Getting to Know Wesley Snipes

Getting to Know Wesley Snipes

This is an unofficial Wesley Snipes fan page and has no connections with either Mr Snipes or his agent(s). It was developed because Wesley Snipes is our hero and inspiration and is a placeholder until I find the time to redevelop a new fan website.
You can access the old fan sites from:
4th October 2005 (Archive.org) here: www.wesleysnipes.com
to 6th August 2013 (Archive.org) here: www.wesleysnipes.com

Perhaps best known by contemporary audiences for his outrageous performance as drug kingpin “Nino Brown” in 1991′s New Jack City, actor Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida on July 31, 1962 but was raised in the Bronx, New York, developing an interest in the performing arts at an early age. He would end up moving back and forth between Florida and New York, eventually attending Manhattan’s High School for the Performing Arts and finishing high school in the Sunshine State before attending the State University of New York-Purchase to begin pursuing an acting career.

That career was kicked off when Wesley was discovered by an agent while performing in a competition, leading to a film debut in the 1996 Goldie Hawn vehicle Wildcats. While appearing in a handful of other films during the 1980s, it wasn’t until Wesley performed as a street thug menacing one Michael Jackson in the Martin Scorsese-directed video for “Bad” that he was noticed by – and began a string of working collaborations with – Spike Lee. So taken by Wesley’s charismatic performance style, Lee cast him in 1990′s Mo’ Better Blues as a flamboyant saxophonist opposite none other than Denzel Washington. That role – bolstered by the exposure he had received for his performance as a talented yet undisciplined baseball player in the previous year’s Major League – catapulted the actor to dizzying new heights in the sometimes shadowy world known as Hollywood. Working once again with Spike Lee on the charismatic director’s Jungle Fever in 1991, Wesley received critical praise and enjoyed increased audience exposure – in short, his career took off.

Of course, 1991 also brought to Wesley what was to become one of his more renowned roles – that of the trash-talking, aggressively motivated Harlem drug kingpin “Nino Brown” in Mario Van Peebles’ seminal New Jack City. Often considered a legendary piece of cinema in the “street-esque” motion picture subgenre, New Jack City put Wesley on the map in a way he had never been before, leading to a memorable performance in The Waterdance in which he portrayed a former wild man type repenting for his ways in a hospital’s paraplegic ward. With both performances and films receiving positive critical feedback, Wesley found himself in the starring role in the following year’s Passenger 57, a high-octane thriller that cast the actor as the head of security for a major airline who must single-handedly take out a dangerous terrorist hijacker. The film proved to be a hit and became an almost overnight sensation in the realm of underground action flicks, showcasing Wesley as a take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred action hero with all the moves of notables like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal and Bruce Lee. Also successful that year was White Man Can’t Jump, which teamed Wesley with Woody Harrelson and which also allowed the two actors to collaborate on another film together, Money Train, co-starring Jennifer Lopez.

Following additional action film stints including roles in 1993′s Rising Sun with Sean Connery, Wesley decided to take his acting in a new direction with an uncredited role in 1995′s Waiting to Exhale while continuing with less “testosterone-fueled” performances including his portrayal as a stalked pro baseball player in 1996′s The Fan, an adulterous director in Mike Figgis’ One Night Stand in 1997 – for which he won a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival – and as the cousin of a lead character in 1998′s Down in the Delta.

That same year, Wesley returned to the action genre when he portrayed a vampire-slayer-on-steroids type in Blade and a wrongfully-accused perp on the run from the law in U.S. Marshalls, which was the exciting sequel to the Harrison Ford vehicle The Fugitive. Since that time, he has starred in such popular titles as Play it to the Bone, Blade II, Undisputed, Demolition Man, Blade: Trinity and, more recently, Brooklyn’s Finest, which was director Antoine Fuqua’s “East Coast” take on the culture depicted in his Training Day and in which Wesley was reacquainted with a New Jack City-esque role as a New York City lawbreaker.

Posted Under: People