RZA on Directing 'The Man With the Iron Fists,' Loving Kung-Fu - Rolling Stone
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RZA on Directing ‘The Man With the Iron Fists,’ Loving Kung-Fu

The Wu-Tang Clan leader chats about his first movie and influences

Few know martial arts and B-movies like RZA, whose directorial debut, The Man With The Iron Fists, is a bloody violent fighting flick. For the multi-talented Wu-Tang Clan leader, the movie was a long time coming. “This was truly like Captain Kirk flying the Starship Enterprise because the power was in my hand. I’m not a power-hungry dude, but I know how to use power when it’s given to me,” RZA told Rolling Stone during a recent visit to our studio.

Though the filmmaking process threw him some curveballs, RZA credited his rugged upbringing in New York for affording him grace under pressure. “When I was faced with challenges, I just had an ability to breeze through them and to find a solution without losing composure,” he said, again comparing his cool to Captain Kirk. He also pointed to Quentin Tarantino as his single biggest influence, calling the Pulp Fiction director a “walking encyclopedia.”

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Along with writing and directing the film, RZA also tapped the Wu-Tang Clan for the film’s soundtrack. “Even the GZA gave us a verse. He rarely, rarely gives me verses,” RZA said with a laugh.

Explaining what first attracted him to kung-fu, RZA explained, “The first thing I gotta say is just the action, just the ability of one man taking on many. . . I started dissecting the characters, the brotherhood, the loyalty, the sacrifice.” 

Despite his great achievements with the Wu and beyond, RZA remains humble. “We did it, and I’m proud of the work as well,” he said. “I ain’t gonna be that egotistical guy, ‘Yo, my shit is dope, my shit is dope.’ Ain’t about that.”


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