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By D-Trick

Wesley Snipes - Monroe Hutchen

So, Ving sat down and said he could kick your butt.

WS: He's gotta say that! He's a big dude, and big dudes, you know, they gotta flex like that.

Ving said that you connected with him once by accident when you were fighting, and that he retaliated?

He got hit a couple times... We just kept rollin'.

So was the fighting tough?

WS: The physical demands to do boxing films…you do three minute rounds, five minute rounds…we do rounds based on the dialogue, and when you have to do that five or six times, then you stop, your body cools down, they come over and sprits you with the spray bottle, that feels like they just threw ice on your scrotum! It's terrible. Then you gotta come back and you do it again for three days back to back.

So why do it?

WS: I don't know…I think because I'm still capable of doing it. I like the idea of being a dramatic actor who still has a strong physicality and can cross over into those kinds of roles. And the opportunity to train with the professionals, to get some real good pointers and tips from a man like Immanuel Stuart, that's a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Is there going to be a Blade 3?

WS: If everything goes well, we'll try to spit out one more. New Line is interested, I'm interested…

Are action films your preference?

WS: I'll do an action film, and then I'll go back and do a drama or a comedy, or something less action-oriented. I'd just like them to be pushed more so that people know that they're out there. I've only got a couple more years to be jumpin' around a kickin' and all that kind of stuff. It's getting harder and harder and I'm getting injured more frequently than I used to, so the clock is ticking.

Thank goodness for special effects, right?

WS: Well, I mean, the next thing you know it will just be my mouth and my whole body will be CGI…for the love scenes…

What else are you working on?

WS: We're working on Strays, which is an animated feature from Nickelodeon, a comedy about two dogs from the hood. They go to a party down at the pier and they end up on a boat that takes them to Africa.

What's the attraction of animated films?

WS: It's one of those films, not only for my kids but for me as well. I like animated films. They're funny. It's nice to sit down and just be entertained…you can get away and suspend reality with animated films. It stretches the imagination.

Tell us about Godforsaken.

WS: Well I don't know if there's much to talk about just yet. The deal isn't inked yet, and we don't know if it's actually gonna "go."

What's the one-liner for it?

WS: A hit man who finds out he's dying of cancer, he decides to put a contract on himself. All the hit men from all over the world come after him, and then he gets a phone call, "sorry, it was the wrong record." So he's trying to get the hit pulled off, so it's an action comedy… Like Pulp Fiction.

What are your thoughts on fame, and how do you cope with the challenges that it brings?

WS: I don't worry about "those other things." I don't allow myself to get caught up in the whirlwind of all the "movie stars are supposed to do this and supposed to do that and supposed to be there..." If the box office is dadada…Does it make me a better actor? No. If I don't do movies again will I still act? Yes. Can I still be happy? Yes. If I don't have a career again will I jump out the window? NO. It helps me through the day… If I quit acting I'm just going to be a deejay… Now if you take away my records, then we've got a problem, that'll make me cry.

You usually work in a lot of Eastern ideas or things, and symbolism into a lot of your films, and in Undisputed you were building the pagoda house out of toothpicks…

WS: Yes.

Was that you again?

WS: Actually this time, that wasn't me. That was Walter Hill's idea.

Do you think he was influenced by your other movies?

WS: Perhaps.

The E! Network just ranked you as the 5th Toughest Actor in Hollywood…

WS: Five?

Bruce Willis, Russell Crowe…

WS: …Andy Dick…

…Jackie Chan, Michelle Yo, and then you were number five.

WS: What? …the Russell Crowe and the Bruce Willis…I don't get it.

Are you comfortable with the tough guy role?

WS: No, not in my everyday life. I'm a wimp…

But you could still beat Russell Crowe, right?

WS: No doubt. [laughter] It's very interesting because you know it's like me, Jackie, and Michelle, we're the only ones that do everything that we do. The other guys, they don't do that stuff. Russell Crow doesn't do any of that! I guess I have to do Gladiator to get that kind of recognition…I gotta go get an Oscar…

Gladiator 2…

[Wesley just laughed.]

So if you could just choose to do any movie you'd want to, the most kick-ass movie ever…

WS: Gladiator 2 so I could move up in the ranks… [More laughs.]

So besides Blade, if there was another character, a comic book character…anything…

WS: Black Panther.

Are you doing that?

WS: I'm slated to. We're trying to get it prepared for production next year, so we'll see. You know how this movie business goes. Will Smith could be in the role, I could wake up tomorrow… "Will's doing Black Panther!"

What was it about acting that appealed to you?

WS: The girls.

Is it still the girls?

WS: It's always been the girls… The reason I went to college and studied so long was for the girls.

Has it been worth it?

WS: Absolutely. The college money was well spent.

How did you pay off your student loans?

WS: I actually wanted to be a dancer. The river just kind of took me down to that acting side, but if it was up to my druthers I'd still be dancing.

You use dance in your films, like choreographing fights…

WS: I look at life as a dance and I like to have the characters be in sync with the rhythms of life…very rhythmical and balanced… Even with the martial arts it's kind of like doing dance or a dance performance. We have to rehearse in front of the whole crew and the cast, and so it's almost as if you're having a live performance in front of the crew and the cast before you start filming, so you've got to be on your game…

Are you as passionate about acting now?

WS: I want to get better. I think there are things that I…I have weak areas in my craft.

What are your weaknesses?

WS: Sometimes tonality. Sometimes choices I make that could be more emotionally full… The problem is that when doing a lot of work in films back to back you don't always get the same time to prepare for the project. Then even in this business sometimes you don't know if the project is gonna go. Wednesday they say the project is gonna happen and then Thursday the project is off again. So it spoils the time to really prepare and really flesh out the characters…

Do you want to direct?

WS: No time. Takes too long. It's too much. No. No. No. To have people yelling at you and talk about money… Actors that won't come out of their trailer…

UNDISPUTED OPENS NATIONWIDE ON AUG 23, 2002

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