Interview : Jason Scott Lee

Though forever remembered as a young Bruce Lee in the film "Dragon" (1993), Hawaii-based actor Jason Scott Lee is gearing up for one of his best year’s yet. The actor, famous for his action movies, is switching genres, about to star in the horror film "Dracula II: Ascension" and the science fiction sequel "Time Cop 2". CLINT MORRIS gets the lowdown..

Can you tell me how you got into martial arts and why?
The Martial arts, in the sense of the combative arts was introduced to me solely for the training of the film "Dragon". During the process of developing the skill necessary for the part, I became intrigued with the philosophy of Bruce Lee, which led me to want to explore this mindset more thoroughly.

You utltise your martial skills in nearly all your films. What styles do you use?
As I developed through training with Jerry Poteet, it became clear to me that a particular attitude toward simplicity was and is the most difficult strategy to convey in combat. With that said, it cannot be confined to a style, but more a freedom of expression with principles. Whether you are wielding a weapon or empty handed, the only 2 styles that exist is the one utilised for film, and the one that will save your life.

Next year, you’ll be seen in the "Dracula" films and also "TimeCop 2", can you tell me a bit about both experiences?
They were both wonderful experiences!!! I exeptionally enjoyed working with Patrick Lussier, the director of the "Dracula" films. I would love to work on another project with him.

Any pressure on TimeCop 2, because you’ve replaced Van Damme?
None whatsoever

Your most famous part is Bruce Lee, from "Dragon", was he an idol of yours?
Yes

The "Dracula" films are something different for you. Are you a horror fan?
Not in particular, although I like to be scared if watching a movie.

One of your first films was "Back to the Future II" – how was that experience?
That small bit at that time early in my career was a godsend. Good people, good experience, and a nice 2 month pay check.

Congratulations on the success of "Lilo and Stitch". Was it that it was set in Hawaii the reason you opted to do it? and we will see you in the sequel?
I loved it for the fact that I could shape some of the dialogue with the local dialect. To give the film some credibility to the Hawaiian characters in the movie. Yes, I will be doing the sequel.

I read you Trained in Jeet Kune Do with former Bruce Lee student, Jerry Poteet, for the role of "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Surreal experience?
More of a lesson in humility. A lot of hardwork, commitment and dedication.

I’m hearing rumours of a possible "TimeCop" franchise – and possible TV series – would that involve you?
No. The "Timecop" film was a one shot deal for me. Sci-fi was never a real interest for me, but the action was what lured me to the project.

Finally, what’s next for you filmwise?
There’s a few projects floating around as well as a possible venture into directing, so we’ll see what happens next.