50 Cent caused one collective jaw drop with the startling photos of himself weighing a slender 160 pounds. In an exclusive interview with Rap-Up.com, the rapper-turned-actor explains how he lost 54 pounds to play a cancer-stricken football player in his upcoming film Things Fall Apart, how actor Christian Bale inspired his drastic transformation, how much he weighs now, and whether fans will be able to recognize him on his “Invitation” tour, which kicks off tomorrow night in Detroit.
For those who still can’t believe it, can you confirm the authenticity of those photos?
Yeah, they’re absolutely real. I shot the first half of the film for eight days and then I left for my international tour, and I spent that time training to lose weight. I had a week and a half after coming back to really intensely train to get down to 160 for the last half of the film project, Things Fall Apart. It’s myself, Mario Van Peebles, Lynn Whitfield, and Ray Liotta starring in the project. It’s directed by Mario Van Peebles.
We barely recognized you.
Yeah, it was a lot for me to actually get there. After the second week, it was crazy. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, but man… I was on the Internet and I was looking at Christian Bale, while The Machinist was out, he almost killed himself. I was feeling like maybe I’m overdoing it and I’m dropping 54 pounds, but I was in such a good physical state prior to me deciding to go down on the weight.
What motivated you?
I just trained to get as big as I physically could be for the first half. It felt like I had a lot of muscle on me still and I was trying to lose as much as possible to be authentic to what I saw in my experience, because my motivation for the project was my best friend, Charles Pringle. He lived across the street from me; he actually died of cancer. It’s a serious topic. One out of eight people in the world die of cancer. It tops HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria together. If you’re not actually gonna die of cancer, chances are someone you’re active with in your life is.
Have you put on weight since then?
Right now I weigh 198 pounds. I’m trying to get back to 200 and then I’ll start weight training again to get my body back together.
So will your fans still be able to recognize you onstage?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll never go out looking crazy like I just smoked something [laughs]. I’m trying to get myself back together immediately.