The Wu-Tang Clan just celebrated its 20-year anniversary last November, and The RZA is trying to do everything in his power to represent for his crew. Whether it's through music or acting, The Abbot's main goal has been using different outlets to express himself creatively. Acting is a craft that we have gradually seen RZA using as his platform most often in the past few years, whether it has come through writing and directing The Man With The Iron Fists,
engaging in full-on brawls with deadly martial artists like Tony Jaa in The Protector 2
or being a kickass bad guy for his latest movie, Brick Mansions.
The RZA is cultivating a reputation for bringing the ruckus when it comes to the silver screen.
, due out this Friday, Apr. 25 and co-starring the late Paul Walker, sets The RZA as an evil drug kingpin trying to thwart the attempts of undercover cop Walker and ex-con Lino Dupree—played by David Belle, one of the pioneers of the Parkour movement and the death-defying stunts that have become so closely associated with it—as they attempt to save run-down Detroit from endless corruption. The film is an American adaptation of the French film District 13
, which relies heavily on the Parkour stunts that Belle is so famed for and in which Belle also starred.
With the movie premiering on Friday, RZA spoke with XXL
about his latest foray into acting, what it's like playing a villain, and what he learned from working with Paul Walker. And stay tuned for the second half of our conversation with RZA tomorrow, where he discusses the current status of the Wu-Tang Clan, his relationship with Raekwon, and plans for the Wu's new single. —Emmanuel C.M.