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June 2006
BLADE: THE SERIES - An Exclusive Interview with Kirk “Sticky” Jones

An Exclusive Interview with Kirk “Sticky” Jones
By Wilson Morales
June 23, 2006

A franchise can never die when there are other media outlets in which a new audience can be found. When Hollywood studios didn’t have a need for Superman, the famed comic book superhero found a home through television and sure enough the fans came back. Well, another superhero is coming to the small screen. Through the help of screenwriter David Goyer and popular comic book writer Geoff Johns, Spike TV will be airing “Blade: The Series”. “Blade: The Series” maintains the continuity from the New Line Cinema/ Marvel Studio’s highly successful movie trilogy, but brings the main character into new storylines and characters. Starring as the new Blade is Kirk “Sticky” Jones. Jones was the front man for the rap group Onyx, and has elevated his acting game over the years. Besides countless films he’s appeared in, Jones recently starred in FX’s controversial drama series, Over There, which was based on the Iraqi War. In speaking with blackfilm.com, Jones talks about playing Blade, the stunts he does on his own, and directing his own films.

How did the role come about for you?

KJ: My agents and managers told me about the opportunity and I jumped on it.

Did you have to audition for it?

KJ: Not only did I have to audition for it, I had to fight for it. It’s not like they handed it to me or anything.

Were there any physical requirements for the role?

KJ: They didn’t have me go through physical test or anything, but they did ask me about my background about fighting and gym and stuff like that. Their biggest concern was if they can pull it off, having an actor do the show for a season. Action is all good and well, but in order to have a successful series, the audience has to have a connection with the character. It can’t be a guy that knows how to fight but can’t act and it can’t be a guy that can act but can’t fight. They need a happy medium.

Was there any hesitation about stepping into Wesley’s shoes?

KJ: Hell no. It’s wonderful to step into Wesley’s shoes. He did an excellent job. This is an excellent franchise. That’s like asking Christian Bale if he had any reserve about stepping into Michael Keaton’s shoes when he played Batman. It’s not any of our shoes. The comic book existed before the movie.

Had you seen all of the Blade films?

KJ: Most definitely and I read most of the comics too.

Did you pattern your speech and fighting skills after Wesley?

KJ: I don’t think with either. I think it’s a situation where we have a franchise here. We’re not taking away anything that the audience knows from it; we’re just adding to it.

Was there anything that you wanted to add to the character so that when people see the series, they will see you and not Wesley?

KJ: For starters, the way he looks. I got a bald head with a goat tee. Actually, the Blade in the comic book looks closer to me than any of the Blades they’ve had. I think my voice might be a little bit different as well.

Talk to me about the stunts and how much of it are you allowed to do.

KJ: I do at least 95% of my stunts. The guys are mad at me. They come on the set, put on the clothes, put on the tattoos and sometimes they sit around and don’t even do anything. Not to take anything away from my stunt guys because they are incredible. As a matter of fact, just recently, one of the guys had to jump from a three-story building and I wasn’t going to do it and outside of that, the insurance wouldn’t let me do that. They do stuff like that, but when it comes to the fighting and physical, I’ve been physical all my life. I’m just a physical person.

How much training did you do before you started shooting?

KJ: I’m still training, during the course of shooting. I do weight training, fight training, sword training, wirework training.

Throughout the series, you are riding a Harley motorcycle. Did you have experience riding a bike prior to the show?

KJ: I had to learn how to ride a bike. They required me to get a motorcycle license and I passed the first time. Anything that had to do with anything physical, I’m a master of that. I’m a physical person. I’ve been like this since I was 10 years old. I used to be a gymnast. I’ve always been fighting. I grew up in Brooklyn. I’ve been weight training since I was 15.

Coming off another series, “Over There”, where the subject matter hit closer to home for some people in dealing with people fighting overseas, how different is this for you?

KJ: Actually, I think Blade is closer to home than the Army. I would never go to the Army and I wouldn’t want to go to the Army. I kind of see myself as a vampire. Even before Blade came up and even before I knew there was going to be a Blade series, I always thought I was a vampire. I hung out late. My senses are extra heightened. I think that’s closer to home than the Army.

How’s working with the cast, including Nelson Lee and Jill Wagner?

KJ: We’ve definitely bonded. They’re all great people. They’re all great actors. It’s like a family.

Have you spoken with David Goyer and did he want you to do anything different?

KJ: David does a lot of things. He just finished a movie called “The Invisible” so his time is far and few in between, but he definitely put in his input. We had dinner, sat and spoke. With everyone’s point, we hit the hammer on the nail. Someone had asked about the writing and wanted to know if I wanted changes to be done, and I said not really because they hit the hammer right on the nail. If he had any changes that he wanted me to adapt into, of course, I would have done that. He saw what he wanted so he didn’t need any changes.

What do you think of the dramatic rise of comics to film within the last ten years? Was that a reason you wanted to do this?

KJ: For the first question, I think it’s incredible, especially with the technology because they can show more and they can pull you in further. They don’t have to use a green screen or blue screen every time they want somebody to fly. Some people they hook up to a wire and make them fly. What made me want to do this was the whole package. There were 3 monster engines, (1) Marvel, which I am a fan of and have been since I was 10 years old. I still read and collect comic books. Two, New Line. I love all the movies they put out and Spike TV is one of the more newer cable stations that are real edgy.With Blade, I don’t know anybody that I have come across that hasn’t heard of Blade. It’s really inviting and I feel like we need more black superheroes out there, so, of course I would jump on the opportunity to play a black superhero like Blade.

Who was your favorite superhero growing up and if it weren’t Blade, who you want to be?

KJ: There aren’t that many options out there. You have Luke Cage, Bishop, Black Panther, but the character I like the most growing up was Wolverine, but of course, he’s not black.

They could always make the character black.

KJ: I heard Will Smith was once up for the role of Superman, but they threw that out the window. The world is not ready for a black Superman yet.

With so much of the last few years focused on acting, would you say that you are retired from the music industry?

KJ: Not at all. What I’ve done recently and I don’t know if you are aware of, but people say, “What do you like better, music or movies?” My answer is that I like them both. I don’t want to choose. I’ve just finished directing two movies and all the dialogue in the movies is in rap. The first movie is called “A Day in the Life” and the other one is called ‘Caught on Tape”. It’s not rappers in the film, it’s all actors, and they are rapping.

Who’s in the film?

KJ: I’ve got Michael Rappaport, Omar Epps, Mekhi Phifer, Bokeem Woodbine, Vivica Fox, Cedric the Entertainer, Robert De Niro’s daughter, Drena De Niro, Clarence Williams III, Fredo Starr, myself, and the list goes on and on. The storylines are different, but it’s the same concept.

Will these films be released in theaters?

KJ: Both of them will be theatrical released by Lionsgate. As soon as I finished the season with Blade, I start on my third film called “Stick Up Kids”. I have a company called Major Independents and what we would do is not only put out my own films that I’m making, but we’re acquiring other films as well.

Will we see an Onyx reunion anytime soon?

KJ: We have an Onyx album coming out at the top of the year and if you Onyx, it’s a black stone, a black rock. The name of the new Onyx is called The Black Rock. It’s going to be hip-hop and rock and roll, but it’s going to be hardcore.

Are all the members back?

KJ: Nope. It’s going to be me, Fredo, Sonee Seeza will probably make an appearance, and we have a lot of collaborations with rock stars. It’s still in the making, so it’s young to be talking about it.

BLADE: THE SERIES begins on June 28th on Spike TV


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