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AsianConnections Jim Ferguson Interviews "Romeo Must Die"
Producer Joel Silver

 

Jim Ferguson:  Joel and Jet, good to see you.  Congratulations to both of you for turning out a real fast paced action thriller that I really enjoyed. Would you both agree that it does follow the story, Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet?"  To a degree, with the two families.

Joel Silver: …the essence of the piece is the two warring families with star crossed lovers. There is a taste of [Shakespeare], but it really is just a jumping off point.  It really goes from there to a very, fresh and original story that has a lot of twists and turns, and really is a new movie.

Jim Ferguson:  Well, I caught myself at times thinking, this is a little bit like Shakespeare, you know what I mean?  When you had the uncles who were the bad guys, and there's some elements of it. I was amazed, hard to believe, Aaliyah, her film debut.  She's beautiful, and very very good.

Joel Silver: Just great.  She really is a natural.  She really is a natural.  And they [Jet and Aaliyah] work so great together too.

Jim Ferguson:  Did you enjoy working with her?

Jet Li: Yeah.  She's very talented.  (laughter)

Jim Ferguson:  Extremely talented. Right, right.  Joel, tell me a little bit about Delroy [Lindo's] gang.

Joel Silver: the idea was that, again it is an urban story, an African American gang, a Chinese gang, and Delroy's aesthetic is that he wants to get out of it.  He wants to be in a new arena to work with, and he has the aspirations of a legitimate business empire, …there are conflicts within his own group. And the other side, the Chinese gang, the Asians have a similar kind of conflict, but they are just both interested in raising the bar of their own businesses, and of course, Jet's character comes in the middle of it, and screws everything up.

Jim Ferguson:  (Laughter) But some of the actors in the gang are just, I think they are funny, and they add a lot to it.

Joel Silver: Well, it's great?Delroy is fantastic. Isaiah Washington, who plays his second in command and enforcer is just fantastic.  Anthony Anderson who plays Maurice, who is just a very funny character, and [Delroy's character's] son played by D. B. Woodside. And then of course his daughter's Aaliyah. So there's great people to work with. On the other side you have Russell Wong, who's just terrific…Jet, and Russell have a great fight together at the end.  So it really works in many levels.  The picture, is a very surprisingly good and effective movie.

Jim Ferguson:  Are you amazed at the choreography that goes into their fight scenes?

Joel Silver: …Working with Jet, I mean, the first time I really experienced it was with "Lethal Weapon 4," and then of course in the Matrix we went a little further, but this was full on which I can do.  And I mean, he even feels that he can go so much further if we had more time and more effort to do it.  So, I hope on the other movies we are planning, that he can go even further. Absolutely.

-- End of Interview --
 

More Jim Ferguson Interviews

 


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