Michael Jai White Interview // TheActionElite.com
Alex: So according to IMDB Steven Seagal apparently turned down the movie as he apparently doesn’t like to co-star with you. Any comment?
I’d say that was true. I don’t know what it is; Steven doesn’t like me and Jean-Claude even though we don’t have anything against him. There are theories to it but actually we kinda squashed it. Steven and I ran into each other in Thailand when I was shooting Triple Threat with Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins. So I saw Steven; he was in the same hotel and I went over and said hello. We talked and kind of identified the nucleus of the misunderstanding and we just put it beside us and kept going. I don’t think I’m his favourite person (laughs) but I don’t think there’s any animosity there. There never was any on my side; I was a big fan of his for a long time. When his movies like Above the Law come on, I watch them all the time, you know? I never had a problem with him. I think that when we were shooting, there was a representative that confirmed Steven wasn’t too keen on working with me and I didn’t quite know why. We worked together before and got on fine. Like I said, it seemed to be a misunderstanding from a third party. They said something that misrepresented something I said; anyway, I never thought it was a big deal and I guess it’s not even now.
Alex: So you’ll not exactly become bowling buddies but you’ve nothing against him.
I don’t know; I still want to work with the guy. I got nothing against him; maybe it’s because some of your first images you’ve got of somebody stick with you and I thought he had so much swagger in Above the Law and Hard to Kill. I really dug that and I became a fan of the guy. I think he’s particular and maybe very guarded. I think when the whole world is in your mix and there’s people trying to gun for you there can be egos in the martial arts sometimes. He could make the assumption that everybody is trying to get something from him. I mean, we worked together before and he was cool. Nobody was trying to cheap shot anybody and everything was cool so maybe sometimes you’ve gotta be guarded I guess. I don’t quite get it but it’s cool now.