Random Roles: Michael Jai White on martial arts, heavy makeup, and starting out with Troma
Welcome to Random Roles, wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about.
The actor: An accomplished martial artist, Michael Jai White worked his way up from bit roles and stunt work, landing his first big break playing Mike Tyson in the 1995 made-for-HBO biopic Tyson. Since then, he’s become the definition of a fan favorite: an actor with serious charisma, geeky tastes, and a goofy sense of humor, all of which are on full display in the blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite, which he co-wrote and starred in. White has built up a diverse resume, ranging from blockbusters and sitcoms to animated series and low-budget action movies from the Troma production company. Most recently, he can be seen playing opposite Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa in Skin Trade.