Seeing the original Coming to America cast was great in Coming 2 America, but it was the newcomers who stole the show. Wesley Snipes was one of them with outrageous antics as General Izzi. But the actor’s antics shouldn’t be a surprise given his affinity for the original. His love for the first film translated into a nice, yet embarrassing moment. The Coming 2 America star revealed an awkwardly sweet fanboy moment while filming.
Wesley Snipes, like many people, was a huge fan of Coming to America. So, being in the sequel was a dream come true for the actor after auditioning for the original in the 1980s. Snipes praised everyone involved with Coming 2 America to Collider before exposing a fanboy moment he experienced with original castmate Paul Bates:
Sometimes dreams come true, and that was one of those moments. I literally sat there in the chair and said, ‘Man, look at this. I'm rocking with these people. This is, wow.’ You know, Paul Bates first came on the scene, I went straight up to him and started hugging him. We've met in the past, but not frequently. I just started hugging him. He was kind of looking at me like, ‘Why is Blade hugging me like this? I don't understand.’ I was like, ‘Paul, man, I just want to say I love you man, and I been watching your career, man. Just to be next to you is so, so much fun.’ Because of the impact that film had on my psyche and the psyche of many of my friends, my family. These people are iconic indeed.
Wesley Snipes’ recollection of his awkward moment with Paul Bates spoke on how important Coming to America has been for audiences. The original film had a lasting impact on pop culture, especially for Black culture. As Snipes told Collider, the film gave a fantastical look at African culture while being a positive portrayal of love between two upwardly mobile Black people. Snipes was correct in acknowledging how iconic and influential the film was, even in an awkward moment. The actor being cast in Coming 2 America was the dream for any fan who loves and studies film.
But Wesley Snipes’ casting was a full-circle moment. As previously mentioned, the actor auditioned for Coming to America in the early part of his career. But his performance as D’Urville Martin in Dolemite is My Name prepared him to play General Izzi compared to his early roles in drama and action films. Despite the mixed reception for Coming 2 America, Snipes was singled out for his over-the-top performance. Snipes’ inclusion proved some things can come back around if you genuinely want it or don’t expect it.
While Wesley Snipes cherished his role in Coming 2 America, his legacy has also paved the way for many actors today especially in the sci-fi and action genres. But Snipes was able to show a different side of himself in the sequel. Hopefully, he will be able to show more sides in the future.