ONE MORE SHOT Star Michael Jai White On Scott Adkins Actioner, DARK KNIGHT, ARROW, SPAWN & More (Exclusive)

ONE MORE SHOT Star Michael Jai White On Scott Adkins Actioner, DARK KNIGHT, ARROW, SPAWN & More (Exclusive)

With One More Shot now available to purchase on Digital HD, we were able to catch up with one of the film's stars, Michael Jai White, to talk about the film and some of the biggest hits of his career!

By RohanPatel - Jan 22, 2024 03:01 PM EST
Filed Under: Action

One More Shot, a new action sequel starring Scott Adkins in the lead role, is now available to purchase on Digital HD, and following its release, we were able to sit down with Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight; Arrow; Spawn) to get his insight on the hardcore actioner. 

In addition to talking about his deadly role in the film, we were also able to revisit some of the biggest projects of his career, including his time on SpawnArrow, Outlaw Johnny Black, and The Dark Knight.

The film's synopsis reads, "Following the black site attack in Poland, Navy SEAL Jake Harris (Scott Adkins) must use all his battle-honed skills to survive an airport siege from mercenaries attempting to capture high-profile terrorist suspect Amin Mansur. With a bomb threatening the State of the Union Address, Mansur is the only person who may know its location. Still reeling from the loss of his team, Harris must protect the man he brought in for justice at any cost."

The cast features Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Alexis Knapp, Meena Rayann, Hannah Arterton with Waleed Elgadi and Tom Berenger.

Watch our full interview with star Michael Jai White below and/or keep scrolling to read the full transcript! Plus, please remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more exclusive content!

ROHAN: First off, how would you describe your character in One More Shot

MICHAEL: Well, I mean, my character is working for a higher source, and, you know, he may or may not be a good or a bad guy. He's got a mission, and it's very covert. Then, there's a mission that, I think is presented, but might not be the entire story.

ROHAN: Is it more fun to play the villain or do you prefer playing the hero?

MICHAEL: Well, I kind of don't like to make too much of a distinction. I think it's very interesting to play a heroic type that's close to a villain - like really close to a villain. Personally, those are my favorites.

ROHAN: Since both you and Scott Adkins are experienced martial artists, how much rehearsal time went into crafting your fight scene?

MICHAEL: Not much at all. It’s far less than people might think. It might be an hour, about an hour, maybe. But Scott and I, basically, we have such a shorthand on these type of things and the fact that this is much more of a realistic fighting scene, and it's not a lot of like high technique. This is one of the easier fight scenes that we would tackle, but the hard part is keeping everything together in a continuous take.

ROHAN: Considering that this film is all shot to look like one continuous take, what happens if something goes wrong or one of you mess up? Do you start from zero again or do you pick up where you left off?

MICHAEL: No, we have to start from zero again. That's the whole thing of it. So, there's some pressure to get it right, and hopefully, you have several sequences that are successful, and you can pick from the best one.

ROHAN: The fight you and Scott have in the third act feels very authentic and visceral. Were there any real fights you guys looked at to create your style in this one?

MICHAEL: Well, fighting is fighting. Any Navy SEAL can fight in any discipline that he'd like, you know, but it's a lot more direct, of course. We wanted to bring the realism in, but for Scott and I, you think about realistic fighting, or continuous fighting, look no further than professional wrestling. Every time you're watching a professional wrestling match, there's no retakes. It's like right there, you know, so we’re taking a page out of their book, and the fact that there's a shorthand, we understand that sometimes you can make a mistake, but you can make that mistake work for you. So, Scott and I are at that place where we can kind of improvise on the way knowing where we're headed.

ROHAN: Does working with another trained fighter like Scott make your job a little easier when both of you know the shorthand and technique?

MICHAEL: We do learn the sequence. Absolutely. The great thing with Scott and working together is that we know we're not going to hurt each other. We're going to make this thing look like, you know, that this kick in the head was devastating, but we know how to pull that off, and it's great when you can trust someone and I know this kick to the head is going to look real, but it's not going to hit. I mean, we didn’t do much kicking in it, but you know what I mean.

ROHAN: Yeah, there was a lot of grappling. Was that pretty exhausting?

MICHAEL: It’s actually kind of welcomed, because it's so damn cold out there. Moving around gets you warm.

ROHAN: If there's another installment in this series, would you be down to return?

MICHAEL: Well, I don't know if we want to say too much of that right now. We don't want to give away too many things, but I mean, of course, I'm always down to return, if it makes sense.

ROHAN: What kind of challenge does it present, to you as a performer, when you're shooting a film like this in one continuous take?

MICHAEL: I mean, in my career, there's been lots of times where I've done continuous takes, and I've attempted continuous takes with fight scenes before, those are the preferable takes, the ones with no cut, but never have I done something like this, to this degree, where there's like thirty elements in one sequence. So, I was really impressed by the first movie, and I was really happy to be invited to do the second.

ROHAN: You were the original Spawn and I know that's been a film people have been trying to either make a sequel for or reboot for a while now. Do you see a reason why it's been such a difficult project to remake?

MICHAEL: Yeah, I really don't think much about the sequel. If I was invited to do it, then I'd apply myself toward it, but I mean, I think it's been talked about for a very long time. And it seems that Todd McFarlane has been leading that conversation. I didn't quite understand. I mean, I guess, there was talk about him directing it, but he had never directed before, so I thought that was kind of strange. It'd be a huge budget. All the power to him, but that would be an interesting decision to make. I know he was talking about using Jamie Foxx and other things or whatever, so I'm just kind of like, well, you know, I mean, I wished him the best, but I’ve just been on the periphery of that. If I was asked to be a big part of it, then that will be a different thing. I have respect for the fan base that put me where I am. I would be there. But yeah, I don't quite understand what the concept is. I know Todd mentioned the concept of not seeing the character and be kind of like Jaws, like you can't really see it but it's there. He described something to me that I didn't agree with. I didn't think it would work. I don't know if he's still doing that, but I think that to do a sequel is to do it as a hard R and make it very dark and badass. I think it needs to be like the cartoon or plain and simple: the comic book. Outside of that, I don't think I'd be interested in doing it if it wasn't going for the jugular.

ROHAN: Do you remember if there was much talk of a sequel after the original was released?

MICHAEL: No, there's always been talks about a sequel. I wasn't that impressed with the first one, even though I’m involved with it, but even then, I thought it should be like the comic book, or the series, you know, and I don’t know why such a dark character was going for PG-13. I think, just like I thought in the beginning, it should be real badass.

ROHAN: When Spawn released, the superhero movie genre didn't really even exist, at least nowhere on the scale of what it is today. When you joined Arrow as Bronze Tiger, do you remember it being a different sort of experience?

MICHAEL: I remember one of the directors told me about that arc for that season, culminating with one of the best episodes I've ever been a part of. I feel like that episode where we have that break from prison, felt like that was a movie by itself. That was worth that season to me doing that, and I feel like that's the direction. And, I was really proud to work with Stephen [Amell], and Bam Bam [James Bamford], to bring that performance in. I wish there was more of that, because I feel like that, like a lot of the comic book movies have taken a softer look at things. It's kind of like, I don't know - It hasn't been very believable to me. I feel like, personally, I feel like comic book heroes should be badass, and they should be believable, and they should be able to kick your ass, you know? So, when I see a lot of these movies, I go, well, I don't know if Vinnie drinking a beer at home, if he's gonna believe that, or, you know, this person because then he's like, hey, I can kick that guy's ass. I feel like superheroes should be not just crammed down our throat because this person's hot in their career, so now, they're a superhero. I think it's freaking silly. I think it's insulting on certain levels. I mean, it's different if somebody can really pull it off, you know, but there are a lot of characters out there that I just don't believe, like for a second. Personally, I'm not into the - I don't know, the last time I've seen a superhero movie. I mean, I love the Joker. I loved Heath Ledger as the Joker and I love Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker. Christian Bale is Batman, and, of course, Michael Keaton. I love the believability. So, maybe I'm a little too close to it, but the other stuff ain't get me.

ROHAN: Speaking of the Joker, you were also able to work with Heath Ledger and Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight, which is just one of the greatest movies ever made. What was your experience working with Heath Ledger and seeing him as the Joker? And, as a follow-up, what was it like being on a Christopher Nolan set?

MICHAEL: Yeah, first of all, I found out you don't have to be a weirdo to be a genius. I thought Christopher Nolan was going to be this eccentric dude, or whatever, because of all the amazing movies he had done, and he's just such a regular guy. I mean, he couldn't be more down to earth, and chill. He's very collaborative. He was nothing like my sign image of what a brilliant director is. And, the same thing with Heath. I thought he was going to be in character and all that type of stuff. Very approachable. I tried to leave him alone, because, you know, I knew what his workload was going to be, but he's the one approaching us, and we would trade magic tricks, and we were just having fun on set. He wasn't in character. I mean, maybe there's certain parts where he would stay in character, but I never saw that. He was just a very approachable, fun guy. So, you know, it saddens me that people kind of mark him with this Hollywood method acting type of kind of persona and, you know, haunted by darkness or whatever, that was far from the case from what what I experienced. So, I mean, they both were just the most cool down-to-earth guys you would ever want to meet.

ROHAN: When you step into the director's chair, like on Outlaw Johnny Black, do you borrow stuff that you learned from the many directors you've worked with like Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino?

MICHAEL: With Outlaw Johnny Black, I took a lot of Western directors. I paid homage to a lot of them - Terrence Hill, Sam Peckinpah - quite intentionally because this is a love letter to the Western genre, so that's why I did that and you can tell in the actual trailer. There are things that are very obvious salutes to Terence Hill, and Mel Brooks, as well. But, yeah, I borrow from everything. I mean, I think that's what life is about.

ROHAN: You do a bit of everything from acting and fighting to writing and directing. Do you find yourself leaning more toward writing and directing at this stage of your career or do you find performing to still be your true calling?

MICHAEL: No, even if I’m performing, I'm still sought out for my opinion on acting, and not only acting, but the directing portion and everything else. A lot of times when I'm offered movies that are written already, people offer me the opportunity to rewrite, because I think what I've tried to do is take things beyond the genre, and even by having an action movie to make it feel real and do things that kind of deliver on more of the reality. But I mean, I don't separate it all, if I'm the actor, I'm going to do whatever I can to collaborate and make the movie as great as it could be. I'll stay in my lane when, you know, I basically will ask permission, if I share something, but usually, they're pretty open to, so it's not about a credit thing. It’s about the fact that we're all working togethernd I think everybody should do their utmost to make the movie a success, you know, in any way, and that's the way I look at it when I'm a director. I listen to anyone. I really believe in a collaborative effort, and so, I don't really distinguish too much. So, I'm there to do all I can to make the best movie.

ROHAN: When you are asked to rewrite parts, do you focus more on character beats? Or do you try to punch up some of the action beats? Or is it just a mixture of everything?

MICHAEL: It’s a mixture. There'll be something where I’ll go, oh, you know, if I think it will make it a better movie, I'm going to share that. I'll be remissed to go back home and say, I should have asked the director about this, because I think that might have made things better, but people know your heart. When you bring something to someone, and you give them opportunity that maybe that your idea can make it better, they're all for it, so I've never really found opposition to it. Just like I would not oppose, if someone walked to me, you came up to me, and they were not coming from ego, and they said, hey, you know, in this scene, what do you think about this? I'm like, that's the way it should be. And, that's the joy of it. It's not about getting credit for it. It's about just being proud that you've contributed.

ROHAN: Compared to One More Shot, which is hardcore action, Outlaw Johnny Black was a nice action/comedy. Do you find comedy more challenging or do you, again, like to keep blending all of these different genres and make the best project possible?

MICHAEL: I like the mixture. I mean, I think comedy bleeds in through reality, no matter what, we laugh a lot. If you really think about it, the average person laughs a lot. I mean, my brother's a Secret Service agent, I know, cops that are dealing with life and death situations, and you'd be surprised how much they laugh through everything. So, I mean, the responsibility of a filmmaker is to recreate humanity honestly, and so, that's my goal. I have a gripe with certain movies that I say pick from the buffet of other movies, you know, instead of reality, and I don't want to do that. I recognize the cliches and I don't want to do that to my audience. I think my audience is more sophisticated, so I don't want to dumb down anything. I want to head toward the realm of reality to make people feel like they're not looking at a real movie at the time. They're looking at life.

Following the black site attack in Poland, Navy SEAL Jake Harris (Scott Adkins) must use all his battle-honed skills to survive an airport siege from mercenaries attempting to capture high-profile terrorist suspect Amin Mansur. With a bomb threatening the State of the Union Address, Mansur is the only person who may know its location. Still reeling from the loss of his team, Harris must protect the man he brought in for justice at any cost. Edited to appear as one continuous take, One More Shot also stars Michael Jai White, Alexis Knapp, and Tom Berenger.







One More Shot is now available on Digital HD!

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HeavyMetal4Life - 1/22/2024, 3:08 PM
It was a pretty solid movie. Adkins is great as always, and the one shot takes are undeniably sweet. Looking forward to the inevitable sequel.
bobevanz - 1/22/2024, 3:11 PM
@HeavyMetal4Life - I'll have to check it out
HeavyMetal4Life - 1/22/2024, 3:32 PM
@bobevanz - watch the first movie, One Shot, before watching this. Solid B-action films with good fighting. Adkins and Waleed Elgadi's Amir Mansur are the highlights of both films. Some of the other side characters are weakish.
grif - 1/22/2024, 3:34 PM
@bobevanz - non stop action.
grif - 1/22/2024, 3:35 PM
@HeavyMetal4Life - i very much enjoyed it. anyone that likes the extraction movies should enjoy the first one shot. looking forward to this.
slickrickdesigns - 1/22/2024, 3:14 PM
I liked him in Spawn. He would’ve also made a great Luke Cage or Jon Stewart.
Nomis929 - 1/22/2024, 3:21 PM
Excellent interview @RohanPatel !!!

I'm a huge fan of Michael Jai White and I'm glad you talked about some of his past work!

lazlodaytona - 1/22/2024, 3:25 PM
Oh! He's the dude who put a bounty on The Joker's head! Guess it worked. Too soon?
AnthonyVonGeek - 1/22/2024, 3:32 PM
Does he explain how his character in The Dark Knight suddenly dies from his cheek being cut? That was weird to me. 🤷‍♂️
Anyways been a fan of his since he played Tyson.
He even showed up in a Toxic Avenger movie. 🤣👍🙌
marvel72 - 1/22/2024, 3:54 PM
Spawn needs to be rebooted.

WEAPONXOXOXO - 1/22/2024, 4:15 PM
I love this guy. Black Dynamite is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.
Arthorious - 1/22/2024, 6:41 PM
Looks like Boyka and Chambers are teaming up for this one. Undisputed V the Final Bout

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