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John Leguizamo Based His ‘Washed-Up’ Action-Star Character in ‘The Menu’ on Steven Seagal

John Leguizamo Based His Washed Up Action Star Character on Steven Seagal

John Leguizamo Based His Washed Up Action Star Character on Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal; John Leguizamo in The Menu.
Photo: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty, Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

John Leguizamo used Steven Seagal as the basis for his latest role.

While on The View last week, Leguizamo, 62, discussed his new thriller The Menu, in which he plays a former action movie actor invited to a highly exclusive private island for a dining experience. The ensemble cast also includes Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau and Janet McTeer.

“It’s really about addressing sort of a privilege and entitlement that all these people … that have too much money and want to be exclusive and keep people out. And then they get punished for their sins,” Leguizamo said of the plot.

“Everybody’s got, like, a sin; mine, obviously in the movie, is being a failed action star,” he continued. “And I worked with a lot of action stars that became washed up and failures. That’s what I based it on. I’m not gonna name names, but if one pops into your head — Steven Seagal, by any chance.”

The actor — who co-starred with Seagal, now 70, in the 1996 film Executive Decision — then sipped from his mug while the audience and co-hosts laughed. Co-host Sunny Hostin then said, “And this is why we love you. Because you speak truth to power.”

Leguizamo also told Entertainment Weekly about the Seagal inspiration, saying, “I’ve met lots of these stars like that, maybe before they were washed up. I mean, now they’re washed-up. I kind of based mine on Steven Seagal. I had a bad run-in with him. We did a movie together. It was Executive Decision. He’s kind of a horrible human.”

John Leguizamo Based His Washed Up Action Star Character on Steven Seagal

John Leguizamo Based His Washed Up Action Star Character on Steven Seagal

John Leguizamo.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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A rep for Seagal did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Seagal is known for such ’90s action movies as On Deadly Ground and Under Siege. In recent years, the actor has been accused of sexual harassment and other misconduct by several women, including Portia de Rossi, Julianna Margulies, Jenny McCarthy and Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero.

In 2018, Seagal was accused of rape by an extra who appeared in his 1994 film On Deadly Ground, who told The Wrap she was 18 at the time of the alleged incident, which she claimed happened after the actor invited her to a wrap party at his home in Beverly Hills in 1993. Seagal has denied the accusations against him.

The Menu is now in theaters.