"Fast And Furious" director reveals how Ja Rule blew his chance for the role that eventually went to Ludacris.
If you think back 14 years ago to the first "Fast And The Furious" film, you'll remember that Ja Rule had a role as a driver named Edwin. Go forward to 2003's sequel, "2 Fast 2 Furious," though, and Ja was nowhere to be found, with Ludacris taking his place as the film's resident rapper/actor. John Singleton, director of the first two films, has now revealed that Ja passed on the role of Tej (an expanded version of the Edwin role) in the second film, leading to him approaching Luda for the role.
Speaking to Grantland, Singleton broke down why Ja Rule's pride got in the way of the role:
“Ja got too big for himself. He turned it down. He turned down a half a million dollars. He got 15 grand to be in the first movie. He was really big at that time. I guess Murder Inc. was throwing out hits and were making money hand over foot. He was acting like he was too big to be in the sequel. He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to go see him — that’s just my mantra, I deal with a lot of music people. He was kinda playing me to the side and I was like, ‘What? What is this shit?’ This was all initiated by me. I then made a call. I called Ludacris. I said, ‘Hey, Luda, I haven’t met you before, but I like what you’re doing right now.’ Luda was all humble, excited to meet me. I said, ‘I’m doing this movie and I’m wondering if you want to be a part of it.’ He goes, ‘What? Yeah! Anything you do I want to be a part of.’ That’s how Ludacris got in '2 Fast 2 Furious,' and the rest is history.”
That "history" he's referring to is Ludacris going on to star in more films and release more successful albums, while Ja's career withered on the vine. Singleton went on:
"Ja Rule not doing '2 Fast 2 Furious' changed Ludacris’ life. Years later I saw Ja Rule at the Source Awards and we joked about it. I took him under my arm and said, ‘Man, when I call you, you listen. I ain’t calling you for no bullshit.’ He said, ‘Yeah, man, I’m sorry about that.’ He apologized. I love Ja. I still think Ja has a lot of personality and can come back in a different way.”
"Furious 7" is in theaters today, and I bet ja Rule wishes he had stuck with the franchise.