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Hotlanta rapper T.I., who also doubles as an actor, is set to play a bounty hunter in the Universal Pictures comedy “Identity Thief,” starring Justin Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, reports Deadline New York.

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T.I., whose actual name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., gets to track down his co-stars after McCarthy steals Bateman’s identity.  The film is slated for a May 2013 release.

T.I., who also stars on his VH1 reality show, “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” with his wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, has hit pay dirt since the show has been picked up for a second season.  During their first season, the show averaged about 2.5 million viewers a week.

There are other films in the can for the performer who should consider himself to be among the favored, particularly since he’s had more than his fair share of scraps with the law, which included jail time in the not-too-distant past.  Drug charges which were later dropped, led to a probation violation, then he tested positive for opiates and was accused of associating with a convicted felon. All of these charges resulted in an 11-month stint behind bars for T.I. in October 2010.

Yet not even his colorful prison record has derailed his cinematic rise.  T.I. will star opposite Tom Cruise in an upcoming film titled “We Mortals Are.” The sci-fi war film, which is slated to be directed by Doug Liman, will tell the story of a solder in a futuristic war who finds himself intermittently reliving the last day before his death.

TV powerhouse Kelsey Grammer also signed T.I. on to co-star on his Starz network television show’s second season of “Boss.”  T.I. will have a season-long arc as a former gangbanger with an eye on a political career.

Let’s hope T.I. can keep his nose clean….


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