Exclusive Q&A: BBQ Films’ Official “Blood Rave Blade”, Jessie Harris!Books/Art/Culture,News Ken W. Hanley
While New York Comic Con holds many exciting events for horror hounds, including presentations from ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, THE X-FILES and more, the web has been taken by storm following the announcement of BBQ Films’ BLADE Rave, which aims to bring to life the infamous “blood bath” opening sequence from the 1998 film with a live performance by The Crystal Method. The official afterparty of New York Comic Con’s Super Week, this interactive theatrical experience is one of the hottest tickets this Halloween season, complete with music, a screening of the original BLADE and a brand-new BLADE-inspired narrative that audiences will be thrusted into, culminating in the gloriously gory climax. And with the event only a day away, BBQ Films has given FANGORIA exclusive access to their “Blade”, performer/cosplayer Jessie Harris, for a one-on-one interview…
FANGORIA: So what was your first exposure to the character of Blade?
JESSIE HARRIS: My first exposure was when the first movie came out. My dad took me to go see it… I lost my mind. He told me, “Champ [which is my nickname], that needs to be you up there! You need to be doing that! Look at him… one day, that will be you”. And I’ll be…. it happened… I became Blade!
FANGORIA: What is it about Blade and his mythos that appeals to you?
HARRIS: Well the fact that he’s one of the most well-known African American heroes out there. His backgroud, his weapons, his haircut, his origins: everything is epic about this guy. The guy has swag when it comes to hunting suck-heads! And the fact I almost look identical to a young Wesley Snipes is a bonus.
FANGORIA: When you first decided to take on embodying Blade, what was the reaction from people in the convention community?
HARRIS: The first thing most of them thought was “Is that Wesley Snipes?!” People would freak out! So for me, I didn’t know if I was cosplaying Blade or Wesley! The reactions are always epic and sometimes funny. I’ve even had women give me kisses. [laughs] But before they walk off, they always remind me to pay my taxes.
FANGORIA: Has portraying Blade at events lead you in any cool directions as a fan? Did it lead you to picking up skills you otherwise would not have pursued?
HARRIS: As a fan, it showed me there were a lot more Blade lovers out there than I thought, from young kids at the age of five to senior citizens. So that lead me to more and more fans who could tell me more about my character that even I didn’t know. As for picking up skills, I’m a martial artist so I actually learned some of the character’s movements, attacks, gestures… even the walk!
FANGORIA: What is your favorite moment from a Blade comic and/or movie?
HARRIS: To be honest, I’ve never read any Blade comics. Just read about them, but as far as the movies, wow, that’s a hard one. Well I would say in the first film at the club scene, and then at the end when he took out the guys right before fighting Deacon.
FANGORIA: How did you get involved with BBQ Films for their BLADE rave? Are you excited to be a part of that event?
HARRIS: A dear friend of mine from a Facebook group called “The Brotherhood” saw the link and mentioned that I should crash that party! I didn’t know anything about it. So I researched and finally found them. I emailed them and the way they responded back was not only epic but hilarious. They were in character they whole time. It was like, “Yes, he fell for our trap! Deacon, you see this!?” I was like, “What the hell?!” [laughs]
So the rest is history. I can’t thank these guys enough for giving me this opportunity. I’m truly blessed, and no words can describe how excited I am about this event and most importantly making new friends.
BBQ Films’ BLADE Rave will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 9th at Terminal 5 as a part of New York Super Week. The next 50 FANGORIA fans who buy a ticket to BBQ Films’ BLADE RAVE can use the code “ABPOSITIVE” to exclusively receive a signed piece of Tim Seeley artwork HERE. Fans will be notified via email in advance of the event, and to attend, you must be 18 years of age or older. You can find all of the gory details on the BLADE Rave HERE.