[Interview] Stuntman Al Leong on ‘Big Trouble in Little China’, ‘Die Hard’, ‘Bill and Ted’
Stuntman Al Leong has played some of the most badass characters in numerous iconic films, from Big Trouble in Little China and Die Hard to Lethal Weapon and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and we recently got the chance to speak to Leong about being a part of these classics, working with John Carpenter, walking off a major film, and, of course, celebrating Halloween.
In our new video interview from Scares That Care Charity Weekend, Leong discussed a few highlights from his illustrious career, and explained how he got into the business of stunt performing almost by accident.
“Actually I wanted to be a rock star,” Leong tells HDN. “I truly wanted to be a rock star, and then my son ended up doing it. Then after that, I wanted to be a motocross guy, but somehow I got stuck doing this. I was a grip for three years behind camera, and I thought I was going to stay there. Then all the sudden I got asked to teach these girls martial arts stuff for a movie. They asked if I knew martial arts. I said, ‘Yes.’ They asked if I’d teach these four girls. I said, ‘Yes I will.’ Then they said, ‘We want you to get in camera with them.’ So that’s the start of getting me in front of camera. Then after that, I end up doing stunts.
“I’m not an actor. This man over here (motions toward Michael Pare) is an actor. I know nothing about acting. All I do is stunts, and that’s all I’m interested in, just doing the fights and everything.”
On working with Carpenter on three different films, including Big Trouble in Little China, They Live, and Escape From L.A., Leong says, “John Carpenter is great. He is unreal, because I like people people, and he’s that type. He’s a real person, and that I like very much.”
On playing Genghis Khan in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Al says, “Again, (it was) a great film working with some great guys, a great director. Everybody was great on that film, and I was happy to work on it.”
Leong also recalled a time he quite a major movie when the director couldn’t stop yelling at him, despite being warned that he’d never work again if he walked off the film, and he discussed actors wanting the credit for doing what a stuntman did and why that’s okay with him.
You can watch our full exclusive new interview with Al Leong, in which we also discuss working on Die Hard, celebrating Halloween, and more, below.
See all of our Scares That Care 2021 coverage here.
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