Last year internet was set abuzz when images surfaced in which the normally buff rapper 50 Cent looked frighteningly gaunt and hollow-cheeked. But no, he wasn’t sick or dying. The dramatic weight loss was all in the name of his craft for his role in the movie Things Fall Apart. The 35-year old has since regained his weight, but with the release of the new trailer, fans can get a glimpse into the extremes he went to to play a cancer-stricken football player.
The musician-sometime-actor, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, took the role so seriously, he “starved” to get into character. According to PEOPLE, 50 Cent lost over 50lbs, going from a healthy and muscular 214lbs to a mere 160lbs. Curtis reportedly did this by living off a liquid diet and hitting the treadmill for three hours a day for nine weeks.
“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,” MTV.com quotes him as saying. “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.”
In order to maintain the discipline it takes to lose so much weight, Curtis says he followed Tom Hanks and Christian Bales’ examples, who have both lost huge amounts of weight for movie roles.
“I think the world took note because people kept making comparisons with great actors like Tom Hanks in ‘Philadelphia’ and Christian Bale in ‘The Machinist’,” The Huffington Post quotes him as saying. “There is no way to play a role like this without really committing to it.
“I actually got on the computer,” he added. “When it started getting difficult, I was looking to see what their experience was like and I got a chance to see all of the interviews they had at different time periods when they were doing promotion for the projects.”
[adsense] Curtis’ weight loss took a slow start, as he was unable to lose his muscle definition. He says he began to run on the treadmill in order to suppress his appetite.
“Towards the end it was really difficult,” he said. “It was like, if I don’t get close enough to what my best friend looked like to me at that point before he passed, then I’m not doing the story any justice.”
Things Fall Apart will be released later this year.
Images: PR Photos