Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cynthia Rothrock Interview! SHE IS BACK! (C) 2012 Dan's Movie Report

Update 2014: Cynthia premieres new Martial Arts Kid Trailer at SDCC!

Follow link to see Cynthia Rothrock live in the Summer of 2012 at a Martial Arts Seminar!

Exclusive!!! (C) 2012 Dan's Movie Report! Danny Shamon!
See Cynthia Live in Detroit on March 24th 2012! Click Link for more information on The Battle For Detroit! Also with Don (The Dragon) Wilson! Battle of Detroit Registration and info!

Above Pic: Jump kick! Cynthia is Back!

The 2012 year of action is officially in high gear! After 8 years I chat with Cynthia Rothrock about her long layoff and her glorious return to film in White Tiger, which begins principal photography on February 2nd! Time for the young bucks to be taught in the ways of The Rock, Cynthia Rothrock! Enough of my noise you all know who she is, on to the interview!

Who are some of your acting and fighting influences? Why do you like them?

When I was young my hero was Jackie Chan.  My martial art teacher Shum Leung would take us to Chinatown every Sunday after class to watch a Kung Fu movie.  I was amazed by Jackie Chan.  I would go home and try to remember all the tricky moves he did and copy them. I just loved how creative he was, where he could take any implement in a room and use it as a weapon.

Above Pic: Cynthia Demonstrating the "Rothrock Sting" at a recent Seminar

Are you looking forward to returning to acting again? Did you miss the layoff?

I am very excited to return to acting.  I did miss it but my life completely changed when I had my daughter.  I wanted to be home with her instead of working on a set.  Most of my films were out of the country so it wasn't something easy to do.  I did Outside the Law when Sky was turning two.  We shot it in Puerto Rico and my mom came with me to watch her.  That worked out great, but when she turned five I couldn't take her out of school to travel with me.  Now she is turning thirteen this summer it is much easier for me to get away, and the invention of facetime really helps.

Do you think the movie business has changed with the rise of immediate
downloads like netfilx?

I don't think it has changed, because they still have to pay Netflix for the right to have the movies downloaded.  The companies make money, and the volume of people watching them is probably larger now.


What current actors or actresses you enjoy watching?

I love watching great actors.  Right now I am in love with "The Artist". I thought that both Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were incredible.  To pull off amazing performances without sound was astounding.  I also love watching Kenneth Branagh who always gives a brilliant performance.

How about the action films, now seems to be a better time to be a
woman in an action film, probably more roles are opening up?

It definitely is a better time right now.  I was hoping Haywire would have done a lot better.  If it did it would have opened more doors for women that can really fight.  I worked with the girls from Charlies Angels, again the show was cancelled.  But at least big studio's are starting to make action movies with women.  When I was doing films it was a hard sell to get into the big pictures.  I still hope someday I can cross that border.  I came close with a TV pilot and a film which was to be shot with Sly Stallone.
How did you get involved in White Tiger? What is the plot about?

George Tam, the line producer of White Tiger contacted me to be in his film.  The plot is Matt Mulins partner is killed in Bangkock, and he goes over seeking revenge.  He teams up with Don Wilson an ex mercenary, who has had a drinking problem to help him.  I play the bad guy (or I should say girl) in this film.  It's only about my 4th time in my career where I am the bad one.  I am looking forward to playing the role.

Dean of Pentagram Pictures told me you are going to be involved with Friday's Child, a horror film, are you looking to branch out to different film genres?

I have always wanted to be in a horror film.  Horror is one of my favorite genres as long as the story is good.  I love the script of Friday's Child, and really hope Dean can get the financing for it.  Plus it's shot in London, one of my favorite cities.  I also just got a script for a Dracula film, which I always wanted to play a vampire.  I may not be a vampire in it, but the vampire hunter.  Still close enough.

If you could change one thing about the movie business today what
would it be and what would you do to alter it?

LOL, to use me in a big budget film or tv show, and prove to the that it could be a success.

How about women in action films, do you feel often they are portrayed
as comic relief and the fighting is not as serious as the guys?

No actually I don't find that when they use women they are the comic relief. 

Above Pic: Classic Rage and Honor Poster


Do you miss the 80s style HK films, full of action, or do you enjoy
today's films more? Why?

I miss the Hong Kong action so much.  Deep in my heart, I know that my Hong Kong films have the best fight scenes in it.  I love doing this kind of action, which is the most challenging for me. I would love to work with Cory Yuen again, now in today's type of films, kind of like a female Jason Statham.

What about up and coming martial arts stars, actors, or actresses you
enjoy, who are they, and what attracted you to their work?

I love Jason Statham, the way he does action and also the story lines of most of his films.  I was surprised to hear he didn't have a martial art background.  I haven't seen Haywire or Columbiana, yet both both trailers look like the female action is quite good.  I also feel Robert Downey Jr. does an excellent job with the fighting in the Sherlock Holmes films. I always said it doesn't matter if it is male or female, good action is good action.

Is there and actor or actress you would love to work with that you had
not had the opportunity to? Who and Why?

Oh there are so many that I would love to work with.  I would like to work with Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Johnny Depp, how cool that would be to be a pirate, or on the flip side do a Disney movie similar to the Rock style.

2012 will be a busy year for Cynthia, any thoughts of going behind the
camera to produce any films or TV shows?

No, I think I will just stick to the acting side of it.  Although I have to say I loved training the girls for Charlies Angels.  Since I know about action, and making it sell as a woman, I felt I had a lot to offer them, as to what makes them look strong.  It's not only the action, but bringing the spirit and look to it as well.  Also being a photographer, I wouldn't mind taking the pictures LOL.

THAT is it for now, more updates from White Tiger as they happen! Cynthia is preparing to begin her journey back to action once again. For more information high kick your browsers to her official site @

Keep reading Dan's Movie Report! Where the action is in 2012! 

Below is the older interview which ran on kungfucinema on 4-18-04! 

INTERVIEW: Cynthia Rothrock, the Lady Dragon
by Danny Shamon (2004.04.18)

For martial arts and action movie fans, actress Cynthia Rothrock needs no introduction. She has graced the cover of every martial arts magazine and has legions of fans on both sides of the Pacific. Cynthia has evolved from an undefeated forms and weapons champion in the early eighties, to a veteran of over 40 feature films. She has more experience than any other American in Hong Kong films, and has worked with legends Sammo Hung, Corey Yuen, Yuen Biao, and Michelle Yeoh. In addition to movies, she played The Fire Elemental Enforcer 2 on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys television series episode "Not Fade Away."

Cynthia is always training and late last year opened up a martial arts school in Studio City , California . She also shares her vast knowledge by conducting seminars nationwide. Cynthia is one of the busiest women in Hollywood with a variety of activities, but still loves to spend time with her friends and fans.

KFC: Yes Madam was your fist feature film, what made you make the transition from martial artist to movie action star?

Cynthia Rothrock: I grew up watching the Jackie Chan movies. I would always fantasize about being a film star like him. I never thought it was a reality, just a dream. At the time, I was on the first professional demonstration, the West Coast Demo team. We were known all around the USA . One day, the then editor of Inside Kung Fu magazine called the team leader and said that a Hong Kong company was looking for a new male to be like Bruce Lee. Since there were a few girls on the team he decided to bring everyone. When I got to the karate school where they were holding auditions, I saw many martial artists that I knew trying for the part. When my name was called I did some forms, weapons, and self defense techniques. After looking at everyone they decided to go with me instead of a guy. When I went over to Hong Kong to do Yes Madam I thought I would be doing one movie only and that would be it. After I finished filming, Sammo Hung asked me to be in another one. After that movie, Shanghai Express (AKA Millionaire's Express), I knew that that was what I wanted do for a living.

KFC: Who was you favorite Hong Kong actor and actress to work with?

CR: My favorite actress in Hong Kong to work with was Michelle Yeoh. We became good friends on the set of Yes Madam. My favorite Hong Kong actor to work with was Yuen Biao. He is so talented and our timing was really close so it made the fights much easier to do when both actors are in sync with each other. At the time he didn't speak English so all we ever said was, "hi" and "bye," and did our scenes together, his in Cantonese, mine in English.

KFC: Working on several Hong Kong productions, how did you get around the language barrier to get your point across on the set?

CR: The language barrier was quite difficult for me at first. Hardly anyone spoke English nor understood it. I had a translator there at first. At first they wanted me to say my lines in Cantonese. Do you know how hard it is to learn this language? Never mind that since it was my first film, I didn't know anyone on the set, and saying lines in English was hard enough. I thought ok; well I'll try to remember the Chinese, even though I didn't know what the translation was. Well, Corey Yuen was the director and he yelled action I just started repeating the first two words over and over again. No one seemed to mind. Well then I panicked and the producer came over to me and said no problem just say, "bull shit" and "goddamn." I eventually learned how to communicate through sign language and then I started to take Cantonese lessons, but I wasn't very good at it. When I would speak I don't think anyone understood. We were trying to understand each other, and Corey was trying to speak English. One day he said go closer on my dialog, and I was up against the actor’s ear until I realized he meant farther away.

KFC: Did you find that the more experience you had, the more a particular director or stunt choreographer would listen to your ideas?

CR: Well in Hong Kong , they knew what I could do and what I thought I couldn't do. Somehow they always got me to do whatever they wanted. I worked with Corey Yuen a lot so his people knew that they could show me anything and I would try it and keep practicing it until I got it down. As I started doing American movies I would change the moves if I didn't like them. The great thing about working on Chinese films is that the action is so good; I never needed to change their ideas.

KFC: What was your favorite fight scene in any of the movies that you have done?

CR: Wow! That is a tough one. I loved all my Hong Kong fight scenes. I guess if I really had to pick one, I would say the rope scene in Lady Reporter (AKA The Blonde Fury). We did a week of fights on the ropes. It was very difficult. The ropes were hard and would burn your legs when you bounced off them. All the bruises were worth it though, because I thought the fight scene was brilliant.

 KFC: Give some insight into you newest film Sci-Fighter. Describe your character The White Dragon.

CR: I really enjoyed acting in Sci-Fighter. I loved playing the White Dragon because she wasn't a person but a video game character. The only other time I got to play a character in costume was in Hercules. I also played Sally, the professor's assistant. He modeled the White Dragon after her so I got to play dual parts which were both enjoyable. We did a bit of wirework which was great. I haven't done wires since I left Hong Kong . My favorite part of the movie was where I ran across a body of water. The White Dragon was good, unlike all the other characters. She wanted to help the Jack character find his son and get out of the video game alive. Fighting to her was easy and fun.

KFC: Although Sci-Fighter didn’t have too much wire work in it; do you think it is overused in action films today?

CR: I think for awhile wirework was overused. I think audiences started getting bored with it so it has ceased. It works in some movies now and then but not all of them. I'm glad they got back to regular strong action.

KFC: What prompted you to open your new teaching facility in Studio City ?

CR: Although I love doing movies I still missed teaching martial arts. I always wanted to open up a school but I couldn't do it alone because of my movie schedule I couldn't be there all the time. I met Charles Mattera from United Studios of Self Defense and decided to partner up with them on a United Studio in Studio City , California . We opened in October, 2003. The address is 12147 Ventura Blvd. , Studio City , CA   91604 . The phone number is 818-980-1809. I chose United because I loved the way they thought [about] the martial arts. They want to make sure that if you are a student you will definitely learn how to protect yourself. I was impressed with the people from United because of their integrity, respect and caring for all the students involved with them. For all the fans of this site, if you live in the area mention that you read this interview and that I invited you to a free private lesson at the studio.

KFC: What future projects do you have in the works; movies, TV, or other events?

CR: I have two movies slated this year. One will be a TV movie with potential to be a TV series and the second is one that I am going to produce with my partner Gerard St. Germain. It will be different than any movie I have ever done before with a strong horror/vampire emphasis. I am very excited about this and we are working on the script at the moment. I am also working with United Schools of Self Defense on a program called Bunkai. It is the first martial art exercise program that helps you burn fat at the same time learn real self defense moves. We should have an infomercial on Bunkai on TV in May.

Danny Shamon is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Kung Fu Cinema. For more information on Cynthia Rothrock and her current projects visit these sites:

1 comment:

  1. Dan,

    This is Michael from Excellent interview! It's good to see Cynthia getting back into film again. I met her once when she was at a comic con in Dallas (or was it San Diego?) once long ago, and she was really gracious and nice. Always a fan!


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