Bruce Lee hardly needs any introduction. Deemed as the most influential martial artist ever, Lee changed the way Asians were represented in American Cinema. Having watched Bruce Lee films, when one thinks of Bruce Lee, one is usually reminded of his shrill cat-like purring and shirtless fighting posture with sudden attacks made on the opponent. But there are many shades in a person’s personality and several fascinating incidents occur in a person life which we are mostly unaware of.
So, here we are going to take a look into 6 little known amazing facts about the legendary Bruce Lee:
His Own (Terrible Film Genre):
It’s called Bruce-ploitation genre. The name reflects how filmmakers, following the maestro’s death, exploited him image to cash in on really bad films. Having starred in only 5 movies – in leading roles – Bruce Lee died in 1973 (at the age of 32), without completing his last film Game of Death. Lee was such a sensation, especially with his recent death that the filmmakers decided to complete the last film no matter how.
So they used old footage’s, dozens of look alike’s and to attract audiences, they even shamelessly shot Lee’s funeral showing footage’s of his corpse.
Bruce-ploitation continued with the film industry churning out as many as 168 (mostly terrible) movies starring Lee’s look-alike’s calling themselves Bruce Li, Lee Bruce etc. To find out, just how terrible these films were, check out this trailer.
His Moves Were Too Fast For The Camera:
In 1966, when Bruce Lee got casted in The Green Hornet, the cameraman was troubled by the fact that he could hardly see when Lee landed the punch or the kick on his opponent. So he asked Lee to kick and punch slower. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Bruce to perform less efficiently. But I suppose the maestro had later figured out how to master slow punch as well.
Yet the fact remains that Lee could punch faster than the eyes could see. Take a look at these video clips given below.
Here they have slowed down and shown how fast Bruce Lee’s movements actually were. Give particular attention to 1:40.
Once Hollywood Shamelessly Stole His Idea:
During his early days as a struggling actor, Bruce Lee approached a TV studio pitching his idea for a show about a martial artist from China who while wandering in the Old West brings justice to needy residents. His idea was rejected with the reason that the protagonist was ‘too Chinese’ to be liked by the Western audiences.
Few years passed and bang! The same studio came out with a television series called Kung Fu. The producers – Warner Brothers – blatantly refused to pay Lee any credit for the story and denied that the show was based on Lee’s idea. In her memoir Linda Lee Cadwell (Bruce’s wife) had plainly claimed that the Warner Brothers had stolen her husband’s idea.
In 1971 Lee appeared for an interview at The Pierre Berton Show, where Lee states that he is having trouble pitching his concept of a TV show called The Warriors to Warner Brothers and Paramount.
Related Read: 6 Comparisons Between Bollywood And Hollywood
Once Jackie Chan Was Beaten Up By Lee:
You probably know that our ever favorite Jackie Chan had started his career in films as a stuntman and even worked in some of Lee’s movies as a henchman. Even back then Chan, had been quiet the talk of the town with his daring stunts for he had managed to break records like the highest fall ever (from a very high building) in Chinese cinema history.
Coming back to Bruce Lee again, in the film Enter the Dragon, Jackie Chan was playing one of the henchmen and was supposed to attack Lee from behind but instead Bruce ended up smashing Jackie’s face with a staff. You can see it in this video.
The good news is that Jackie got away with only minor injuries and when reminded of the incident, he laughs it off saying he was simply glad to have had a chance to work with the legend.
He Went To America To Stop Fighting:
In the 1950’s, the British-owned communist ruled Hong Kong and it was tough growing up there. The city was overcrowded with homeless paupers who would get into a fight at the slightest of evocation. Once when Bruce was 3 years old he came back with a black eye and insisted on learning karate. His mother agreed and sent him to train under a Kung Fu teacher named Yip Man.
At a very young age, he joined a gang called The Tigers of Junction Street and was known to carry knives and chains with him. But The Tigers of Junction Street were very inefficient and would end up getting beaten up mostly. He was listed by police as one of the most annoying troublemakers of the city.
And although Lee was fierce and fearless, his parents were naturally worried and decide to ship him off to America where, they thought, he would stay away from fighting!
Related Read: 6 Most Dangerous Countries In The World
He Was A Dancing Champion Too:
As surprising as it may sound, Bruce Lee was a pretty good ‘Cha-Cha’ dancer. He was so good that he managed to win the 1958 Cha-Cha Hong Kong Championship. About a year since he had started taking his Kung Fu lessons from Yip Man, he discovered a talent for Cha-Cha dance and had a knack for it. He also learned that dancing improved his fighting skill for he could manage the footwork and balance more efficiently.
Rumors has it that he carried a card with 100 dance steps imprinted on it so that he can flip through them whenever he wanted and practice them whenever he could. And that not all, when Lee came to America with only $100 dollars in his pocket, he soon managed to make a living by giving Cha-Cha classes to rich Americans.
For me it’s never really a surprise to find fantastic unknown facts about great people instead they are a source of inspiration and admiration. So are you aware of any such inspiring facts about the legendary Bruce Lee?