From an interview with Wesley Snipes
Originally published at Collider.com
March 2, 2010
Q: While we have you alone for a few moments, did you know that they are turning a Brooklyn subway station into a tribute to Michael Jackson for the “Bad” video?
WS: I heard about that, through the grapevine, yeah. That’s cool. That would be cool.
Q: What are your memories of shooting that video in the subway station?
WS: That was…yeah…the amazing thing was that I was only supposed to be on the film, or project, for about 3 days, and it turned out to be 3 and a half weeks, almost a month, really. And the thing I took from it most was watching Michael Jackson perform, at performance level, in his rehearsals. I said, “Wow, that’s the consummate artist right there.” And that’s the pinnacle of where I’d like to go, and the kind of skill I would like to have as an artist. That I can come in at my rehearsals and treat them like performances. I took that from him, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do consistently in my work.
Q: What do you think about Jay-Z commenting that “We Are The World” should have been left alone because an icon did it, and it should not have been recreated?
WS: Well, I understand the motivation behind it, but I don’t really have a critical comment about it. I am more critical about how Michael was treated, more than anything else. I think that he was an angel sent to us, and I think that we might have to reflect on how well we took care of him. People like to say, “Oh, people around him were bad and they didn’t do right by him.” But I think this is collective too. Because I don’t know the last time, and I can’t remember any other artist that attracted that much energy and projected that much power. That was that creative, and affected so many people, and was such a diplomat for America, and a champion for American culture, and African-American people worldwide. People wanted to move to America because of Michael Jackson. Industry changed, the music industry changed, because of Michael Jackson. That’s a gift to us, and, you know, I am concerned that the Good Lord may not send another one because we did not take good care of [Michael Jackson].