Wesley Snipes Reveals That His Reps Told Him 'Blade' Was "Beneath" Him And To Focus On Serious Roles

Hey, it’s #ThrowbackThursday, where we look to the past and highlight something in cinema history that’s fascinating, amusing, perhaps something you never knew or have seen, you name it.

There are some anniversaries that come around that really start to make you feel old. For me, it’s the 20th anniversary of the release of “Blade.” On August 21, 1998, the world was introduced to the Daywalker, aka Blade. The character, a bonafide D-list Marvel hero, was the star of his own franchise, played perfectly by actor Wesley Snipes. And surprising many, the first “Blade” became a hit, despite its whacky concept and R-rating, and spawned multiple sequels and a TV show.

But it all started with Wesley Snipes taking on the role of a lifetime, which almost didn’t happen. In this #ThrowbackThursday, we go back a year to an interview with the actor where he goes over how the people around him were asking him not to take on the vampiric role. Instead they wanted Snipes to take on more serious, dramatic work.

Snipes, on the other hand, saw the idea of tackling the Black superhero as a no-brainer. Not because he thought it would kickstart a generation of superhero films (it did) or because it would mean highly-lucrative sequel paychecks (it would), but for far more simple reasons — he’d never seen anything like it.

When asked by an interviewer for Q on CBC about why he took the role, Snipes replied, “Because I never seen a Black vampire that did karate before! [Laughs] It was real simple!”

“All of my friends, we’ve never seen a cool, Shaft-like vampire that did karate at the same time. You got to do this movie!” he continued.

Little did he know that his film would be looked back on two decades later as the start of the crazy Marvel Studios-dominated film world we live in. There’s also a funny bit during an earlier portion of the interview where Snipes reveals that the hardest part about working on the film was figuring out how to act normally with the fake teeth.