With his directorial debut The Man with the Iron Fists proving to be both critically and financially successful, RZA is primed to become a behind the camera Hollywood mainstay. Now, in a recent interview with Ruby Hornet, the Abbot explains how his two decades with the Wu-Tang Clan prepared him to sit in the director’s chair.

RZA explained that in working with the eight other members of the Wu, he had to take on the role of a psychiatrist in order to evoke his partners’ best efforts. As a director, he said that he made sure to show compassion to all the actors and technical team members.

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“[Wu-Tang] was actually the best training I could ever have,” he said. “I wasn’t conscious that all my trials and tribulations, good times and bad times with Wu-Tang would help me become this kind of psychiatrist of thinking towards other artists and talents. But also one of the biggest things that helped me is that I’m an artist. I understand the grind, the gripes. I understand right now we’re getting out early in the rain to sit here and talk to you about a film instead of on the bus, curled up warm. I understand how it feels, so I appreciate what an artist does. As a director, I’m going to have compassion. There was a situation where we just had a problem, some of the producers were like, ‘push through it, push through it, push through it.’ I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. You’re not going to push through it. You’re not going til he’s ready.’”

Check out the video interview with RZA below.

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