RMD

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Romeo Must Die {Aaliyah’s first big screen role} is released 17 years ago today {March 22, 2000}.

It is Andrzej Bartkowiak’s directorial debut with fight choreography by Corey Yuen. This film stars Jet Li, Aaliyah, Isaiah Washington, Russell Wong, Delroy Lindo, Henry O, Anthony Anderson and DMX. RMD had a budget of $25 Million but successfully grossed $91 Million worldwide and made it to the #2 movie on US charts.

The film’s setting is Oakland, California, but other than a few establishing shots, film production was entirely in Vancouver, British Columbia. The original ending of the movie was of Aaliyah and Jet Li’s characters kissing; a scene that did not test well and was ridiculed by the urban audience at a pre-release screening. Jet Li stated they filmed both {with and without the kiss} and dediced against the kissing scene because it was “somewhat strange and awkward” for Han to have witnessed his father’s suicide and then to come out and kiss someone. The studio modified the ending with Aaliyah giving Jet Li’s character a tight hug instead – did they walk away holding hands? — . According to a Filipino American director Gene Cajayon, “Mainstream America, for the most part, gets uncomfortable with seeing an Asian man portrayed in a sexual light.”


“I tried to play a trick on Jet, but it didn’t quite work. We were supposed to kiss and hug in the last scene. Right before we kissed, I put in these really disgusting false teeth and tried to shock him, but he is so focused, he didn’t crack a smile!” Aaliyah says on a failed attempt to prank her costar on the set of Romeo Must Die. “He didn’t flinch until the camera shut off and then he laughed. He liked it, but I felt like such a fool. I planned it for the whole movie and then, I couldn’t pull it off”.


Aaliyah enjoyed wearing her fake teeth on the set and pranked many of her costars on the set. Even off the set, she would wear her fake teeth and prank her best friend Missy Elliott. “One time, she put these big fake teeth in her mouth, the kind you get at a joke shop, and she came into my room and started doing the scenes from Romeo Must Die. Her personality was very playful, but she was also equally caring and compassionate” – Missy Elliott shares on her fondest memory of Aaliyah with this false teeth.


Jet Li was asked what his reaction was when he found out Aaliyah died. His response: “She was a very sweet girl and she was very charming. When she was on the set, she brought a lot of energy; she made everyone happy and would sing all the time. I was in China working on Hero and I heard the terrible news, we lost a best friend. She is still living in a lot of people’s hearts.”  When Jet Li was in New York being interviewed on the TODAY show. He commented “I have some memories of this very beautiful city … but it still makes me think about Aaliyah. She was such a talented girl and some locations when you pass by every day, you still think about her”.

“My credibility should not be questioned simply because I have a love scene with a Caucasian or an Asian. When I wake up in the morning, I am African American and when I go to sleep at night, I am African American and I can assure you I love who I am” - Aaliyah (‘In Her Own Words’ Published in the November 2001 Issue of Honey Magazine)

Okay but Aaliyah had a dance party inside the engine of a motorcycle with a custom made white Chanel catsuit with her Rocafella pendant With her edges laid while debuting her ponytail WHILE also being inside the fucking headlight of the motorcyle with custom made leather pants inspired by a sex shop and a cameo by Rashida and Kidada Jones with Mark Ronson as the DJ while being the one driving the motorcycle the entire time!!!! what kinda sorcery????