How Steven Seagal Inspired John Leguizamo’s Performance in ‘The Menu’
In the same way that just about everyone who’s ever been to a nightclub in Los Angeles has a negative Andy Dick story, it seems like every celebrity who has ever worked with Steven Seagal has a story of how Seagal absolutely ruined their day in the most petty, aggressive and completely needless way possible.
The Menu’s John Leguizamo has made lemonade from the lemons Seagal handed him on the set of Executive Decision when Vladimir Putin’s pen pal slammed Leguizamo into a wall for laughing at Seagal’s self-serious alpha-male façade. In The Menu, Leguizamo plays George Díaz, a bitter, washed-up sellout of an actor whom Leguizamo based on Louisiana’s most repugnant former reserve deputy, calling Seagal “kind of a horrible human.”
That’s better than what Katherine Heigl might call him, which would be “that balding creep who groped me when I was 16.”
Twelve years ago, Leguizamo told the story of the incident during the shooting of Executive Decision on Q TV, explaining that Seagal’s publicist told Leguizamo’s publicist that Leguizamo’s former co-star was going to punch him out the next time they met for spilling the beans on how Seagal physically assaulted Leguizamo. As the story goes, Leguizamo laughed when Seagal walked on set and declared himself in charge during the filming of a movie that would earn Seagal a Razzie nomination for Worst Supporting Actor, one of six Razzie nominations that Seagal has received to date.
Seagal, standing at a towering 6-foot-4, slammed the 5-foot-8 Leguizamo into a wall for the slight, bravely declaring himself a big important man who gets mad when people don’t take him super serious. Leguizamo, like many of Seagal’s former castmates, has hated the action star and Russian stooge ever since the encounter.
The Menu currently sits at 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics praising Leguizamo’s performance as a narcissistic has-been actor. The real-life narcissistic has-been actor, on the other hand, has been self-producing and starring in critically panned straight-to-DVD action movies through his production company, Steamroller Productions, for the last 10 years in some of the most embarrassing vanity projects to ever be mercilessly mocked on the internet.
Seagal has also been accused of sexual assault by numerous women, with the most publicized accusations coming out during the #MeToo Movement in 2018, the same year that Russia appointed Seagal their “Special Envoy to the U.S.”
Putin sure knows how to pick ‘em.