It’s a mild 70 degree day in Los Angeles and RZA is wearing a wool Burberry blazer and has consumed several cups of herbal tea, doused with honey to boost the flavor. Despite his apparent wintertime survival ritual, not a bead of sweat is visible on his brow and he appears to be extremely comfortable within the confines of the heat he’s generating. The year has brought upon numerous reasons for the public-appointed leader of the Wu-Tang Clan to be excited about the forthcoming days (not to mention antsy).
The incredibly seasoned Wu-Tang leader joined Hip-Hop Wired in an exclusive sit-down to promote his upcoming film Brick Mansions, a project whose interest has been tragically heightened as it also stars the late Paul Walker. The Wu-Tang leader describes his relationship with the fallen actor as “genuine,” seeing that an obvious language barrier while filming on location in Montreal increased their off-screen dialogue.
“To be honest, it broke my heart,” he recalled upon first hearing the news of Walker’s passing in November 2013. “And we’re all men here. But you meet certain people that you genuinely like. And he was one of them. I looked forward to seeing him again. We got along pretty well. I’d say the only thing we didn’t have in common was collecting cars. Even though, I spend millions of dollars on cars but that’s just because of my family (Laughs). I didn’t even think about the movie. I just said, ‘Yo, we lost a good dude.’ And it was just…puzzling like, he wasn’t an a**hole so it just made think if I had the chance to ask God one question, it would just be ‘why?'”
Even in the most casual fan of RZA’s work knows he has always been a deep thinker and he immediately begain to compare the shocking news to his surroundings that had opened up around him. “It made me think of the movie Noah, like after enduring all the floods that were supposed to wash us clean, why are we still living like this?,” he continued. “I was generally pissed off when I wrote “Destiny Bends.” You know how we teach the Black man is God; you must find God within yourself–which is still prominent. Jesus even said, ‘The temple of God is within,’ so not taking away how powerful [we] are, but individually though…man. And when some of the fans were like ‘RZA got soft,’ it kind of twisted my nerve a little bit only because I knew the brother–we hung out. In Montreal, most people speak French. And David [Belle] don’t speak great English so it was us, kid! We were even planning on making a kung fu joint and the one day, it’s done?”
One thing about the cinema world is that characters will go on forever, a sentiment that RZA agrees will make Brick Mansions a winner, critiques on the movie’s plot aside.
RZA stars in the film as Tremaine Alexander, a ruthless overlord who maintains control of Detroit’s forgotten sector, in a dystopian society where the poor are left to fend for themselves. His character is challenged only by Paul Walker and French actor David Belle’s characters which, naturally generates the conflict and the scenes of gratuitous action and explosions.
It was a role RZA admittedly said didn’t come easy, but the acting bug knows how to bite in the right places.
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Photos: Relatively Media