MANILA (Reuters) - U.S. actor Steven Seagal, famous for playing action roles like a vice squad detective in “Above the Law”, met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte while on a location scouting trip in Manila.
Video footage released by government channel RTVM showed Seagal animatedly talking to Duterte.
Seagal, 65, was in the Philippines to look for a location for his upcoming movie which will be “about illegal drugs and other crimes”, a presidential palace statement said.
The statement said that Duterte told Seagal that “movies are a reflection of life” and “reiterated his strong stance against illegal drugs because it enslaves people to a form of synthetic chemical.”
Duterte has been involved in a deadly drug war since taking office last June, and on Wednesday ordered all drug operations be left to the drug enforcement agency, amid unprecedented scrutiny of police conduct in the brutal crackdown that has left thousands of Filipinos dead.
Earlier this week, Seagal said at a news conference in Manila that he didn’t think the Philippines was “a dangerous place”.
“It’s a place that’s up and coming with the new leadership,” the Philippine Star reported him as saying.
Duterte was nicknamed “The Punisher” due to his zero-tolerance of crime and drugs during the 22 years he was mayor of southern Davao City.
A former martial arts instructor, Seagal is famous for action hero roles in blockbuster movies in the 1990s, such as “Under Siege” and “Hard To Kill”.
He has also starred in a reality television series called “Steven Seagal: Lawman”, in which he carries out duties as a reserve deputy sheriff in Louisiana.
Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Michael Perry