Dave Bautista plays a larger-than-life mercenary aptly named Brass Body in upcoming kung fu film, Man With the Iron Fists.
Bautista told The Hollywood Reporter that it wasn’t so much about playing the character -- who can turn his skin to brass when being attacked -- but working with RZA that got him interested in the film.
“When I signed up for the project -- and I did it early, I think before he had offered roles to anybody else -- I didn’t know anything about the character,” he tell THR.
Iron Fists is RZA’s directorial debut, but that’s not all. The Wu Tang Clan leader also came up with the story, co-wrote the script with Eli Roth, starred as the blacksmith, created the score and produced the soundtrack.
In the film, which is set in feudal China, Brass Body has a major fight scene against RZA’s character. Bautista described to THR the process of acting opposite the director.
“One second, he’s doing the scene with me, and he’s also yelling, 'Cut,' and then he’s running to look behind the monitor to watch it back and make adjustments, and then he’s running back in,” said Bautista.
“There came a time towards the end of the movie when you just felt bad for him,” he adds. “Because it was such a challenge for him and you know he wasn’t sleeping and he had so much to do and he was so busy.”
Iron Fists, which is "presented by" Quentin Tarantino, who was been RZA's mentor after working with the musician on his Kill Bill soundtrack, follows gangs of deadly warriors inhabbiting a town called Jungle City. RZA spent several years creating a script and film from the story he had created.
“I think because he wanted to prove something and he had so much pressure on him and I think also because he had such a passion for this project, that he wanted to make sure it was done right,” says Bautista about RZA’s work ethic.
RZA wasn’t the only one taking a beating on set, however. While shooting the film -- which also stars Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe -- Bautista get his share of scrapes and bruises.
“RZA had on these big fists and they were really hard, and also the material on those was like sandpaper, so we’re doing these fight scenes, and at first it’s OK it hurts a little bit, but after hours into it, my arms were just bleeding and raw,” he says.
Man With the Iron Fists opens in theaters on Nov. 2.