Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Menu's John Leguizamo Jokes That He Based His Washed-Up Action Star Character On Steven Seagal

While promoting his new horror-comedy feature "The Menu" on "Good Morning America," actor John Leguizamo ("Encanto") got incredibly raw about the film's intentions and the inspiration for his character. Featuring "New Mutants" alum Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult ("The Great") as a young, wealthy couple eager to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime fine-dining experience, the film is due to release later this week. Ralph Fiennes of the "Harry Potter" franchise also stars as a suspicious and possibly murderous executive chef.

"I play a washed-up action star," Leguizamo told an enthralled panel of "GMA" hosts during his early-morning sit-down. "I did a lot of action movies with action stars who are now washed-up and uh... I'm not gonna name names, but I based it on Steven Seagal. Oops." Though the hosts can barely contain their laughter to their seats, Leguizamo seems pretty committed to the statement.

Seagal began acting in 1988, starring in the feature film "Above the Law." As the years have passed, however, the actor's reputation has been tarnished by a host of factors, including numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault, several lawsuits, and his longstanding support of Vladamir Putin's military actions (via Newsweek). Leguizamo's feud with Seagal began on the set of their 1991 film, "Executive Decision."

Steven Seagal attacked John Leguizamo on their first day of rehearsals

"We were in rehearsals..." Leguizamo recounted to q magazine in 2010, "And I'm playing [Seagal's] master sergeant." According to the actor, Seagal came to rehearsals with a domineering presence, telling those involved, "I'm in command; what I say is law," challenging his fellow actors to disagree with him.

Leguizamo said he laughed at Seagal (using a slur to make an offensive comparison as a joke) before the actor "tae kwon do'ed [his] ass against a brick wall." Though he could only croak out the word "Why...," he wished he had ridiculed Seagal for how "big and fat" he was and how he "runs like a girl." When the interviewer asked Leguizamo why he felt the need to call Seagal names, he said that if he couldn't let his anger out, it would build up "like a cancer" inside of him.

Promoting his one-man comedy show "Ghetto Klown," Leguizamo told Arsenio Hall the same story almost verbatim in 2014 — this time omitting the slur and instead clarifying that he thought Seagal was joking around. He was still adamant that Seagal ran like "a double-dutching little b****." He spoke about their brief working relationship again in 2022, confirming rumors that Seagal would intentionally hit stunt performers on set (via NY Post).

Leguizamo stars in "The Menu," arriving in theaters on November 18, 2022.