June 10, 2015

Interview with James Lew

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Anyone who’s watched about a dozen martial arts or action movies from the 1980’s or 1990’s has most likely seen character actor and stuntman James Lew get pummeled by the star of the film, and after seeing dozens of these pictures, there should be a point where Lew begins to emerge as a mainstay in the genre.

“It’s that guy again! It’s James Lew!” With over 100 credits as either an actor or stuntman (or stunt coordinator), Lew is a true perennial in the action industry, and he deserves a one-of-a-kind award for having taken so many hits on screen. 




You’ve been in so many movies, and you’re still making movies. I think most people who watch the movies that you’re in don’t even realize that you’re in all of them. Does that ever bother you somewhere in the back of your mind? 

I just enjoy this business so much. Just getting to play is always an honor and a blessing. So, I’m happy. Whenever I’m on the set, I am at home. It feels so comfortable. I like being the stunt guy who gets the crap beat out of him, or coordinating and getting to create. The best way I can describe getting to direct is like being God. How good is that? Acting, of course, I just have fun getting to pretend I’m somebody I’m not. It’s such a pleasure.


You got into stunt coordinating fairly early in your career. It was John Carpenter who let you do some stuff behind the scenes on Big Trouble in Little China, right? 

That was my first studio movie. It was an amazing experience. I got involved in the preproduction. At that time, I was like a curious kid, walking around each department. The props department, and then my favorite department was when I came across the guy sitting at his desk doing these drawings. He was the storyboard artist. I was so curious, so mesmerized. “What are you doing?” He showed me. I got a quick lesson. From then on, I put it into practice. I would go to the set, then I would draw the set, map it out, then I did my attempt at drawing, which is really horrible drawings (stick figures), but I knew instinctively how to frame where the fights should be with the different angles. Carpenter would say, “Okay, what do you have?” I would have all these sheets of paper, and I would give him different fight sequences. I would say, “Here, let’s shoot this one,” and he would say, “Yeah, go ahead, take it!” He would pretty much let me run with it. Sometimes I would try to push for a little more violence, and he’d go, “No! We can’t shoot this one!” So I’d say, “Okay: Next!”

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Photo by david j. moore

How have other directors over the years helped influence your style of coordinating fights, and the way that you now direct? 

You know what, as far as action and fight choreography, I actually watched a lot of dancing, like musicals. The way they shoot it. You see the moves. They never try to hide it. No shaky cams, no up your nostrils close-ups. It goes back to the Hong Kong style. You think of the action like you would think of the ballet. You want to see the motion, but at the same time you want to capture the violence of it. That was helpful. I like Jackie Chan’s stuff. When I got to be on the set with Jackie, I got to see him break it all down. Mini-masters. American filmmaking seems to always want to shoot a big, wide master shot for the entire fight, which doesn’t work. Something’s going to go off in the middle or at the end, so you’ll have to start it all over again anyway. The camera has a very specific sweet spot, so if you’re a little bit off … it’s like getting good dialogue. You want to get the very best performance. Another thing, when I’ve done second unit … I discovered this when I was working with Mark Dacascos on a T.V. series: We would go off and do some second unit fight action. We would shoot it and when we would see it edited and finally put together, “Oh, they used that! We didn’t want that!” So I told myself that I would shoot exactly to a point that within ourselves, we’d be cutting. When we’d shoot the second unit stuff, we’d shoot only exactly what we’d want for the cut. In a sense, forcing the editor to use certain cuts. Trying to outsmart them.


You mentioned Jackie Chan and Mark Dacascos. Would you mind talking about them in regards to the films you worked on with them? 

Jackie Chan is absolutely the living legend. Here’s the consummate filmmaker, not only just an actor, but a stuntman, a director, producer. He has his hands on every single part of production. His passion behind it is what’s so impressive. He loves filmmaking. When he’s not on set, he’s constantly categorizing and cataloguing ideas. He’ll look at a location and say, “Oh, that’ll be a great place for a stunt.” He’ll jot down, make a drawing, make a picture, and put it in a file. He is a great influence on me in that he takes the whole picture. He knows all the parts that make the entire movie come together. You know exactly what the director is asking for, what the DP is looking for. I think that’s really important to take your performance and your career to another level. Mark Dacascos is probably my favorite person to work with. When we were doing The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, he’d say, “What’d you come up with now to make me do?” But, he’s fantastic because I know I can push his limits. He’ll come through and do some crazy move. He executes it better than I could ever imagine. Perfect. It’s a pleasure because often I end up working with action stars who are limited to a dozen moves, and they’re afraid to try something else. It’s understandable because they don’t want to look bad on film. It’s forever. With Mark, I can unleash my creativity and just have fun. And he has so much fun on set, so that actually is contagious.

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Photo by david j. moore

You’ve worked with everybody. A lot of these guys have reputations coming in. How do you adapt your styles in coordinating fights to those who aren’t that comfortable, as you said, with stretching their limitations? 

Just like you, as a writer, you do your homework. You do your research on what your subject has done. So I do my homework before I go to a film set on what these actors have done. I get a sense of how their rhythm is. What side is stronger for them. I look at stuff, and I go, “That looks okay.” It’s best to use the very best of your actors. Just getting inside their head. I would like to have an introductory meeting with them, just to get a feel for them. It’s still a character they’re playing, and it should fit their idea of what their character should have. By doing that, it all goes back to making the actor feel comfortable. I want what’s in their best interests. If they don’t look good on screen, I don’t look good. Once you get that confidence and trust, it makes a difference. Even as a director: If your actors trust you, they’ll follow you. I’ve been pretty fortunate with that. I worked with Jean-Claude Van Damme on Timecop. They had me put together some of the fight stuff on that, so I put together moves, showed Jean-Claude, and he said, “Oh, no, I won’t do that.” I said, “Jean-Claude, just try it. We’ll look on the monitor, we can watch it, and if you think it looks really bad for you, we can change it.” Luckily, he said, “Okay,” and we tried it, and he came back and he kind of smiled and said, “Oh, that looks pretty good.”  Again, it goes back to that they have this persona to protect. It’s them up there. Their fans will look at it, and they can say, “You suck, Jean-Claude.” But that’s something they need to protect. It’s their business.


You’ve worked with all these action guys. They want to look good, and if they don’t look good, they feel insecure. Talk about your experience with working with all of these guys. This is a chapter all by itself. There’s so much you can say. 

I try to relate to them as my understanding as an actor. They know where I’m coming from because I know where they’re coming from. If you base it on the drama or the comedy or the emotion of the scene … I’m for every technique and every move in a fight. It’s exactly like dialogue. The better you write the dialogue that fits the character, it just makes more sense to actors. I try to create what they call beats within the scene. When you say a line, what are you trying to get from this person? When you throw this kick, what are you trying to get? Just stun him? Kill him? What’s your emotion here? I think that by getting that into them, it gets their juices flowing. They feel more confident. It’s the martial spirit. It comes out in their eyes. You’re not just saying lines. The audience will feel it. There’s not better emotional content than in Bruce Lee. When you get him pissed off, you know you’re gonna get your ass kicked!

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Photo by david j. moore

All roads lead right back to Bruce Lee. 

He’s, to me, the king of all. Love him!


I just had a question, but I don’t think I want to go there … 

You can go there.


It’s a silly question. I was going to say something about stroking these guys’ egos … 

It’s your attitude on how you look at it. I don’t see it as stroking their ego. I think it’s stroking their confidence. All these guys have insecurities. It’s absolutely amazing. The bigger the star, the better looking they are, they are just filled with insecurities. Maybe because people expect so much from them. They’re told they’re perfect, so if they do anything less than perfect … Somebody who’s not so big can get away with doing something not so good. Most of the time, the guys that play the villains, the bad guys, they’re the mellowest dudes ever. They have less to lose.


You are usually cast as the villain. I can’t think of more than one or two movies where you were the hero. 

Not too many. I’m usually shot, stabbed, thrown off buildings …

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Photo by david j. moore

Talk about that: being cast – typecast, literally! 

I think early in my career I started questioning that. Why don’t I get to be this guy? Why don’t I get to play this character? It’s the realization that … Welcome to America. This is not Asia. The white guy needs to be the hero. Everybody else is the villain, so it’s something you just can’t take personal. It’s business. Most of the time, if it’s not written that an Asian guy is the good guy, what can you do about it? The best way to look at it is to go there and do the best you can, and hopefully from that you shine. There might be a chance somewhere else that you can do something else.


I’m curious why you haven’t gone to Asia to be an action star? 

That’s a great question. Way back, I got to know Jackie [Chan]. My best friend is very close with Jackie. His manager at that time asked me that same question. He said, “Hey, why don’t you come over here to Hong Kong and do movies?” And I said, “Two things. I don’t speak Chinese. It would be a horrible challenge for me to go there and try to do something like that. And second, home is here. I guess I just can’t think of going away from home. I would be such an outsider.” I actually got to do this movie in Taiwan. This producer brought me over there. It was originally called Young Dragon, but they changed it and redubbed it and added some reshoots. I knew the executive producer. We went to Taiwan, there was the script, and there I was, a Chinese American surrounded by all these Chinese actors. They did their dialogue in Chinese, and I would respond, “Yeah, what’s happenin’?” (Laughing.) I had no idea what they were saying, and they had no idea what I was saying. Then they redubbed my voice into Chinese. That was one of the best experiences for me. The fight coordinator would lay out huge fight scenes – forty, fifty moves – and I really learned how specific and exact they want your moves. I had the toughest time doing that type of fight. Every single move flows into the next one. Finally, I got it and coming back to America, the fight scenes were so easy. This was right before Big Trouble in Little China. I showed some of that footage to John Carpenter in my first meeting with him, and that’s really what sold me to him. I was able to do Chinese style, but being an American added a bonus. I was the ideal guy.


You worked with Carpenter a few times. You were part of Hershey’s gang in Escape From L.A.

Yeah, yeah. That was a great time, but unfortunately, the movie is … totally different than Escape From New York. You do a sequel, you should do it in the same tone. It was campy.


I’m going to throw some names of action stars, and it would be great if you could say some words about each of them. First one: Thomas Ian Griffith in Ulterior Motives. 

Tom is great. He’s such a solid actor. What people don’t realize is that he comes from a real background in martial arts. He’s a very solid person. He cares about the other people he works with. It makes people work harder.


Jeff Speakman. The Perfect Weapon. 

Yeah. Jeff Speakman. That was his first movie. I don’t think he was quite trained or used to doing movie fights. So I got tagged constantly. He’s good. He’s the real deal. He hits hard. He did a couple of moves right here to my solar plexus, and he hit me so hard right between there that my chest got real concave. I couldn’t straighten up. I told the coordinator, “Man, give me a moment.” I couldn’t straighten up. Jeff is really good. Really fast. I finally figured out his system ’cause I don’t like to get hurt. His moves are so fast like a machine gun. You have to train your body to be like a split second ahead in anticipation. You just have to go with each hit. Boom, baboom, boom. So you’re not letting it smack you that hard.


You weren’t like, “Dude. Stop hitting me.” 

There’s no … that’s all he knows. I remember it was my turn to do this one move where they wanted to do a pick-up shot where they wanted me to do a side kick. I’d been beat up all day, the stunt coordinator goes off to the side, and I smiled like this at him. He just shook his head. I went, “Aw, man.” I just wanted to tag him a little bit. But I didn’t. Unfortunately, your job as a “stunt man” is to eat it sometimes. That’s part of your paycheck.


Steven Seagal. You’ve done a couple of things with him. 

I’ve done a bunch of movies with Steven Seagal. I’ve taken every smack, every form of punishment from him. I coordinated a couple of commercials with him. One was with Nils Allen Stewart. I got him on it because he’s big. After Seagal knocks me down, he’s got Nils by the hand, and I’m trying to watch from the ground. I see Seagal has his arm around him. So, he just cranks his arm and I hear this pop! I went, “Oh, man …” He popped Nils’ bicep. I went, “Oh, man …” Seagal likes to play hard. My guys don’t like working with him because there’s so much punishment.


Let me ask you something. In the 80’s and 90’s, we had the rise of the action star. Even straight to video guys had their time in the sun. We had guys like Van Damme and Seagal, and in the late 90’s, we saw the decline of the action star. Even guys like Stallone. Even he did some straight-to-video movies. You’ve been through the VHS era, you’ve been through the DVD era, and you’re still here, and you’re still working in the download era. What are your thoughts on the rise and fall of the action star and how it might relate to the medium they’re represented on? 

You know, I don’t think it’s the medium that has changed. I think what’s happened is movies like The Matrix. Now you have an actor who is trained to do this stuff. Great camera stuff and wires, and you make this guy look pretty damn good. He looked great.


He didn’t need the muscles. 

Yeah, yeah. The camera tricks, the choreography. That was pretty much the nail in the coffin. An action guy who’s not really that great of an actor became obsolete … now the studios want the name actors because the budgets are bigger.

Martial Law 2 Photo 6

Photo by david j. moore

They can turn Matt Damon into an action star. 

Yeah, and Matt Damon, I thought he was fantastic in The Bourne Identity. The first one. I loved the first one. Absolutely flawless choreography, the way it was edited, the story. I loved it. These actors train daily before production starts. You see the difference. Now, because the stakes are higher, the studios don’t want to take the chance on martial artists.


How has that affected your career? 

Well, it’s definitely great as far as being on the coordinating side. Part of my job is that I want to come on as the trainer too so that I can assist on other things than choreography. It’s better than sending the actors off to a martial arts studio. That’s actually been good for me.


I want to talk about a few movies where you actually played characters rather than just being the guy that gets thrown around. 

I still die. (Laughing.)


That’s okay. I can deal with that. Let’s talk about a few movies that come to my mind. American Ninja 5. 

Okay. The director called me and said, “I’ve got a great part for you.” It was the lead villain. It was a little on the comic book side because they were gearing this particular American Ninja for a younger audience. You don’t want to have a bad guy that is too real, and by adding the red cape and the tights, and all that goofy stuff, it lessened the realism of it. I had a great time. We shot it in Venezuela. The people there were great. My character’s name was The Viper. The people there couldn’t pronounce that, so they called me The Veeper. I got to work with David Bradley. I had a lot of fun with him and we became friends. Also Lee Reyes, I just treasured. He was the little kid. He was just fantastic at martial arts. I thought he was great as an actor. He had charisma.


The director was a stunt guy. 

Bob Bralver.


Talk about working under the “American Ninja” banner. 

I guess the pressure was off because they weren’t trying to make – in the true sense – a sequel. This was going to be a little bit of a departure. We were just there to have fun. It was probably because it had nothing to do with the other American Ninja movies that we had free license to do whatever we wanted.


Was that the first time you worked with Pat Morita? 

I think we worked on some little thing. He was great. During off time, he was playing the piano in the hotel, entertaining, drinking, singing. Years later, I wrote my little movie 18 Fingers of Death, and he was the only guy I could imagine playing a certain part.


David Bradley. Any final comments about working with him? He was the real thing as far as action stars go. He seemed charismatic. 

It’s a good and bad trait for people to be passionate. In fact, it’s always good. To be passionate about whatever you do. But, sometimes, if you don’t keep it in check, it gets in your own way, and in this business you have to be someone that people like to work with and spend a minimum of 12 hours a day with. Constantly you’re butting heads with that person. Because David is a perfectionist, and he knows what he wants, but when he sees that it doesn’t come out the way he likes it, it probably really bothered him. That’s a frustration that maybe turned him off to the entire business. I think he just got fed up with it. Like I said, I understand. It’s his face up there. When people make fun of the movie, how can you not take it personally. “Oh, you’re in that shit movie!” Aw, great. But like I said, I got along great with David. We were friends.

Don was completely supportive that I do my best stuff

Red Sun Rising with Don “The Dragon” Wilson. Another good part for you. 

Yeah, that was one of the highlights of my career. Don was absolutely instrumental in having me play that part. A lot of times, when working with a star, I hear, “Oh, I think I should be the only one doing this move or this high kick.” Because they’re just trying to protect themselves. They don’t want you to shine more than they do. Don was completely supportive that I do my best stuff. He was beyond encouraging. It made sense. The greater the villain, the greater the hero. Eventually, if he kicks my butt, and if I’m pretty damn good, that means he’s better.


Talk about Don Wilson. He made an incredible amount of movies in a row. He was an incredibly busy actor while also maintaining a real fighting career. What do you think the secret is for the longevity of some of these action guys? Why do you think some guys are able to keep going where guys like Speakman sort of tapered off? 

Hmm. I thought Jeff Speakman would roll along and have a long career. He had a great shot. Right place, right time. Sometimes, it’s really hard to tell. A Don Wilson movie is Don Wilson. You know what to expect. I think once he got his core audience, they were never disappointed. They’re going to get this: Don Wilson.


I wanted to mention Martial Law 1 and 2. You had bit roles in both of them, but I wanted to mention that Chad McQueen was the lead guy in the first one. You had a fight with him. In the second one, you fought Cynthia Rothrock and Jeff Wincott. 

That’s right. I was there on the first one for maybe a day. The second one, maybe two days.


I really like Wincott. He’s fantastic. Talk about working with these people. You did a couple of movies with Rothrock and Wincott. 

I knew Cynthia from back in the tournament days. Competition stuff. She was always the sweetheart darling of the martial arts world. Look at her career. Just awesome. I don’t know how many she’s done. A lot. She worked hard and got her bumps and bruises.

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Photo by david j. moore

Did you ever have a problem hitting her? 

You don’t hit. You don’t touch. At the point when you’re hired as the bad guy, you just go in and get your ass kicked. She always kicks my ass. I got to coordinate this little movie with her called Outside the Law in Puerto Rico. She called me and wanted me to work on this movie. It was an absolute pleasure working with her. She wanted to add some cool acrobatic stuff, and I told her straight out that I didn’t know too many females that were at that level. Most of the female martial artists and action girls were good with certain things, but were lacking with that explosive energy. So I brought a buddy of mine to double Cynthia. She just said, “Whatever it takes to make me look good.”


Brandon Lee. You worked with him on Showdown in Little Tokyo. 

Yes. Fantastic human being. I remember we were just hanging out and talking on the set. He was very appreciative. He said, “Look, I’m barely half Chinese, and I’m cast as this Asian guy, and how lucky am I to be playing the lead?” I found that was pretty humbling. I think before that, he had a period of denial where he didn’t want to be known as Bruce Lee’s son. A lot of people – rich kids – are like “I want to make it on my own!” But that was the same kind of conflict. But once he embraced it, he really embraced it. He was really good. He really worked at it and trained. He was really serious about his acting. In Showdown in Little Tokyo he does that famous foot sweep while I’m doing a round kick, so one leg is up and he actually contacts my base foot, and it’s on the wet sauna floor so I’m going. There’s nothing I can do. The way they wanted me to fall, partly in the water, people always say to me, “I thought you broke your back on that.” Like I said, I don’t like getting hurt, so I know how to cheat it.

Cynthia Rothrock always kicks my ass

You worked on some Andy Sidaris movies. 

Yeah! I loved Andy! He was always very positive. They were all super low budget.


Lots of naked ladies, though. 

And he made no excuse for that. He would say, “It’s time to shoot the titty scenes. It’s time! It’s in the script!” I totally respected him. He would put his house up to finance each movie. When the movie would make its money back, he would pay off his house again. He did great, though. That was his thing. He just rotated these movies. He wasn’t a dirty old man, he loved his wife.


Was it fun to work with all those Playboy and Penthouse models? 

Oh, it’s a job! (Laughing.)


You’ve worked with guys like Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp too. 

Tom Cruise. My first experience working with him was on The Last Samurai. Probably one of the easiest stunt jobs that I’ve ever had to do. There’s a scene where he’s going through the village on a rickshaw. Because there were a lot of people and it was in and out and there was a very valuable passenger – Tom Cruise – they wanted a stunt guy pulling the rickshaw. They wanted a certain timing with the camera, and it was pretty technical. I got to do that. I got to rehearse for two or three days with a stunt double on the rickshaw with the DP, tracking, doing the exact take. On the shooting day, Tom Cruise was there and there were hundreds of people in the village, so I got to be there maybe like a week.

Tom Cruise was always happy. Every night. Every day. He’s a superstar.

In Japan? 

No, it was here. Warner Brothers. Awesome set! I walked in when they’d fully dressed everything, and I was like, “Wow! I’m in Japan!” I got to listen to Tom Cruise all day, he called his mom, “Hey, mom!” Then he said, “Oh, I’m so excited, my kids are going to come!” I said, “You want me to give them a ride?” He got so excited. “Could you? Would you give them a ride?” He was like a little kid. The nicest guy. Then I got to work with him on Collateral. It was supposed to be three nights in the nightclub. When I got there, they fired the DP. It turned out to be almost three weeks of shooting. Nights. Tom Cruise was always happy. Every night. Every day. He’s a superstar.


You told me that you’ve known Michael Jai White since he was young. 

Since he started. When he was first getting started.


You worked on Black Dynamite, which was his baby. 

Yeah, Michael is a tough, tough son of a bitch. He’s a real fighter. He played opposite Seagal in Exit Wounds. Mike was telling me that they had all these badass dudes on that movie and they’d all try to intimidate Seagal.


Do you watch action movies at all? Do you keep tabs on some of the guys you’ve worked with? 

I love action movies. That’s why I’m in this business. It’s homework, but it’s not homework. I love the new Korean action movies. Great, great stuff. The Man From Nowhere. Really intense. Pushing the envelope as far as stories. Creative.


Anybody you’re thinking could be the next big thing in action and martial arts? 

When I first saw Tony Jaa, I was so excited. Finally, we have Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and Jet Li all in one. The real kick ass fighting, the acrobatics, the stunts. The full package. But unfortunately, he’s been tied into the production company there, so they’ve had a grip on him. This new kid from The Raid has real charisma. If given the right vehicle, he might have a shot. Guys who have a French accent like Jean-Claude are cool. English accents like Statham are cool. German, Spanish, you name it. But an Asian accent trying to speak English does not translate into being a hero. Jackie works his comedy. Other than that, unfortunately you can’t be ladykiller. Bruce Lee was on another level. Even with his accent … he had a mix of everything.


You did a pretty good Bruce Lee accent on 18 Fingers of Death. 

Well, cool. It was a tribute to Bruce.


How about Phillip Rhee? 

He had theatrical release for Best of the Best, but I think that’s what we were talking about and how it all changed, being an action star. It wasn’t enough. You had to be a movie star. He just couldn’t get financing for another project. It faded as time went on. Best of the Best was too long ago. He’s tried to do some other business ventures. He’s trying to do another Best of the Best.


Billy Blanks. 

I was on his last movie. Balance of Power. I play the lead villain. Mako was in it. We shot it in Toronto. It’s one of those fight-to-the-death movies. Billy had like .5 percent body fat. He was ripped. I’ve never seen anybody jump as high as Billy. Very accurate. After that he got way busy with Tai Bo.


Chuck Norris. You did an episode of Walker with him. 

Chuck is a legend. I went in through casting, and it was for the lead villain. I booked it, and the coordinator told me that I would have a fight with Chuck. I was like, “Oh, cool, okay.” The next day, I get to the set, and I was told that Chuck didn’t want to do a fight. I was like, “You’re kidding! I’m the bad guy, we’ve got to do a fight!” I had to fight another guy, a guest star. I was so close. He was getting to the point where he had the perfect stunt double. I never got to fight Chuck Norris.


Are there any guys you would have loved to work with? 

Bruce Lee. I’ve worked with everybody else except Bruce Lee. Never even got to meet him.


Do you think it’s harder to become an action guy in today’s market?

Absolutely. Now, they have A-list actors doing action. Now we have Liam Neeson. Here you have an A-list actor doing action now and it’s really good. I try to pitch things, and the first thing you always hear from a financer or a producer is “Who’s in it?” It’s not “What’s it about?” It’s “Who’s in it?”


You got to direct a movie that you also starred in, the spoof 18 Fingers of Death. What made you want to make this movie? 

It pretty much sums up how everybody should look at their business career or life. How to create your own destiny. Because there weren’t some opportunities for me or for other minorities, so I kept thinking about what I could do. Instead of complaining, I did my own thing. I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of money for it, so I decided to write it and thought how I could make it in the mockumentary style. It was cheaper to do it that way.

One of my favorite movies is This is Spinal Tap. I thought that shooting style was perfect for this. I went out to meetings. I went to great meetings. I went to Universal. They loved my script, but it was too small. I was asked, “Who do you have in it?” That’s when I realized I wasn’t going to get outside financing. I decided to make it no matter what. I got in contact with an investor, and I pitched him, and I told him that I would bring in my own money. My nickel and dime savings, the credit cards, so we did it. I called in a lot of favors. I called Lorenzo Lamas, Don Wilson, a bunch of people.


How do you feel the movie turned out? 

I’ve gotten great responses. So far, just good reactions. I’m happy with the performances everybody gave me. It would have been nice to have had a little more time to shoot it. Without deep pockets, the budget stopped right there. We had some technical setbacks. It was the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I wouldn’t trade it. I’m fairly happy with it. There are a couple things I would like to redo. At a certain point, I just had to let it go. I had to move on.


Any final words on being an action star? 

Create your own projects. Now with technology and all the things available, there’s no reason why you can’t get something going. It’s a long shot, but at least it’s a shot. If you’re passionate, and you love it, you should do it. 



This interview is taken from david j. moore’s book The Good, the Tough, and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming December 2015 from Schiffer Publishing.

All photos courtesy of david j. moore.

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About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.



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That is right everyone, Danny Templegod reporting exclusively that the Marissa Labog written short film ‘When Kids Grow Up’ will have a theatrical screening at TCL Chinese Theatre as part of the Hollyshorts Film Fes...
by Dan Templegod


Mike Banning Returns in Angel Has Fallen

‘Angel Has Fallen’ is certainly an odd title but that is indeed the name of the third movie after ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ and ‘London has Fallen’. According to Deadline “Gerard Butler wil...
by Eoin Friel


John Wick 2 to Channel Enter the Dragon?

“The Man! The Myth! The Legend!” Can we just get over 2016 already and move on to 2017 so we can can watch some decent movies? John Wick 2 is my most anticipated for next year and these new photos courtesy of Empire...
by Eoin Friel