Hustlers has no shortage of musical star power in its lineup, boasting a dazzling performance from Jennifer Lopez and memorable cameos from the likes of Cardi B and Lizzo. Even Usher makes a much-talked-about entrance, as himself, making it rain in the club to the tune of his own song. But they’re not the only musicians who appeared in in Lorene Scafaria’s acclaimed drama.
When Constance Wu’s Destiny meets her ultimately bad boyfriend and baby’s father Johnny at a pool alongside Lopez’s Ramona, the guy who picks her up is none other than G-Eazy, the very tall Bay Area rapper who might be the only man allowed to wear penny loafers in the world. It’s his first film role — for which he goes by his given name, Gerald Earl Gillum — and one that he was very excited to inhabit, because he was working alongside the legendary Lopez. The rapper (and now actor) talked to EW about working with Lopez, being directed by Scafaria, and his personal love of film, including some of his 2019 favorites.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get involved in Hustlers?
G-EAZY: I’ve been wanting to get into acting for a while. I’ve always been a huge film nerd and I’ve thought about the idea of moving into acting, but I just wanted to wait for the right opportunity. They brought me this script and I really loved it and I thought this would be an amazing project to be a part of. It was really an exciting process and I learned a lot.
Had you met Jennifer Lopez before or was this your first time working with her?
I’ve met her a couple of times in passing. And I mean, to get to work with her was an honor. She’s one of the most hardworking, most down to earth, most amazing professionals I’ve ever seen. She knew it was my first time on a set and she was super encouraging.
You’re primarily working alongside Constance Wu. How was that experience, and what did you channel for this part?
I’m just always trying to soak up as much as I can. Constance was amazing. She he was very nice to work with. I mean, they were all really encouraging after the first take we shot, you know, they were like, “Whoa, like you get really good at this.” Anytime you’re doing something new for the very first time, [that’s] nice to hear. I tried not to overthink it and just put myself in the position of the character.
What was it like working with like Lorene and a primarily female cast?
Lorene is an amazing director. They’re all really powerful women and obviously that comes through in the movie. It’s a really empowering movie. I think they found all the right people to capture and portray that.
How long did you shoot for?
Just a couple of days. I left the experience fully having caught the bug.
So acting is something you’re open to doing more of now?
Is that that why you went by your actual name [Gerald Earl Gillum] in the credits?
100 percent. I mean, I have a good deal of respect for the world of film and the world of acting. And I wanted to enter this space with the proper respect for it. You have people that have lived their entire lives studying and being committed to this world. And I come from a different world. I’ve been making music since I was 14. It changed. I don’t want to take it for granted, just, you know, step into it using any kind of advantage coming from a music background. I want to pay the proper respect and do the work and approach it the right way.
Who would be some of your ideal directors or other actors that you’d love to work with?
Leonardo DiCaprio is my favorite actor of all time, so that would be a dream come true. But I would love to work with a Tarantino, a Guy Richie, Baz Luhrmann, or a Wes Anderson. I tend to like directors with very distinct styles. So you can tell from a mile away that that’s a Scorsese film.
What was your experience when saw you Hustlers for the first time?
My first experience was seeing it at the premiere with Lorene and with Jennifer Lopez and it was exciting. Going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do in my free time. So to go and get this experience and watch this movie that I’m actually in was surreal.
Other than Hustlers, what movies have you loved this year?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was great. I loved Mid90s. I loved The Last Black Man in San Francisco — it’s f—ing incredible — and Rocketman.
Is Jennifer Lopez someone you’d want to fashion your own career after? She makes music, she acts, produces, she does it all.
Jennifer Lopez is somebody who has built one of the most incredible careers that we’ve ever seen in many different mediums and spaces. And that’s incredibly inspiring. She’s somebody who exemplifies what hard work can accomplish. She’s had such a long career in spaces where it’s really hard to sustain. She’s somebody who I have a great deal of respect for.
Do you have any new music coming up?
Yeah, yeah. I have a bunch of new music coming out for the new year and then I have a new album that I’m almost finished with, so very excited about that.
It’s the second weekend that the film is in theaters. Why would you tell someone to go see Hustlers, if they haven’t seen it yet?
I think it’s one of those movies that only comes around every once and awhile. It’s an exciting movie that feels important for women, of course, but you know, there’s something for everybody. It’s just a really powerful film.
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