film from Paramount Pictures. "It's not so much my life story, as it is a story that has incidents similar to some that happened in my life.”

One of the biggest stars in hip-hop, 50 Cent burst on the scene with his debut album, "Get Rich or Die Tryin',” which set the mark for the all-time best debut with 900,000 units sold in its first week. The album went on to be certified six times platinum. With his 2005 follow up, "The Massacre,” 50 Cent became the first artist to have four songs in the top ten of Billboard's Hot 100 since the Beatles in 1964. The album debuted at No. 1 and has sold more than 4 million units to date.

Director Jim Sheridan has long been a fan of rap and the culture surrounding it. "I thought that a story that mirrors elements of 50's life had enormous dramatic potential,” says the six-time Academy Award® nominee. "It's pretty powerful and interesting material to put on film. I'd seen 50 in videos and thought he had a great presence, but when we met, I knew after half an hour with him that I wanted to make a film with him. He's tremendously talented, focused, and disciplined, but he's also a very funny, charming person. And, because he knows he's lucky to be alive, he's a joy to be around. He's totally committed to the story we're trying to tell.”

Since his meteoric rise to music super-stardom, Jackson has entertained numerous film pitches but none of them felt right until now. "It wasn't so much that I was waiting for a starring vehicle as I was waiting for the right project with the right people,” he explains. The opportunity to make his motion picture debut under a director the stature of Jim Sheridan sealed his decision to star in "Get Rich or Die Tryin'.” "I couldn't pick a better director to work with for the very first time,” says Jackson. "Jim is a real actor's director and absolutely the best person for me to begin a new endeavor with. I try to stay as close as possible to the best — Eminem and Dr. Dre for music production, and now, Jim Sheridan for the film. You know me,” he laughs, "I try to start at the top and stay there. The fight is fixed and I'm gonna win.”

"When we have a new, young actor like 50, who better to have than Jim Sheridan to work with him?” asks producer Jimmy lovine, who also serves as chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. "We knew Jim would be able to hone in on the rawness of 50's acting and his abilities.”

As for Sheridan, he was very enthusiastic about doing a film about rap culture. Aside from his longtime interest in rap music, he "suspected that the rap world was closer in structure to film than any other form of music because of its narrative underpinning."

Iovine says that Sheridan's skill as a director of films in which characters face enormous challenges — including illness, poverty, and racial bigotry — make him the perfect choice. "This movie is more about the ‘why,”' says lovine. "Why there are more single mothers in the African-American community than any other in America? Why is rap music the way it is? Why was Marcus forced to do what he had to do?”

"Jim gets it,” says Lighty. "He understands that community. The struggle in Jamaica, Queens or the Bronx is not much different than Jim's own struggle as a youth in some of the tougher districts of Dublin. We're just different colors; it's the same struggle of trouble, despair, and violence.”

The film started coming together when lovine and Shady Records' Paul Rosenberg signed 50 Cent to their label. As producers of some of the most successful music acts in the business, as well as the very successful Eminem vehicle "8 Mile,” they were instantly struck by Jackson's "charisma and vibe” (in lovine's words) and decid

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