“Brick Mansions” follows an undercover cop (Paul Walker) as he navigates a dystopian Detroit neighborhood in order to bring down a crime lord (RZA) and his plot to devastate the entire city. This is also one of Walkers final film roles before his death in 2013.
RZA sat down with EURweb associate Fahnia Thomas and shared what it was like on set and the much anticipated “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” album.
EUR: What was it like playing alongside Paul Walker?
RZA: Paul was a very special guy, very energetic, and fun to be around. He really knew his craft. We could be sitting here talking, and laughing but when the Director calls you over…are you able to leave that person in the chair and get your intensity back? Paul was able to do that! He was very focused and a beautiful man.
RZA: From playing Tremaine Alexander, I got a chance to express an energy, I thought I got rid of. This character gave me a chance to express aggression, but also to take energy from some of the men I grew up with. I got a change to embody some of the big thugs and drug dealers I watched in my neighborhood. Some people need to be reformed and some people need the right opportunity to really express who they are. Take President Barak Obama for example, they say when he was in college, he was smoking weed but within that person was the future President of our county. There probably was a time when, he found that person and stayed that person. But if the environment kept him away – or if he was in “Brick Mansions,” he may have not found that person, he would have to get out of “Brick Mansions.”
RZA: The album was a collaborative idea with my student Cilvaringz. It’s a beautiful American dream, where a fan – that I meet when he was 18 years old – became my colleague. He was tutored and mentored by me. I told him to study music and then one day his heroes will use his music. We are going to reveal more of the story very soon.