Since I do seven different styles of martial arts, I don't foresee myself fighting the same in any two movies. I think every fighting style should fit the character that's doing the fighting.— Michael Jai White
The most surprising Michael Jai White quotes to get the best of your day
When you don't have much money, you get creative.
There's so much money that gets wasted on big movie sets. But when you don't have much money, you improvise.
I feel like I missed my era, because I remember the time when black people uplifted each other and looked for the positives. I feel sorry for the people who live their lives in the negative default setting because they filter out what's good, and that's no way to live.
There's all kinds of depictions of black men.
You have the Denzel Washingtons and the Will Smiths; that's wonderful, but that doesn't represent everyone. There's a Russell Crowe... well, you know, there's a black Russell Crowe.
I enjoy playing real human beings after playing a lot of larger than life characters. I love playing true to life characters and that is what I intend to do for the majority of my career.
The first movie I ever saw was a blaxploitation movie.
It was called 'Monkey Hustle.' Like I said, just listen to the name. That's a blaxploitation movie. It had these incredible, bigger-than-life images of people who looked like I did. Or who looked like I wanted to look like.
To me, the responsibility of an actor is to recreate humanity honestly.
I never feel like an actor, I always look at it from a blue collar perspective.
I love the '70s. I think the '70s had the best music and the best movies.
It's not really a preparation when you know the character that you're playing.
It's not too difficult. It would be more difficult the first time, I guess.
I'm a big fan of Steven Seagal early films.
On Deadly Ground, I'll watch that anytime it comes on. That's one of the reasons I wanted to work with him. I remember that he's got a great eye for photography. There was a lot that I learned from that.
I did not think I had what it took to be an actor, because most of the actors that I encountered were people who were very narcissistic and I thought since I lacked narcissism to become an actor because that's what it took. It was more of a social experiment for me to walk in the shoes of other people that I found interesting.
In my early childhood, I was a performer by nature.
I used to do puppet shows as a kid and entertain kids in classes and the teachers would make it a point that I was the entertainer of the class, but only after high school and in college that I started doing theater and acting classes, because I thought it would be fun.
I go to gyms quite a bit, martial arts gyms, MMA gyms.
I try to train with the best people, with who's who in the martial arts, just to keep myself sharp.
I feel like I'll be defined more so by .
.. when I get a chance to play roles where I'm the father/husband. I'd like to continue with the action stuff, but when I get to play the father/husband role, I think that will be the time where I'm playing who I really am. I look forward to playing those kind of heroic characters, the types that are usually associated with Denzel Washington.
I have a nineteen-month old daughter.
I totally don't mind devoting time to her. When you have a kid, it's hard to go out to the movies. I really don't know what's going on with comic book movies.
I take every role seriously. Personally, I never look at any role as Michael White. I've done that my entire life.
Recognizing absolutely depends on the public that I'm out with.
If I'm in Atlanta, it's definitely Why Did I Get Married. If I'm in Seattle, it's Spawn or something like that. I'm known for a lot of different things. People will call me Bone a lot, the action aficionados.. People who like comedy, they call me Black Dynamite.
Just by nature, I think in comedy. I think in sketches and what have you. In every drama or action movie I've been in, I have to make a concerted effort not to turn it into a comedy. Every shot, before action is called and after cut is called, I'm usually in some goofy head space. It feels natural to me.
There's people saying that 'Jackie Brown' was a blaxploitation movie, when there's nothing at all blaxploitation about it other than Pam Grier being in it.
I take every role seriously. Personally, I never look at any role as Michael White. I've done that my entire life. I've never excluded myself because of color. It's never been part of the radar, when I look at anything I do. The majority of the roles that I've played have had very little to do with being black. It doesn't matter what color you are.
I'm a big Harrison Ford fan. I kind of pattern a lot of things after him, the way that he's an every man. He's one of the biggest action stars ever, but he transcends that term because he's such a good actor. I tend to really appreciate the stuff he's done.
I don't cook. I think they named the 'Mike'-rowave after me.
In reality, there are very few villains who view themselves as villains.
They just have a certain agenda at a certain time.
People know Tyler Perry, and there are standards they've come to expect from him. His brand is uplifting, and it's something a lot of inner-city African-Americans can relate to.
I enjoy logic and logic puzzles. And filmmaking is one fun logic puzzle that you gotta win.
I was pretty much a child of Monty Python.
I grew up loving that type of humor and even structured a lot of humor in the same fashion.
Directing was a natural thing for me.
Actually, it was far less stressful directing than being the lead actor. I was able to have my input in all aspects of it.
My favorite TV couple is Edith and Archie Bunker.
Because they were such individuals that I can't imagine anyone else playing them. And I think that Archie was one of the greatest characters ever on television. Even with his flaws, you loved him.
I am my own worst critic and I am hell to pay so I just have to do everything to my utmost ability.
Most people say I look mean, and because I play so many tough roles and because of my size and my martial arts background, they think I am, but I'm really not.
It doesn't seem weird to me, at all. I'm in Baton Rouge getting ready to direct a movie for Sony, and I'm in the movie and I'm directing it. I know it's kind of this thing where some people find it difficult. I just finished a movie with Mario Van Peebles and he acted and directed as well too. I think we all feel similar that it just kind of seems natural.