August 2002
Undisputed : An Interview with Wesley Snipes

Undisputed : An Interview with Wesley Snipes

For one who is very familiar with action and adventure, Undisputed provides its audience with an inside look into the inner strength and determination of the undisputed prison champion, Monroe Hutchen. Wesley Snipes sat with to discuss his most recent role and the successfulness of being a versatile actor in Hollywood.

AAH: So, Ving Rhames says that he could whoop your buttÖ

WS: You know, he is a big dude and you know big dudes have to flex like that.

AAH: Is it true that you all had contact during the boxing matches?

WS: Yeah, a couple of times and I retaliated, but I just kept rolling!

AAH: Was this role relatively stressful?

WS: The demands are rough to do boxing films. Besides the training before you actually start the movie, usually we are doing like 3-4 minute rounds. We do rounds based on the dialogue. You have to do it like 5 or 6 times. You have to stop, your body cools down, and they come over and sprit water on you that feels like they just threw ice on your scrotum. You feel terrible. Then you come back and do that for 3 days back to back.

AAH: Why put yourself through that? How do you handle doing so much physical acting?

WS: I donít know. Perhaps because I am capable of doing it. I like the idea of being a dramatic actor that still has the strong physicality and can cross over to those kinds of roles. Plus, the opportunity to train with professionals and to get some real good pointers and tips from someone like Emmanuel Stewart; thatís a once in a lifetime opportunity. Especially not being a professional fighter.

AAH: Are you a fan of boxing?

WS: Very much so.

AAH: What makes boxing so appealing?

WS: I love the idea of the man to man, against one another. I like that. I donít know why.

AAH: Well, speaking of that Ė will there be a Blade 3?

WS: If everything goes well, weíll try to spit out one more. New Line is interested and I am interested.

AAH: Youíve also done very low budget dramatic films. Do you have a preference?

WS: Iíd like to increase the profile of those films. I do them every year. Iíll do an action film and then go back and do a drama or a comedy or something less action. I like to be pushed more so people know that those [films] are out there. I only have a couple of more years of jumping around and kicking. Its getting harder and harder and I am getting injured more frequently. So the clock is ticking. Next thing you know it will just be my mouth and my whole body will be DGI [digitally enhanced].

AAH: What else are you working on?

WS: We are working on ďStrays,Ē an animation feature for Nickelodeon. Itís a comedy about two stray dogs and they go on an adventure to Africa. It is kind of one of those films that is not only for my kids but itís also for me. I like animated films. They are funny. You get to spin reality with animated films.

AAH: You bought the rights to John Henry Clay. Are you finishing up that documentary?

WS: We are going to distribute it either this year or next year. Itís still in the editing post phase. We are going to keep doing that. It is a part of the black-dot-media series.

AAH: Tell us more about your character in Undisputed.

WS: There are some similarities regarding balance between this character and me. Certain things just donít bother me and I donít worry about certain things. I donít allow myself to get involved in things that ďmovie stars are supposed to do.Ē Does it make me a better actor? No. If I never do another movie again, will I still act? Yes. Can I still be happy? Yes. If I donít have a career, will I jump out the window? No! If I quit acting, I will just become a DeeJay. Iím a flip it. If you mess with my records that will make me cry.

AAH: Are awards and other accolades important to you?

WS: Its nice to be recognized and to have tributes to your accomplishes. But at the end of the day if it does not come that way, itís okay. There are other people I look to for my [recognition].

AAH: What is the movie youíd like to do?

WS: Gladiator 2 so that I can move up in the ranks!

AAH: What about Black Panther?

WS: I am slated to do it. Weíre trying to get it ready for production for next year. But you know how this movie business is.

AAH: What inspired you to be an actor?

WS: The girls. Itís the reason I went to college and studied so long. The money was spent well. I actually wanted to be a dancer. It was in my drudges, Iíd still be a dancer.

AAH: Are you as passionate about acting now as you once were?

WS: I am going to get better. I think that there are things that I have weak areas in my craft. Tonalities, sometimes the choices I make could be a little bit more emotionally full. The problem is that we are doing a lot of work and with films back to back you donít have a lot of time to prepare. Then, even in this business, you donít know if the project is going to go.

AAH: Do you mind the instability of your life?

WS: I really donít. Everyday brings something new. I am always looking forward to the next day to see whatís going to happen.

AAH: Do you want to direct?

WS: No time soon. It takes too long. To have people yelling at you and talking about moneyÖno,no.

AAH: Was it an interesting time working in a prison?

WS: It was not difficult. The guys were very respectful and helpful. Iíve worked in a few prisons before so I had some familiarity with being behind bars.

AAH: What advice would you give young actors coming up now?

WS: They should be very versatile. Versatility is whatís going to give them the longevity. The world is opening up and a lot more stories and a lot more interesting scenes to portray in film. Versatility will help them. They must be able to see the world, learn the world, and bring it to their craft.

AAH: Thank you very much.

WS: Thank you.