Wesley Snipes’ performance as Blade in a trio of horror-action films in the late ’90s and early ’00s is famous for two things. One: Snipes took the role very seriously, bringing a level of gravitas and intensity to the character that was rare in comic-book movies of the period. Two: Snipes took the role very seriously — so seriously that by the final film in the trilogy, 2004’s Blade: Trinity, he remained in-character at all times on set, and after a conflict with director David S. Goyer only communicated with the crew via Post-It notes. According to Blade: Trinity co-star Patton Oswalt, even the Post-Its were in character. Snipes signed each one “From Blade.” (A few years ago, Snipes essentially confirmed the Post-It story in an interview with Vice, although he disagreed that they were “frequent” missives.)

Oswalt has told and retold stories about the set of Blade: Trinity so many times, they’ve become legendary. But until today, I had never actually seen Snipes pull the I-am-always-in-character-as-Blade schtick with my own eyes.

Until today.

While doing some research for another piece, I stumbled across this: A vintage interview from the late ’90s of Snipes promoting the original Blade in character as Blade. (Clearly, Snipes started doing this way before Blade: Trinity.) He’s got the costume. He’s got the sunglasses. He’s got the Blade voice. He even refers to “Wesley” in the third person. It’s only about 90 seconds, but it’s incredible:

From the way this video was cut, you can see it’s taken from a generic junket interview, a common practice at these kinds of PR events. While the studio has the star available and all the lighting and equipment set up, either at a junket or on the set recording stuff for DVD special features, they will often record this sort of generic interview that they then provide to members of the press. So even in this approximation of an actual interview, Snipes maintained character. In other words, he was playing Blade playing a guy being interviewed about Blade. That’s true dedication.

If you want more on Blade hang tight; we’ve got a big piece on the film coming up on ScreenCrush in the days ahead.

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