updated 09/15/2008 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/15/2008 AT 5:00 PM ET
Robert De Niro is one of the most celebrated actors of our time. But what impressed Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson about his Righteous Kill costar? His marksmanship.
“We went a couple of times together,” Jackson, 33, tells PEOPLE. “He was a much better shot than I thought he would be. I was impressed.”
While Jackson – who was shot nine times at close range eight years ago – may have been wowed by De Niro’s way with a gun, he wasn’t intimidated by the 65-year-old actor, or his equally legendary Righteous Kill costar, Al Pacino.
“I was comfortable, because I was really well-prepared,” says Jackson. “I had worked long and hard with an acting coach specifically for that role.”
Jackson says his character in the movie, a street-hustler-turned-nightclub-owner, has little in common with the real life gangsters he met growing up in Queens.
“He is taunting the police and they don t actually do that,” says Jackson. “In reality [gangsters] move away from those type of situations, because ultimately you wont win.”
Adds Jackson, “In that life you don t want no association to them period. You want to avoid police totally.”