You guys think you’re above the law… well you ain’t above mine!
He burst onto the action movie scene in 1988 during the height of martial arts madness. The Muscles From Brussels Jean Claude Van-Damme had beat down the box office earlier that year with the wickedly kick ass masterpiece Bloodsport so the time was right for Fumio Demura’s prized pupil to take Hollywood by storm. With his unique form of Japanese martial art known as aikido, the 6’4″ fighting machine with the boyish good looks blessed us with the action epic Above The Law.
Yes ladies and gentlemen. This is a Steven Seagal post.
Who is Steven Seagal? You’d have to have lived under a rock for the past 25 years not to know of the enigmatic wonder. We’ve seen the movies even when we didn’t want to. We’ve been mesmerized by his ever increasing belt size and wonder how he can even see anymore through those ultra squinted eyes. But who is Steven Seagal? He’s an artist, activist, musician, author, law man, martial artist, actor, film producer and quite possibly even more interesting than The Most Interesting Man in the World. I am here to prove to you all that the man born Steven Fredric Seagal wreaks of so much awesomeness that he can even blur racial boundaries.
Born in 1951 to an Irish American mother and Jewish father, there’s no doubt with a name like Seagal what his heritage is. That didn’t stop him from embracing the Japanese culture. He moved to Japan in his late teens and became the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo there. He became a 1st dan degree black belt at the tender age of 17 and continued to train in aikido as a student of various world renowned sensais. He later married Miyako Fujitani, whose father is an aikido instructor. When Miyako’s father retired from his job as an instructor, Seagal became the new head of the organization called Tenshin Aikido.
Having conquered the Japanese culture in real life it was time for Mr. Seagal to dazzle the film world with his phenomenal acting skills and uncanny ability to be whatever nationality or creed he desired. In Above the Law he played Detective Nico Toscani. You can guess by the character name that Seagal set his sights on the Italian American culture. Armed with his Crisco soaked pony tail, thick breathy Brooklyn accent, and barrel of whup ass the man without fear rattled off a number of memorable action adventures in the late 80s and early 90s from Marked For Death and Out For Justice to Hard Kill and Under Seige. Although the character names changed from movie to movie, there was no denying Seagal’s tough Italian guy persona. He was so utterly convincing that the world accepted the man with the obviously Jewish last name as an Italian wrecking machine.
Lord Seagal conquers again.
Having pulled off the greatest trick since Keyser Soze he prepared for his next amazing feat by posing as a Native American in On Deadly Ground. Okay so his character Forrest Taft wasn’t a Native American but it was hard to argue that wasn’t the look he was going for. He probably would have tried to land the role of Geronimo but during the filming of The Glimmer Man Seagal got paired up with Keenan Ivory Wayans. The exposure to the African American community posed a new challenged the master. Determined to prove he really had no limits Seagal teamed up with hip hop icons Ja Rule, DMX, and Anthony “Treach” Criss for Half Past Dead, Exit Wounds and the direct to DVD showcase Today You Die. Who said the Jewish-Irish almost Italian sorta Native American couldn’t be gangsta as well?
Some might scoff at the string of straight-to-video movies he put out in the 2000s, but that only solidifies that fact that he’s the hardest working man in showbiz. Many action stars of the 80s had wound down their careers by this point, but not Seagal. He was just getting started. He returned to his Irish roots by assuming the mantle of police officer. No he wasn’t about to play a defective for the uhmteenth time. That was old news. He had to go above and beyond being just the baddest man in Hollywood. He had to be the baddest man in real life as well. Grasping the reality world by the balls, the fully-commissioned deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana brought us Steven Seagal: Lawman, the real life adventures of him as an actual officer of the law.
Surely there’s nothing more that the sprightly 59 year old King of All That Rocks can accomplish, right?
Not only is he slated to be in a TV series in 2011 called Southern Justice, but he shocked audiences this year by pulling off the impossible yet again. Although Sylvester Stallone snubbed Seagal in the summer blockbuster The Expendables he managed to stamp his footprint into the 2010 action movie landscape by playing opposite the Mexican God of Tattooed Greatness Danny Trejo in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete. It was an action fan’s wet dream watching Steven Seagal steal the movie by playing a Mexican drug lord.
Yes. A MEXICAN drug lord. Case closed.
This post could have easily been a detailed review of his movies but words can’t do him justice (no pun intended). He’s traveled the world, been married to a model, has his own Steven Seagal knife, confers with the Dali Llama, rocks out in a band, is a sensai, an acclaimed author and even trained UFC Champion Anderson Silva for his 2010 title fight. The man pisses excellence and has probably forgotten more things he’s done than any of us will actually do in our lifetimes. If you haven’t seen his movies, then watch them – multiple times. If you’re not a fan watch them anyway. Bask in aura of his greatness. Who is Steven Seagal? Only the most obscenely tremendous person our eyes will ever get to behold in this lifetime.
Bow down to the king.