Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve either seen the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Eternals by now, or you haven’t but remain fully aware that the second post-credits scene features the debut of Mahershala Ali in the role of Blade.
It was a most unexpected way for the two-time Academy Award winner to follow in the illustriously ass-kicking footsteps of Wesley Snipes and his much less heralded successor Sticky Fingaz, especially when Kit Harington admitted that he didn’t even find out who his scene partner was until three weeks before Eternals was released.
Despite uttering just a single line of dialogue from an offscreen vantage point, which was presumably captured in a recording booth because he wasn’t there when the footage was actually shot, Ali nonetheless admitted in an interview with Empire that it still required some big choice for him to make as an actor.
“It was really cool, getting to do that. It was scary. Because, you know, you’re talking before you’re filming it. I’m pretty particular about my choices, like most actors, and so having to make some choices – even with a line, vocally – this early on, it brought up some very real anxieties. And it made the job real. It’s like, ‘Okay, this is happening now’, you know, and that’s exciting. I’m excited to get going and do more.”
He’s got a point — what if he hadn’t decided on his ‘Blade voice’ yet? Is he going to change it? Was he happy with it? Does he wish he could do it all over again with a different inflection?
These are all questions we won’t be finding out the answers to for a long while, but we’ve got the utmost faith in Ali to have made the right call, because you don’t end up with a pair of Oscars on your shelf for making the wrong choices as a performer.