Chicago Red Carpet: T.I. Channels His Acting Side in ‘Takers’

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CHICAGO – Tip “T.I.” Harris has conquered the charts and the music business as a performer, producer and entrepreneur. He was recently in Chicago at a red carpet premiere for his film “Takers,” on which he serves as executive producer and co-stars with Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen and Zoe Salanda.

The new ShowPlace ICON theater in Chicago was packed with admirers, who rejoiced and screamed as T.I. walked the red carpet at the shortly before the premiere of Takers, which opens on August 27th. He was joined by two other executive producers, William Packer and Jason Jeter. was there to interview all three.

StarT.I., the Executive Producer and Co-Star in ‘Takers’

At the ‘Tip’ of His Career: T.I. at the ‘Takers’ Chicago premiere, August 10th, 2010
At the ‘Tip’ of His Career: T.I. at the ‘Takers’ Chicago premiere, August 10th, 2010
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for What kind of acting style do you most relate to – doing a character instinctively and on-the-fly or making up a whole story for the role so you can relate to the character’s background?

T.I.: I try to do a little of both. Denzel [Washington] told me on ‘American Gangster’ that you never want a camera to catch you acting. But at the same time understanding the script, understanding the story, it enables me to stand in the shoes of the character.

HC: One more quick question. What song or rap best represents you as a person that your fans wouldn’t necessarily associate with you and why?

T.I.: That’s very difficult. All of my songs have a piece of me, they represent me in that present time when I created it. I would have to say right now somewhere in between ‘Live Your Life,’ ‘Dead and Gone’ and ‘Got You Back.’ It is very difficult to put all of me into one song that would represent all the dynamics and all the parts of me.

StarWilliam Packer and Jason Jeter, Executive Producers on ‘Takers’

William Packer, Executive Producer on the film ‘Takers,’ in Chicago on August 10th. 2010
William Packer, Executive Producer on the film ‘Takers,’ in Chicago on August 10th. 2010
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

HC: What was the twist in the ‘heist’ movie that attracted you to ‘Takers’?

William Packer: There are definitely going to be some unexpected twists. It’s not going to end the way you think it’s going to end, it’s not going to go the way you think it’s going to go. We’re definitely going to bring it.

HC: Jason, why did you become a film producer and what type of films did you want to make once you got that title?

Jason Jeter: This is the first film that I ever produced. I’m happy to be here, happy to learn and I’m happy to grow. Grand Hustle Films, this is our first one. Rainforest Films, that is William, he’s been doing it for awhile and it was a great pleasure to work with him and learn stuff from him. I want to simply make movies that I want to see and movies that I love.

HC: William, you are remaking the 1980s classic ‘The Big Chill.’ Besides casting considerations, what will be most different about your version?

WP: We’re going to give it a contemporary feel. One of things that made the first film a classic was the music. We’re going to go and get music that is considered classic to the generation in the film. It will be that exact same feeling all over again.

”Takers” opens everywhere August 27th. Featuring T.I., Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Michael Ealy and Chris Brown. Screenplay by Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop and Avery Duff, directed by John Luessenhop. Rated “PG-13” senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2010 Patrick McDonald,

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