Rapper-turned-filmmaker RZA faced loneliness and a major language barrier while shooting his directorial debut The Man With The Iron Fists in a remote part of China.
The Wu-Tang Clan hitmaker, real name Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, directs and stars in the upcoming martial arts film alongside Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu.
But while Rza has already lined up his second project, a biopic about Genghis Khan, the musician admits stepping behind the camera and doing double duty in a foreign place was no easy task.
He tells Reuters, "My spirit had to be extra strong to pull this off. It was difficult because in the morning (as the director) I'm worrying about everybody else, I'm talking fast. Then I have to get ready for the scene and I gotta sync my voice down to (my character)... He doesn't smile once in the film. I smile. I'm not this morbid dude. He's almost empty...
"It was hard work. It was 18 hour days. It was cold. The food was terrible sometimes and the language was an issue. But I kept it fun. I didn't let nothing (sic) deter me from this path."
And Rza reveals he almost started falling for his on-screen love interest Jamie Chung because he was in desperate need of companionship.
He adds, "I was lonely in China. I was personally lonely... Going into a massage parlour is not gonna give you no love (sic). I was yearning for it. For a brief minute there, I learned why actors fall in love with their co-stars. Because the only girl I had was Jamie Chung.
"We all went out one night after shooting and Jamie had a guy friend with her. I looked over and I was so jealous. I felt weird. I told my buddy, 'I'm about to punch this guy in the face!' In that moment, I just felt that she was my woman. And the sad thing for me is, it would have been a one way street because she wasn't interested in me at all."