Though he’s starred in a number of serious-minded films including “ATL,” “American Gangster” and the 2010 heist actioner “Takers,” Tip “T.I.” Harris had never ventured into comedy until landing a supporting role in this weekend’s Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy laffer “Identity Thief.” Nevertheless, the rapper-turned-actor wasn’t nervous about testing his chops in the new genre thanks to some advice he once received from “Gangster” co-star Denzel Washington (or, as Tip likes to call him, “D.W.”).
“I learned from my partner D.W., man, Denzel Washington – I call him D.W. – he told me ‘Man, just come here and do what they brought you here to do, you’re here for a reason,” said T.I. when I sat down with he and “Identity Thief” co-star Genesis Rodriguez at the film’s recent junket. “And that’s when I was really nervous, on ‘American Gangster.’ I’m like, you got Russell Crowe, you got Denzel…you got so many highly-acclaimed actors here, and he was like ‘Hey, listen, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t belong here.'”
In the new film T.I. and Rodriguez star as Julian and Marisol, a pair of shady assassins who have been hired to track down Melissa McCarthy’s character, the shameless “Identity thief” of the title who’s already been apprehended by her latest victim (Jason Bateman). Though the thesps got to stretch their improv muscles during filming (the movie was helmed by “Horrible Bosses” director Seth Gordon), much of the comedic rapport they created on set ultimately landed on the cutting room floor.
“We had this whole little world that unfortunately we didn’t get to see, maybe it’s in the DVD, who knows?” Rodriguez lamented. “But [during production] we got to bicker back and forth, it was fun!”
Curious what else the pair had to say? You can watch the full interview in the video above.
“Identity Thief” hits theaters this Friday.