I recently spoke with Pam Grier for the Blu-ray release of Jackie Brown on October 4. I also asked the actress about her role in The Man with the Iron Fist, which marks the feature directorial debut of RZA. Here's what Pam Grier had to say below about The Man with the Iron Fist.
"I play RZA's mother, in the mid-1800s. He went to Quentin and said, 'I want to direct.' The next thing you know, he's calling me to work with him in China, to play his mother. It was wonderful and, of course, Wu Tang Clan, their work is just so poetic. He's an amazing director. My character gives up her freedom to save her son. It basically starts out his journey, to a new land. It was very, very moving. Shooting in China was extraordinary. The people were so warm and so smart. My interpreter, who was with me during the time, wanted to be called LeBron James, because he was very tall and he loved basketball. You could watch HBO and CNN and NBA all day long there. I asked him if he liked Nike and he said, 'No, I don't like Nike. It's not made in the USA.' They wanted anything made in the USA. If you had something with made in the USA on, they'd buy it from you. We could get our economy back on track just by selling everything made in the USA to China. Wait until The Man with the Iron Fist comes out. RZA is a martial artist, and he's a fantastic martial artist in the film. He's excellent."
Pam Grier also told me that a deal is in place to shoot an adaptation of her memoir Foxy: My Life in Three Acts. Here's what she had to say about the kind of actress she wants to play herself on the big screen.
"It's not who I choose, it's what the role demands, and who is the actress can be comfortable with telling the story. Things are very, very traumatic, and not all the actresses have the depth or the confidence to play in certain scenes that demand craft. For example, when I did The L Word, and some actresses came aboard to play Jennifer Beals' love interest, on paper they said they could make love and kiss another woman, but when they got there, they couldn't. You have to really take into account the actor's ability, and often their personal life and religion and whatever they're about. It's not me choosing, it's the actress saying they can do it. That's how real casting is complete."