Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is getting a dose of the hard life.
The rapper-actor-TV producer heads to ABC's For Life, the one-hour legal drama on which he serves as an executive producer, on Tuesday's episode, where he will make his first appearance as hardened inmate Cassius Dawkins and only ET has the exclusive first look at his debut.
Inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., For Life tells the story of prisoner Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), who becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn't commit. His quest for freedom is driven by his desperate desire to get back to the family he loves -- his estranged wife, Marie (Joy Bryant), and daughter (Tyla Harris) -- and reclaim the life that was stolen from him.
Through the window of his struggle and his complicated relationship with a progressive female prison warden (Indira Varma), the hour-long drama examines the flaws and challenges in our penal and legal systems.
"When Isaac Wright Jr. told me his story, I thought this is definitely worthy of television and it’s a journey that you can show him going on that wouldn’t be like other television shows. It’s different than other traditional procedurals, family dramas or prison dramas," Jackson exclusively tells ET. "When people have familiar flaws, you can relate to it and to them. With the character of Aaron Wallace, he is fighting to get back to his family. People can relate to that."
The 44-year-old entrepreneur offered insight into his character, Cassius, and where he fits into the world.
"In For Life, I think people will understand what the trauma of that experience would do to a person -- learning the law while viewing the system itself as if it’s criminal because of the circumstances they’re learning under. Cassius is a part of that system," he explains. "He only knows how to function inside the prison system, inside the prison walls. He never meant anything to anyone but on the inside he has power because people fear him and that’s what drives him. If he gets out, he will only end up back in because he doesn’t know how to function. He’s never had anything or accomplished much before he ended up in prison."
For Life airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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