Tag Archives: George Miller

Our Lady of Lethal: An Interview with Cynthia Rothrock by Kent Hill

Cynthia Ann Christine Rothrock, is an American martial artist and actress who I first encountered in a little movie called Raging Thunder or No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (part of my beloved Seasonal Films Library). From there I followed her through the China O’Brian and Martial Law movies. It is fortuitous that she shares this triple martial arts action extravaganza with Don “The Dragon” Wilson; the pair having shared the screen in a number of Cynthia credits, including The Martial Arts Kid and its forthcoming sequel.

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Rothrock holds black belt rankings in seven styles of martial arts and was a high level competitor in martial arts before becoming an actress.

It was in her hometown in Northern California in 1983 where she was on the Ernie Reyes’ West Coast Martial Arts Demonstration Team. A Leading Asian Film production company, Golden Harvest, was searching, at this time, in Los Angeles for the next Bruce Lee. Rothrock’s forms and manoeuvres were observed at a demonstration by Golden Harvest and they signed a contract with Cynthia there and then. It was two years (1985) later that she made her first martial arts movie, Yes, Madam (or Police Assassins / In the Line of Duty Part 2) which also starred Michelle Yeoh. Proving to be a box office hit, Cynthia ended up staying in Hong Kong until 1988 doing seven films there.

Rothrock would go on to be one of a handful of western performers who achieved stardom in the Hong Kong film industry, before even achieving success in their own country. Producer Pierre David initiated Rothrock’s move to back to America, offering her a co-starring role with Chad McQueen in Martial Law, Rothrock’s first U.S. production. A ten year successful career in B-grade action movies would follow in movies such as: China O’Brien and China O’Brien 2, Guardian Angel, Honour & Glory, No Retreat, No Surrender 2 and Prince of the Sun amongst a roster of thirty films

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Rothrock appeared in the television film The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion. She was also the inspiration for the video game character Sonya Blade from the game Mortal Kombat, though was given neither credit nor compensation. After the film Sci-Fighter, she retired from acting to teach martial arts at her studio in California. She made her comeback in 2012 with a role in the family film Santa’s Summer House, and in 2014, she starred in the action movie Mercenaries, (the all-female Expendables) alongside Kristanna Loken, Brigitte Nielsen, Vivica A. Fox and Zoë Bell directed by Chris Olen Ray.

Like her contemporaries of the genre, Cynthia is still going strong, busy with slate of movies either in the works or beginning production. She is dynamic, fearsome and as I’m sure Cynthia will tell you herself . . . she isn’t too old to quit kicking ass yet.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7DTnJSX0WQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiE18U7to0M

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Lunch with the Equalizer: A Conversation with Richard Norton by Kent Hill

Richard was a young lad from Melbourne, Australia plagued by asthma who loved martial arts.

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As he grew in skill, he would eventually catch the eye of the legendary Chuck Norris, who extended an invitation to the young Norton to come and train with him. It was while working as a celebrity bodyguard that he finally found his way round to the home of Norris, and from there he was offered a part in The Octagon as the masked ninja, Kyo.

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This would be the first of more than sixty screen appearances for the action film star, stuntman, stunt/fight coordinator/choreographer and martial arts trainer. He has worked on fights for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, joined Suicide Squads, trained Scarlett Johansson  for the Manga turned motion picture Ghost in the Shell. He even braved the heat, dust and high-octane insanity on George Miller’s Fury Road.

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As a respected member of the martial arts community, Norton has remained close friends and has shared the screen with fellow industry luminaries such as Jackie Chan, Don “The Dragon”  Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock.

When I spoke with him, Richard was on his way to train the X-Men for another big screen outing, so there is no sign that the humble 67 year old from Melbourne is slowing down.

Richard Norton is a man who remembers well his origins and what it took to climb the mountain of success, upon which he stands, victorious. It was really cool to chat with him. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

So, here he is folks, the ‘real’ action man . . .  Richard Norton.

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PTS Presents NICK AND FRANK’S BEST OF 2015

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We returned to form with our first new recording together since the newest addition to Nick’s family, and the STAR WARS overload that Frank has been overwhelmed by.  We go over our top ten films of the year, top five directors, actors, actresses, supporting actors, supporting actresses, screenplays, cinematographers, score, ensemble and television shows.  We were both very excited to do this, and we hope you enjoy!

Catching up with The Feral Kid: A chat with Emil Minty

I’m excited to bring you my interview with Emil Minty. Emil was selected at the age of eight to appear in Mad Max 2, aka The Road Warrior, which is highly regarded as one of the greatest action films ever made, and a catalyst and inspiration for many of the post apocalyptic movies, video games and artwork we see today. Emil played The Feral Kid, a wild little guy who was never taught a language and functions almost like an animal, proving to be a great asset and help to Max in his quest. Enjoy

Nate: How did it come about that you auditioned, and got the role? You were very young so I’m assuming your parents submitted you. Do you remember much about that day? Was George Miller there?

Emil: I was around 8 years old and my sister was in an acting agency already and she suggested to my parents that I also join to make some pocket money.

Well they signed me up and i was lucky to get a lemonade commercial soon after I had joined.

I then had an audition for Mad Max 2, I don’t remember Who was there at the time but do know that We were not told it was for a movie called MM 2 until later on closer to starting production.

The audition process had got down from a number of kids to a few and we were asked by George Milker to come up with a story of how we became this wild kid in the wasteland.

My father helped me with my backstory and it was basically this:

My parents and I were flying in a plane and ran out of Fuel. My father left to find find fuel or help and did not return. My mother then left me and said she would find my father or help, but she also never returned and I was left alone in the wasteland to defend for myself.
Nate: Very cool! That adds quite another dimension to the role! Your performance is uncannily good, along with Max I’d say the best in the film. Your intuitive portrayal of a wild child was very convincing and believable. Did you receive any training whatsoever before that time, how did your process work to so that? Were you coached on set?
Emil: My mother was with me on set in Broken Hill for the duration of filming and she was always helping me get ready before each day and scene by making sure I was calm and focused on what I was told to do.

George would obviously tell me what I was to do in a particular scene and he was basically my coach throughout filming and getting me to do what he wanted out of my character.

I do remember Sandy Gore, George’s wife at the time was also on set and she would coach me also, and I recall her being there the day of the truck rollover and coaching me on being emotionally upset and hurt when Max carried me out of the wreckage and sits me on the tyre.
Nate: The stunts: you climbing out onto the hood of the careening vehicle looked scarily authentic. How did that work? We’re there safety concerns because you were so you ge?  What are your memories of that rigorous experience?
Emil: In preparation for the stunt where I was on the bonnet of the truck, I recall going to someone’s house or work place in Broken Hill to get sized up and fitted for a harness to wear, I have a vague memory it was a leather harness.

I was attached to I think a cable of some sort that was held by a guy inside the cabin of the truck while I was out on the bonnet.
The truck for some parts was stationary and the crew used blocks and bars for leverage to shake the truck around to make it look like it was moving along the bumpy road.

Other times it was moving but I think only about 30kms give or take. I don’t remember being scared doing this or any of my other stunts.

By the way for the record the only stunt I didn’t do was the back flip, this was done by a local girl in town she was a gymnast.
I do recall the long nights, early mornings and very cold conditions out on location in Broken Hill and I actually got very sick at one stage almost getting pneumonia.

It was also really windy and dusty out on set.
Nate: After Mad Max, you went on to do some other films, as well as commercials, before moving on to other paths in life. Was acting something you really enjoyed and ever pictured doing long term, or did you also know you might end up doing something else?

Emil: I did a few short films after mad max 2 and enjoyed acting and being on a set and at various locations very much, I was doing something I enjoyed and seeing different places and getting treated very well by everyone involved in many productions.

I was still acting while I started working with my brothers mate, a friend of the family as an apprentice jeweller and acting just started to slow down and I just got more interested in having a secure job and getting a trade.

So I just sort of faded out of the movie and television industry and I still work in the jewellery industry and for the same person today 25 years on.
Nate: What are some films that you really enjoy?
Emil: I like all sorts of films so there’s not really any specific genre I like the best, but if I had to choose it would be action films.
One movie does stand out as my all time favourite and that would be THE BOONDOCK SAINTS, the first one as the sequel didn’t do much for me. This would be my favourite film as I can watch it over and over and it still gives me goose bumps when I watch certain scenes especially the music, it draws me into the film like I’m there.

As far as television shows then generally like Australian series that are family and real life drama orientated, of the top of my head like PACKED TO THE RAFTERS, SEA PATROL, POLICE RESCUE and my favourite has been all of the UNDERBELLY series.

Currently a series I love and watch with the family is a show I could not stand once upon a time but now actually watch it religiously is HOME AND AWAY, it’s something we watch as a family so I guess that’s why it has become routine and enjoyable.
Nate: Excellent choice! The Boondocks Saints is one of my favourites as well. So what is life like now for you?
Emil: Life these days for me I guess is just normal like everyone else, always busy working and doing things with the family.

I love the life I have had doing films and meeting the people I have and experiences gained and would not change it for the world nor would I change anything now.

I am currently in the process of building a new family home so this is pretty exciting and feel blessed to have a wonderful wife and kids to complete my life.

I have just purchased a 1973 Ford XA 2 door coupe and I am in the process of building a replica Mad Max Interceptor, so this is a pretty cool time as well and can’t wait to drive it around….so watch out for me on the road lol.

Nate: Sounds awesome! Thanks so much again for your time Emil, and for speaking with me, it means a lot.

Episode 6 Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, GEORGE MILLER’S MAD MAX FURY ROAD and Top Five Colin Farrell and Jodie Foster

Hey everyone, we’re excited to post Episode 6.  We discuss Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT as well as George Miller’s MAD MAX FURY ROAD and our top five performances of Colin Farrell and Jodie Foster.

Enjoy!