Belfast Telegraph

Steven Seagal: I'm real

Steven Seagal fights real life criminals and credits his role as a deputy sheriff as helping him really understand action.

The legendary action hero doesn't just portray a macho man on screen, but also takes on the role in real life too. As a reserve deputy sheriff, a role he's occupied for the past 20 years, Steven deals with his fair share of criminals.

"I still work on the [Arizona] border. I put on the bulletproof vest and a machine gun and chase the bad guys. I’m chasing high-risk people, dealing with murder, rape, armed robbery. That’s what I do. So I look at myself as a real guy," Steven told British magazine ShortList.

For Steven, his real-life crime fighting credentials have served him well in his movies. But in his opinion the movie industry has drastically changed when it comes to action stars, and the studios no longer care if their heroes are authentic.

"We have a situation now where if film financiers have the money, they can make anybody into an amazing action person. They don’t have to know anything about action, because they have money and special effects," he sighed.

"In Iron Man they have girls that look like, you know, [they could] beat the sh*t out of anybody. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you know about action or fighting – it’s about money now."

The Under Siege actor was one of the most in-demand stars of the '90s, but his fame didn't affect him too much.

He credits his Japanese upbringing as the reason he shunned the lure of drugs and partying. Though the 62-year-old has been hit with multiple lawsuits throughout his career.

"I’m one of the few folks – and some may take this the wrong way – that didn’t get involved in drugs and alcohol. Fortunately I was raised in Japan, so I had a little bit of discipline and I was raised in the martial arts and in Zen [Buddhism].

"I did have bad influences in my life at that time but, er… I’m human," he added without going into further detail.

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