TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Jerry Trimble: It was a pleasure to fight Tom Cruise - PHOTOS

04 February 2010 [21:30] - TODAY.AZ
Exclusive interview with former 2-time World Kickboxing Champion, Hollywood actor & stuntman, Jerry Trimble.
Jerry Trimble, as many other martial arts champions was, in his time, inspired by the legendary martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Since then, the future champion was already seeing himself standing in the middle of the ring, with a championship belt around his waist, and lots of cheering fans around. Those visions were to become prophetic…

Trimble enrolled into local martial arts school, and started studying Taekwondo. In only 18 months he became a “black belt”. And after that, it was all glory…

The man was literally pushing himself to the limits, training 6 days a week, 4-6 hours a day.He went on to win two World Championships and officially becoming one of the fastest kickers in the world, (many say the fastest in the history of the sport.) Trimble was definitely the most controversial fighter around.

At the age of twenty-eight, the bad boy of the PKA, Jerry "Golden Boy" Trimble, retired as the two-time World Kickboxing Champion to embark upon a career in the entertainment business. That’s where he still is, in Hollywood, acting, fighting, doing stunts, and enjoying life.

Mr Trimble, after a fantastic fighting career, you decided to break into the movie business. How did it start? How did you get your first part?

After moving to L.A. I got a job as an instructor at one of Chuck Norris’s studio’s in Studio City, Ca. One night after teaching a class, a talent manager approached me and said he wanted to represent me. I signed with him, went on my first two auditions, in the same week and booked lead roles in both films. The first was The Master, with Hong Kong director, Tsui Hark and Jet Li. It was great, i was the lead in my first film and got to do stunts. The dream job.

What was it like working with Jet Li on The Master? Did you two get along well?

We really didn’t say too much to each other, except for a nod here and there.
Jet couldn’t speak English well. There was more going on with the crew than anything else. They were putting dibs on who would win in a fight between us. It was all in fun. Who knows, maybe we’ll dance again sometime.

When you were first starting your martial arts career, you were inspired by Bruce Lee. Were you inspired more by his appearance on the screen and his movies, or his philosophy of fighting?

I guess you can say it was a little bit of everything. When I went to see Chinese connection, I had no idea who Bruce Lee was. It was just another weekend at the movies with my friends. But this time was different. When Bruce Lee came on the screen I was inspired, charged and motivated, all at the same time. Bruce Lee was my new hero. It was great. I found a connection, I was alive and things for me were about to change.

Can't resist to ask you this – how was it like working with Al Pacino on the Heat (1995)? The cast list was absolutely overloaded with stars and familiar faces. How were you treated on the set?

It was a fantastic experience, I was one of Al’s team. To work with Al Pacino, is an actor’s dream. Working with Michael Mann and the rest of the cast was incredible. A dream come true to work with two of my favorite actors, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, not to mention Val Kilmer. I look forward to doing it again sometime.

You did stunt work and a fight scene with Tom Cruise on the set of MI-III. Some sites claim you have said Cruise had great fighting skills for a man unfamiliar to martial arts. Comparing that to your mid 90’s action movies where you play the lead – which did you enjoy doing more?

Tom was a nice guy. Personable. An absolute pleasure to work with. I was impressed at how fast he picked up the fight choreography and executed it with ease and fluidity. But then again, what do you expect, he’s Tom Cruise.

Will we get to see "The Golden Boy" fight on screen again like he did before, or its strictly acting nowadays?

I enjoy doing both, acting and stunts. Currently, I have the best of both worlds working on The Green Hornet. I get to do acting and stunts, as well as working with a brilliant director, Michel Gondry and another superb cast. It’s going to be a hit and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I’m living the dream.

T. Teymur

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