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Interview de Nathan Chukueke (page 3)

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Nathan Chukueke (page 3)

It seems you also participated in a film in the USA in 1985 called "The Last Dragon". Could you tell us more about it?

My friend Shawn Dawson, from famous Jean-Michel Basquiat SAMO graffiti team with also Al Diaz, told me about that audition, which was mentioned on the radio. Shawn told me the night before, while I was in the middle of some drinking beers with friends in the east village of New York City. He said the try outs were in the morning. I thanked him, went home, got some sleep and went to the audition. The audition was at a night club early in the morning. I was glad I got there really early, as long lines formed later. My old karate teacher William Oliver was auditioning too. I don't know how much acting experience he had, but the karate form he did was nice. I did a kung fu set, I think it was hung keun form maybe.

You don't see me in the actual movie; I was just another well paid extra (union scale I think). Those other extras were some really tough street guys. One bored guy spent his free time throwing nails into the freaking waiting areas walls. Another guy spent part of two days on the set, baloney scene, playing with a switch blade. I'm surprised he did not cut is fingers off with that thing.

What are your best and your worst memories as an actor or an extra?

Worst memory is getting ripped off on pay. Meeting Shek Kin, the "Enter the Dragon" guy, was nice. It was on the set of a movie called "Midnight Angel". There were also two special women in that film.

German kicker Christine Duhler.

One was a blonde German martial artist named Christine Duhler - I remember we had the same agent, Hung gar master and actor Chiu Chi Ling. The other one was a famous Japanese stunt woman and actress named Dai Do [Nanarland: more widely known as Yukari Ôshima].

Yukari Ôshima, of Chinese and Japanese descent, remains a popular icon of the "Girls With Guns" sub-genre in the 90's Hong Kong film industry. She also did action films in the Philippines under the name of Cynthia Luster.

With the hindsight, what look do you take at your work in the film industry? Did you ever have a keen interest in it?

I would do it again, but would train a lot more and learn more spoken Chinese. You see, in the early movies, no martial arts were needed. Later I needed to work on my control/sharpness of kicks, hand strikes, and throws. Then reaction/timing response to blows was important. I guess if I had worked harder, I could have done better. I would love to see someone do a movie about us and our experiences.

I was in Hong Kong many times and did lots more than the movies. For example, I worked in upscale bars were expatriate went to a lot. There were arts events and networking at the Fringe Club on Hong Kong side, where performing artists presented their work. I even got to meet famous people other than movie stars like Andrew John Ridgeley and the backup Band for Wham on their China tour when they stayed in Hong Kong. The bodyguards for Wham were interesting guys. Deon Estus, the band's bassist, was my main contact and a very righteous brother. We all met after a local club had closed and they wanted to find another place to have a drink. Good times.

That was special time in my life, before the heavy use of cell phones, we had pagers. I got to meet new people all the time. The air in Hong Kong was not too bad, nor the social climate for travelers. Now I hear it's not so easy. Because of Facebook and the Internet in general, it's getting easier to connect with some of those people. Having had those experiences, good and bad, has enriched my life.

What have you been doing since, and what is your occupation now?

I have worked as a stagehand in New York for years when I was younger, mostly lighting. Sometimes I worked at rental company building multi bundles of 2 and 4 AWG cable, then cleaning lighting units. Then works off Broadway a lot as stagehand. Did not do much grip or gaffer work. I did a little camera rental work with a DSR 500 I bought from some of the money from when mom died. My father died also and I never got to meet him. I did contact some half sisters and brother by way of Facebook. Social networking, what a trip. I am a special education teacher in high school setting for now. I also do some computer network work and am trying to do some creative writing.

Nathan in "Boulevard Warriors", a 2013 documentary directed by Rene Carson.

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