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Ja Rule lands movie role

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Oct 02, 2013 | 1:34pm EDT

Rapper Ja Rule has landed his first movie role since completing his recent prison stint. The hip-hop hitmaker, who has landed jobs in several films including The Fast and the Furious and Scary Movie 3, served two years behind bars after pleading guilty in 2010 to attempted possession of a weapon, but now he's keen to move on with his life and get back to the big screen. Ja Rule, real name Jeffrey Atkins, will play a drug dealer struggling to step away from his illegal lifestyle in I'm in Love With a Church Girl. Singer Adrienne Bailon will play his love interest, while Stephen Baldwin, The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore and Michael Madsen will also appear in the film. He says, "I've done a lot of films that all have been pretty edgy. I played thug characters, but, with this character, even though I play a thug somewhat, he's really a guy going through a transition." Screenwriter Galley Molina, who spent five years in prison for drug trafficking, hired Atkins while his criminal charges were pending and reveals he empathised with the rapper. He says, "People used to ask, 'Well, you know he's a felon?' And I would say, 'Well, so am I'."

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