Half-Filipino World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar and current MMA heavyweight fighter David “Batista” Bautista stars as Brass Body in Universal Pictures’ “The Man With The Iron Fists”. The performer shares that his nearly invincible character—who is able to deflect any weapon by turning his skin into brass at will—is brutal inside and out. He says: “If you break Brass Body down, what he is really is a mercenary. In his opening scene, he’s carrying the little kids around, but basically what he wants is money. He would kill his own mother for money.”
The Man With the Iron Fists, an action-adventure inspired by kung fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and ELI ROTH. Making his feature-film debut as a director, co-writer and leading man, RZA—alongside an exciting international cast led by RUSSELL CROWE as Jack Knife and LUCY LIU as Madam Blossom—tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero who all descend on one fabled village in China for a winner-takes-all battle for a fortune in gold.
Blending astonishing martial arts sequences from some of the masters of this world, with the signature vision he brings as the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan and as one of hip-hop’s most dominant figures of the past two decades, RZA embarks upon his most ambitious, stylized and thrilling project to date.
What did you think of the script when you first read it?
My character didn’t say much in the movie at first, but then they kept giving me lines.
What was it about RZA that convinced you to be in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS?
I just really wanted to work with RZA. When I first heard he was interested in me being in the movie, I immediately asked to be signed on.
What do you like about your character?
My character is kind of a sociopath with a good heart. He seems like a good guy who doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong. He probably would do anything for a dollar.
Were you a fan of martial arts movies before getting involved in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS?
I was. Growing up in Washington D.C., we always had kung fu action theatre every Saturday. I loved those movies. Quentin Tarantino has brought a lot of that flavor back in his films.
What do you believe RZA’s vision has added to the martial arts genre?
This film has a new feel with such a multi-ethnic cast, unique music and everything that RZA has brought into it.
And what can you say of Eli Roth’s role as a screenwriter and a producer?
Eli is super down to earth, positive and also tons of fun. He is great to work with.
Speaking of the logistics, were you impressed with the sets in China?
Yes, we all had each other to lean on. And we had to get used to being crammed up in small spaces. Americans are used to having their space.
Hong Kong director and legend Corey Yuen designed the fight sequences. How was it to work with Corey?
He was a savior to us when RZA and I were a bit lost with this fight sequence between our characters we were trying to put together. Corey wasn’t accessible to us because he was tied up with the second unit, but he came back to it at the end of the movie and knew exactly how to shoot it and had so many ideas. Corey Yuen is awesome!
What can you say about Lucy Liu?
And even though she is this tiny person that is absolutely beautiful, she also has this presence that translates into everything she does.
And how was Russell Crowe?
Russell is down to earth, doesn’t want attention and is very much the gentleman.
RZA wrote, shot and starred in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS as the Blacksmith. Do you think that was a lot to tackle on his directorial debut?
I was impressed with RZA. He is such a great artist and just so creative. I can’t imagine how you can do so much on your first film!
What was the energy like on set then?
It was great! I was excited to go to work every day. So, it was a bummer when I had to stay at the hotel. It was a family atmosphere and a lot of fun.
What have you taken back from this whole experience?
This was an opportunity of a lifetime and a dream come true for me.