RZA Says ‘Iron Fists’ Took ’10 Times The Dedication’ Of Debut Album

'First it was music, but through film I found the perfect medium to express every emotion,' RZA tells MTV News of his passion for filmmaking.

RZA’s directorial debut “The Man With the Iron Fists” landed in the top five at the box office this weekend, but numbers aside, The Abbot feels accomplished just for making the film a reality. He admits that it brings back some of the emotions he felt when Wu-Tang Clan released their first album, the legendary album Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, almost two decades ago.

“I actually think putting out this first film is very similar to [putting out] my first album. It took 10 times the mind power and 10 times the dedication, but the result feels as fresh and new as 36 Chambers,” RZA told MTV News. “With 36 Chambers I knew it was something that the world didn’t have and didn’t expect, but it also was hip-hop and paying homage to classic hip-hop, which I felt had went away. This movie, ‘Man With the Iron Fists’ is giving homage to martial arts and kung-fu movies with my take on it, and it brings something fresh and new to the game, which I’m sure will inspire [people].”

To craft his first feature film, RZA assumed the role of a student, studying under acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino until he felt ready to work on his own. “For me, music; I’ve got it mastered, but film; I was a student, a novice. And I saw a master who had the proper style that I wanted to learn and that was Quentin Tarantino,” RZA said. “So I spent time with him, watched many movies with him, spent many days at his house, my wife let me take long trips with him and not be home, and all in the idea of studying to become a director one day.”

“It took at least five years of being around him and absorbing the wisdom from him [before] I felt I was ready and he also felt I was ready. [Then] me and Eli [Roth] put together our screenplay, and we went to Quentin, he gave us the “Godfather” blessing, we went to Universal and here we are, ‘Man With The Iron Fists.’”

With his first film out of the way, RZA only sees more silver-screen opportunities ahead. While he won’t be giving up music completely, fans will likely see more movies than albums from him in the near future. “I found my niche, I found my medium, I’m constantly writing [because] I found a way to express all my emotions,” he explained. “First it was music, of course, but now through film I found the perfect medium to express every emotion.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Man With The Iron Fists.”

A native of Grenada, a product of Brooklyn, a student of hip-hop.
@neweryork