Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le’s newest film Pandorum opened on Sept. 25. Le joined PROMMA.INFO’s The INFO radio show this week to discuss his new career.
“I was introduced to Jeremy Bolt by my manger. He is the producer of Resident Evil. He said there was an Asian lead that they were looking to cast. They had not found a Japanese character yet as they originally wrote it. So they opened it up to all Asian actors. This gave me about a month to get ready.”
Le is another in a long line of martial artists turned film stars from the Far East. “Bruce Lee has done a lot for the martial arts community in general. I grew up watching Bruce.” Having said that, however, Cung feels there are limits to how much work he can find. “Most studios don’t have films with an Asian lead. Most are supporting lead. Of course there is going to be a lot of obstacles, but with the right team around me they are going to go out there and get me the projects, actors and studios to get me to the next level.”
Speaking of the next level, Le was able to work alongside Dennis Quaid and Terrance Howard in Pandorum. He looked at this opportunity as a learning experience. “What I learned from both of them is that they enjoy themselves and they relax. They do not over act. Even if I did not have a scene I would watch them work and study.”
Le expressed his desires to attack both the Chinese and American film markets simultaneously. “There is a famous Chinese director I got to work with named master Wu Ping. He did all the action on Matrix, and Kill Bill. Bruce Le had to go back to China when he could not break into the US. If I can come at it with a dual pronged attack, I will kill two birds with one stone.”
When the discussion changed to Rampage Jackson and his foray into acting, Le was very supportive of his decision. “First thing I want to say is good job, Rampage. These opportunities don’t come up often. People say you can always act but you can’t always fight. I would have to disagree with those opinions. If they come looking to you for these big studio movies your better take it. The studios can always look another direction real fast. People who are critical of him have never been in that situation.”
I chimed in stating that the difference between Cung Le’s acting situations varies from Jackson’s in that Cung was not committed to fight. With Quinton being a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 10, I felt that he should honor his obligation to that fight and then pursue his acting endeavors.
“I definitely agree with you. Also, the relationship between Scott Coker and myself is completely different than the one with Quinton and Dana White. I have open dialogue with Scott Coker. I tell him exactly what I am doing in the entertainment world and how I parlay the media I do get. This way I mention Strikeforce and brand them out there so we can both win.”
The discussion shifted from movies to MMA. When asked how he felt with having to relinquish his belt, Cung stated it was not easy. “That was a very tough decision. I came up from the martial arts world to MMA. Because of MMA I got a ton of fans and Jeremy Bolt is a fan of MMA. Getting my movie meetings was much easier because of MMA.”
“You have not seen the last of Cung Le. Cung Le has a few more fights in him!”
You can listen to Cung Le’s complete interview on The INFO archive. Mike Afromowitz and Noah Thomas were also guests on the show.
By: Eddie Constantine