A cautionary tale for many people in the workplace: don’t be late.

Rapper T.I. almost learned this the hard way during his experience while shooting the 2006 cult film, ATL. The film saw the famed rapper make his acting debut as Rashad, a young man on the verge of adulthood as he finishes his final year of high school in Atlanta. However, T.I’s acting career almost ended before it could begin!

In an interview with Jemele Hill for her podcast, Jemele Hill is Unbothered, the rapper turned actor, born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., revealed that he was almost fired for showing up late during the film’s shooting.

“I almost got fired three times…quit two times,” he said. “I was having the time of my life and getting money hand over fist.”

“They paid me $85,000 to do ATL, and not just the filming part,” he said. “There was weeks, if not months of consistent skate training”

The filming of ATL presented a time conflict for T.I, as it coincided with the release of his breakthrough album, King. The Atlanta-bred rapper also recounted an instance in which he drove up to the set in a Phantom with smoke blowing out the sunroof.

“I was living the lifestyle and I didn’t understand the magnitude of what the film industry entails,” he said. It wasn’t until Charlie Mack and Chris Robinson had a conversation with T.I, with the latter informing the rapper that he’s a first time director tasked with making a film with a bunch of first-time actors, that he began to understand. “I was late the first four days,” Harris said when asked by Hill how he almost got fired a bunch of times.

“I was 30 minutes late the first two days,” he continued. “The third and the fourth day, I might have been 15 minutes late and thought I was doing better.” Since then, T.I has gone on to appear in films such as Takers and Identity Thief. He is slated to appear in the Netflix comedy film Dolemite Is My Name!, alongside Eddie Murphy, Tituss Burgess and Wesley Snipes.



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