Vladimir Putin and Steven Seagal Meet The Press
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) defended the inclusion of actor Steven Seagal on a recent congressional trip to Russia, saying the movie star’s karate skills helped the American delegation earn influence with leaders there, including President Vladimir Putin. “Because of his black belt in karate and things, he has gotten to know many of the leaders of Russia, including Putin, and was able to use that influence to make sure that we got to talk to the very top people so that we could try to find ways of expanding our areas of cooperation,” Rohrabacher told CNN. (The Hill, June 4, 2013)
PUTIN (through translator): Thank you very much for being here. Can everyone hear me? Thank you for being here. We are grateful for—
SEAGAL: Wait. What’s that? Something’s not right. Who is that? (Adopts menacing karate stance, flurries air with hands) SHOW ME YOUR HANDS! HANDS, BRO!
PUTIN: That is the kid with the tea, Steven.
SEAGAL: Right. Okay. Stand down. Jesus, hang on. (Leans over from waist and puts hands on knees, puffing like a steam engine.) I’m winded. That really took it outta me. Christ, I need a blow.
PUTIN: Yes, I can see. Would you like some tea? Would that help?
SEAGAL: I just need to sit down.
SEAGAL (sitting): That’s better. Kid really snuck up on me, you know? He’s quick. (Calls to tea boy) You got potential, brother. Respect. Just stay true to your beliefs and you’ll be all right. (Clasps fists to chest, bows shallowly)
PUTIN: If I may continue.
SEAGAL: Your country, bro.
PUTIN: It is a pleasure—
SEAGAL: …I just, you know: People all over the world know Steven Seagal. I just like to take the opportunities to drop some knowledge on the young people. They’re the future, man. Wherever.
PUTIN: Of course. It is a pleasure to welcome the distinguished delegation of American—
SEAGAL: Hang on. (Stands slowly, narrows eyes.) Something’s not right. (Listens) That humming. Hear that? That’s an ignition device. You probably don’t hear it. But I do. My hearing’s incredibly sensitive. I spent my life in martial arts, baby. I know how to be attuned to nuances when I’m in dangerous places.
PUTIN: Steven, we are in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn Suschevsky.
SEAGAL: Doesn’t matter. It’s a way of life. (Executes low defensive stance)
PUTIN: I’m pretty sure what you heard is the ice machine.
SEAGAL (shrugs): If that’s what you want to believe, man. I’m just here to help, know what I’m saying? (Stands) Whoa. Spins. My blood sugar must be a little low from the flight.
PUTIN: Are you—
SEAGAL: I’m good. I just need to get horizontal for a quick sec. (Lies on stage, covers eyes with hands) Wow. That was a bad one. Can I get, like, a damp tea towel or something?
PUTIN: Perhaps after.
SEAGAL: Never mind. We good. (Gets laboriously to knees, stands. Surreptitiously wipes face with neck bandana.) Carry on, bro.
PUTIN: There is much we can learn from one another, despite our differences…
SEAGAL: Sho you right. First time I met Van Damme? Let me tell you something, I’ll be very honest, I thought: What the hell is this? Dude’s about five feet nothin’ and he’s Belgian, you know what I’m saying? What’s he gonna teach me, how to make chocolate? But I learned from him. And he learned from me. I’m a teacher. He’d tell you the same. That’s the point we’re trying to make here (gestures to Putin).
PUTIN: Perhaps we should break for lunch.
SEAGAL: I’ll need to inspect the food.
PUTIN: Steven, my food is fine.
SEAGAL: No, I mean for me. I’m lactose intolerant. (Bows from waist) Namaste.