Master P didn't come out of nowhere. He's from New Orleans. But his rise in rap with his No Limit Records empire and his starring role in "I Got the Hook-Up," which made an impressive $5,000 per screen in its limited-release opening last week, has Hollywood watching. But P, 28, who learned the craft by making a hit straight-to-video feature "I'm Bout It," is too busy to care. This week, he's starting his next movie, "Foolish."

SELF-TAUGHT: "I watch movies. That's how you learn. Hanging out on other movie sets is a waste of time. People are busy and you don't learn much. You want to learn how to ride a bike, you can watch people. But you have to get on and fall down a few times."

ORANGE CRUSH: "L.A. people are brainwashed about what they hear on the radio and see on TV. Everybody just wants to be a star. I'm not into that. I'm into making things happen. Stars come and go, overnight. I'm into longevity."

ROLE MODELS: "Anybody that's successful. From Wesley Snipes to Denzel Washington to Will Smith. I look at those people and say, 'It can be done.' That's what keeps me going."

A CLASSIC: "The movie 'Scarface,' that has so much content in it. It made me see the acting of Al Pacino, the way it's well put-together. I got to understand life on a whole other side from it. Took me on a movie ride."

PROFIT MOTIVE: "A lot of people in Hollywood figure you ain't a big star if you don't make a $100-million movie. I don't care. If the movie makes dollars for me, it makes sense. I'd rather make money on a $1-million movie than lose it on a $100-million movie."

RAPPING TO ACTING: "It's easy. You make all those songs and you're good at remembering. That's what actors need. If you're constantly making songs and videos, your IQ is a little better, and that's why people in hip-hop and R&B; make good actors."

WESTERN UNION: "I liked 'He Got Game.' It's got a message to it, a family movie about a father being there. A message is important. You always have to give something back, every good director and actor. You've got kids watching this. My message is we can all make it, no matter who we are or where we come from."

AMBITION: "Doing a movie with Halle Berry or Wesley Snipes or Denzel Washington, that would be taking it to the next level of my game. I've talked with them about it."

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