Bruce Lee’s writings come to life in “Warrior”, via his daughter Shannon


Hollywood actor David Carradine is probably most well-known for his function in hit TV present “Kung Fu”. He performed Kwai Chang Caine, a martial arts skilled from China, who travelled to the Outdated West of America to defend the helpless. However not many know that the 1971 present was really based mostly on legendary icon Bruce Lee’s writings.

Lee pitched the story to TV networks and had meant to behave as the principle lead, however producers not solely solid him apart, as they felt the world wasn’t prepared for an Asian lead actor, however Lee didn’t obtain any credit score point out as properly. Quick ahead to at the moment, his writings are actually given a brand new lease on life, in Cinemax’s unique collection “Warrior”, with Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, 49, spearheading this challenge as its Government Producer.

We spoke to her face-to-face in New York about seeing her father’s concepts come to fruition, and fondly remembering her earliest reminiscences with him.


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First look of “Warrior”. (PHOTO: David Bloomer/HBO)

How does it really feel to see this present come alive?

It’s so rewarding and actually touching on so many ranges, to have the ability to see his imaginative and prescient via, and to have the ability to do that for my dad. That is an Asian-American story, and we’ve this unbelievable solid. There’s simply been so many layers of gratitude on high of gratitude, and it’s a extremely stunning expertise.

While you peeled via his writings, do you see one other facet of your father, in addition to a martial arts icon?

Martial arts was type of every part to my father; he beloved martial arts and he actually felt like that was his ardour. He mentioned that he was a martial artist by alternative, however he was an actor by career. However what he actually thought-about himself (is) to be an artist of life. And he was creating his life, for himself and each second. His writings that I’ve are so deep and wealthy, and exquisite… and in regards to the expression of the human soul, simply again and again.

For me, the explanation why I received concerned and sorted his legacy in such a direct method, is due to that – that’s the a part of him that basically speaks to me. I’ve carried out martial arts, however I’m not a martial artist. I’ve an understanding of it as I’ve studied jeet kune do – which is his artwork as properly – so, that’s principally a method of connecting with him, and realizing what he was enthusiastic about. However to me, his legacy is so inspiring and uplifting to so many individuals, and I would like folks to know him additionally, as this thinker and this inventive artist.

CIRCA 1970: Picture of Bruce Lee. (PHOTO: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photographs)

Now with this present, do you’re feeling that your father continues to be right here with us, and that everyone around the globe goes to learn about him a little bit extra?

I feel the fascinating factor is, when my father handed away, my mother at all times thought, ‘Properly, sooner or later, that is gonna die down.’ However all these a few years – with not a lot assist from me – that curiosity and the connection that individuals really feel to him continues to be very a lot alive. Now for me to have the ability to create this challenge and produce it out in a giant strategy to the entire world, his legacy continues to be so related at the moment. From the illustration angle to what it’s to be a human being angle, all of that…. It’s so fantastic that persons are going to have extra visceral contact factors for (the reminiscence of) him.

Does it really feel bizarre that you just have been very younger when he handed on and folks have been always speaking about him however you by no means actually received to know him? Does that make you’re feeling bitter?

Actually there have been moments of melancholy; I want I received to develop up with my father. However there’s additionally this bizarre factor that went on my complete life, that I used to be lastly capable of put my finger on… which was that my complete life rising up, I at all times felt like I knew him.

I at all times felt like I simply knew who he was as a human being and that I type of may inform what he believed in, and what his vitality was. I saved pondering to myself, I should be insane as a result of I used to be 4 when he died, so how can I really feel such an intimate connection to him?

The reality of the matter is I’ve that of what I keep in mind about him. I keep in mind the sensation of him and his vitality, and since when he was with you he was so current, and he was so engaged. No one forgets that have as a result of he had this huge quantity of vitality.

It took me a very long time to know that that was my reminiscence of him. And that actually, I’ve this virtually loopy pre-consciousness, I suppose, connection to him. I keep in mind him in glimpses however the actual method that I do know him is (seeing) a few of the photos (via) lenses. I nonetheless keep in mind my reminiscences which started in Hong Kong (the place) we lived from 1971 to ‘73.

Olivia Cheng as “Ah Toy” in “Warrior”. (PHOTO: David Bloomer/HBO)

What have been a few of the photos or glimpses you’ve remembered?

I keep in mind being within the yard at our home. I keep in mind we might go go to him on set as a result of they at all times filmed motion pictures with out sound. So, the youngsters could possibly be making noise within the background and no person actually cared. So long as we didn’t run throughout the body, we have been positive. I’ve little glimpses of what our home was like… to our pets….

My mum was 28, and he or she had two babies. When my father died, she was residing in another country. (Her) intention has at all times been to maneuver again to the US, however we actually weren’t planning on doing it proper at that second. She had a variety of stuff to determine, settle and cope with, and a variety of grief to handle as properly. It’s a testomony to her energy as a human being that she was capable of maintain us youngsters, (to) present for us and deal with all of that on the identical time.

While you first discovered the manuscripts, what have been your first ideas?

I at all times knew that my father had created this present (as) a part of our household historical past, but it surely wasn’t till 2000 once I stepped in to start out operating the legacy, my mother despatched all of my father’s issues all the way down to me. I began wanting via them and I got here throughout the remedy… however I wasn’t able to do something with it at that second. So I simply type of put it away and thought, properly, perhaps sooner or later, I’ll get to this. It’s at all times with the promise of perhaps doing one thing sooner or later, however there have been different tasks that we have been making an attempt to get going.

Then swiftly, (‘Quick & Livid’ director) Justin Lin calls me out of the blue, and he mentioned, ‘hey, I’ve at all times heard the story about this present that your father created, is that true?’

So we received collectively and I confirmed him the pages. He learn via them and he was actually greatly surprised. He was like, not solely is that this actually good, however this represents so many issues that we may do properly, and do proper, if we actually have the care to do it. He mentioned we must always make this the way in which my father needed it to be made. That was about 4 years in the past; so it’s been a protracted journey. I prefer to say this challenge has been in growth for 50 years.

Andrew Joji as “Ah Sahm” in “Warrior”. (PHOTO: David Bloomer/HBO)

Are you pleased with actor Andrew Joji’s portrayal of the martial artist within the story?

I’m! Yeah, I feel Andrew does an ideal job! Once we have been casting this (function), I feel lots of people received caught within the entice of making an attempt to mimic Bruce Lee, which we didn’t really need, as a result of it’s by no means a good suggestion. You’re by no means going to dwell as much as being Bruce Lee. What we needed was somebody who was actually interested by making the character come alive. Somebody who had the uncooked substances like charisma, and physicality, and performing chops, which Andrew had. When he got here in for the audition, he simply actually needed the function. He tried so many alternative issues, and he simply had this soulfulness to him and I feel all of us mentioned, “that is our man.”

Warrior begins its ten-episode season on Saturday 6 April, identical time because the U.S. at 10am, with a identical day encore at 10pm, solely on HBO GO and CINEMAX. New episodes debut each Saturday on the identical time.

This journey was sponsored by HBO Asia.


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