On Thursday, MTV premiered the trailer to Spring Breakers, which stars James Franco, Selena Gomez,Vanessa Hudgens and, most importantly, Gucci Mane. The film, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters March 22, will mark the Trap God’s first foray into the world of cinema, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. XXL caught up with the Atlanta rapper in between studio sessions to find out how he landed the gig, what his future in film holds, and if there’s any truth to the rumors that James Franco’s character is based on Riff Raff. Here’s what Gucci Mane had to say. – As told to Neil Martinez-Belkin (@Neil_MB)
XXL: What’s going on, Gucci?
Gucci Mane: I’m in the studio. Working on my mixtape, Trap God 2.
When is that coming out?
I’m dropping that on Spring Break. I’ve got a movie coming out Spring Breakers, so I’m dropping Trap God 2: Spring Break Edition to coincide with the movie.
Well, that’s what I wanted to talk about. I just saw the trailer for the movie.
Let’s talk about it.
How did you first get approached to be in this movie?
I gotta give all the credit to Mariah Carey. I thank her for that. Also I want to give a shout-out to Nick Cannon and Mariah and their family. I thank her for introducing me to Brett Ratner, who did Rush Hour 3. I met him through her at our video for the song we did together, “Obsessed.” Later she put me in touch with Brett Ratner and Harmony Korine, who’s the director. They told me they were interested in putting me in a film, but she was the connect to that.
When was this?
She was pregnant at the time. That’s all I remember.
So what happened next?
Basically they told me that they didn’t think anybody could play this role better than me and so that’s why they sought me out. Harmony Korine, he was a fan of my music and a fan of my movement. Him being from Nashville, Tennesee, well, I got a big following in Nashville. So you know he wanted to bring my following to his movies, so it made a lot of sense for him too. He can get all my audience and I just felt like it was a great opportunity ’cause now I can get some of his audience too.
Were you familiar with any of his previous movies?
I knew about the movie Kids that he made, but I wasn’t really familiar with that much. But then I got to know him and I consider him a great friend, and I know that we’re gonna have a friendship that’s gonna last a long time and we’re gonna do a lot more business together. I like the way he do his videos and I just like the way he handles his business, period. He’s a good person.
What exactly is your role in the movie?
I’m a super bad guy in this role, you know what I’m saying? It’s like a role that was easy for me to play ’cause I’m just a street guy, you know? James Franco, his name’s Alien in the movie and I kind of taught him everything he knows. He’s a bad guy, but I’m a super bad guy. I’m badder than a bad guy.
How was working with Franco?
It was mind-blowing, man. I’m new to the film thing but I took to it like a fish to water ’cause that’s how I am. Still, even though I never been in a lot of movie shit, just working with him I could tell how intelligent he was. Him channeling into the role he played and how he did it, it’s great.
I keep hearing that James Franco’s character in the movie is based on Riff Raff. What do you know about that?
That’s totally false. I think Riff Raff’s just trying to gain some attention. And I think maybe [Franco] may favor a little bit his appearance, but it don’t have anything to do with the artist named Riff Raff. I know that for a fact.
Riff Raff certainly seems to think the character is based on him.
Truthfully, he lying.
You also worked alongside Selena Gomez. Were there any Bieber sightings on set?
I heard one time Justin came to the to the set to support Selena and support the movie. I didn’t see him but shout out him for supporting the movie and shout out Selena for being in the movie.
How long did you spend filming your part of the movie?
They had me there for like two weeks. This was a big, big, big film. This was a big opportunity and they paid me a lot of money to be in it. And I thank God that I had this chance, ’cause rap don’t pay like the movies pay.
Did you find acting to be challenging?
It was easy as rolling a blunt.
Easy as rolling two blunts back to back.
So we should expect to see Gucci Mane on the big screen again?
You can definitely expect me to work with Harmony Korine and James Franco again. I’m so thankful to have my movie debut be in one of the biggest movies of 2013. Biggest film of the year. Everybody should be excited ’cause it’s my big break in movies.