Michael Jai White claws his way into Starling City tonight, as he makes his debut as Bronze Tiger in “Arrow.”
“He’s really trying to prove that he’s the best of the best,” Michael explained to AccessHollywood.com of what is motivating Bronze Tiger, who gets into a major fight with Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen/The Hood. “That can make you a villain depending on what the situation is. Of course, he doesn’t think he’s a villain, and not many people do. But he’s really bent on finding out he’s the best of the best.”
China White, who also returns to the picture this week, is motivated by more than beating Oliver’s alter ego. She is interested in the medical supplies being shipped to Glades Memorial (to treat the victims of the Malcolm Merlyn-induced catastrophe), and has teamed up with Bronze Tiger for some extra muscle.
“I think it’s kind of a co-dependent relationship there — even though he may have some other eyes for China White as well,” Michael laughed. “She’s kind of a tasty treat there.”
Bronze Tiger is a pretty powerful opponent for The Arrow, but he doesn’t have superpowers.
“We’re trying to make it as close to the realm of reality… that could be believable,” Michael explained. “Nobody’s flying, so [he’s] kind of a tangible badass.”
Michael pulled from his martial arts background for the role, and he was equipped with a serious set of claws for his scenes.
“I’ve got my stunt claws and I’ve got my steel claws and I’ve got my teeth brushing claws and hairdryer claws that I can use sometimes use after I get out of the shower, so there’s different types of claws that are attached,” he joked.
“But actually, those things are absolutely dangerous. I was so scared between takes because there’s people milling about all around you and sometimes they brush into you, sometimes they’re not thinking… and if my claws are pointed in any direction, somebody might run into them. So when I’d have ‘em after a take, I’m like literally [holding] my hands are up in the air or something. I’m not comfortable until the prop master takes those away from me because they’re just so dangerous,” he said.
Michael, a veteran of films including “The Dark Knight,” said he was impressed by working with “Arrow” star Stephen.
“Being an actor who’s also physical, I’m very proud of his commitment to the physical part of this,” Michael said. “He’s very real. He’s very athletic and very focused and it’s great to work with someone like that.”
“Arrow” continues tonight at 8/7c on The CW.