An Interview with Harry Mok
Harry Mok began his Hollywood journey over thirty years ago and it is a journey that continues to this day. You don’t stick with something as long as Mok has unless you truly love it and I believe you will get a sense of the level of passion that Mok has for the film industry after you read this interview.
In this interview we talk about Mok’s latest film, Forbidden Power, a sci-fi action thriller where the hero of the film receives sexually transmitted powers. We also talk about an upcoming, star studded, animated project that Mok executive produced. And Harry Mok reminisces about some of the action icons that he has had the pleasure of working with over the years…
CTB: In your latest film, Forbidden Power, you play perhaps the most practical martial arts instructor in movie history, I can’t recall seeing another martial arts sensei who admitted that guns are necessary at times. What can you tell us about your character in Forbidden Power and about your own personal martial arts background?
HM: Great observation, my character is similar to my actual life. No nonsense, keep it real. I have my collection of weapons. My martial arts, I keep with me everywhere I go 24/7. I am 9th degree Black Belt in Kajukembo and studied Choy Lay Fut, Sil Lum and Shotokan.
CTB: Forbidden Power is an interesting hybrid of movie genres… you’ve got action, you’ve got sci-fi and even a little Cinemax After Dark erotica thrown in. What was it about the film that made you want to be a part of it?
HM: Having worked with Paul Kyriazi (the director/writer of Forbidden Power) in various projects and reading his vision for the film, it was a very easy decision to be involved. Paul has great vision, he is an incredible story teller and a great joy to work with.
CTB: The biggest movie you were involved with was Rambo: First Blood Part II. What are your memories from that film and working with a true action icon like Sylvester Stallone?
HM: One of the greatest experiences of my life working on the largest grossing film of 1985. Stallone actually hired me personally and originally I was suppose to double kicks for him. We have remained friends ever since and ironically, Sly is in my film releasing this year entitled Animal Crackers. Animal Crackers is an animated feature starring Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Sly Stallone, Sir Ian McKellen, Danny DeVito, Gilbert Gottfried, Raven Symone, Patrick Warburton, Harvey Fierstein and others.
CTB: Another icon you had the opportunity to work with was Bolo Yeung, a bonafide legend in the martial arts genre. You were in two movies with Bolo, TC-2000 and Tiger Claws II. What was it like working with Bolo and did he have any stories of his time spent in the Hong Kong movie industry?
HM: Well, it was an honor to have been killed by Bolo in TC-2000. Bolo is a great individual that carries himself with an action villain attitude everywhere he goes…. up until the time you can humor him, Bolo has the great smile and laugh. He spoke fondly about Bruce Lee being influential and the doors he opened for so many martial artists around the globe.
CTB: You have been involved in pretty much every aspect of the movie making business over the course of your career. Do you have a preference if you are acting, doing stunt work or working behind the scenes?
HM: I love acting, directing and writing…. oh heck, I just love it all! I love the challenge and all the creative aspects of film making… you’re not truly challenged until you challenge yourself.
CTB: Let’s play a little word association, I’ll throw out the names of some of your co-stars over the years and if you can share your thoughts on them, first up “The Lady Dragon” Cynthia Rothrock…
HM: Oh my, I love her… I was just with Cynthia at the A4M Anti Aging conference with Dr. Bob Goldman. Just absolutely adore her… we worked on Tiger Claws II together and have been friends for decades.
CTB: The entrepreneurial Jalal Merhi…
HM: A truly talented and dedicated film maker/ martial artist. The most sweetheart of a man. I have so much love and respect for him. I hope to involve him with one of my films.
CTB: The legendary James Hong…
HM: Mentor, friend, brother, Godfather, business colleague, what more can I say about this incredible man? His legacy speaks for itself with over 600 films and television roles to his credit. Love this man to no end… He will be starring in my film Lion Dance.
CTB: One of my personal favorites, Matthias Hues…
HM: Truly a gentle giant. One of the most soft spoken antagonist I have ever met. Incredibly talented individual and a menace on film.
CTB: “Mr. Tae Bo” himself, Billy Blanks…
HM: World Champion Martial Artist, fitness guru and yes, the creator of “Tae Bo”. We both enjoyed our fight scene together in Talons of the Eagle and have been friends for decades.
CTB: The first movie you were ever a part of, Ninja Busters, is actually getting a Blu-ray release later this month after being something of a lost film for the past three decades. How did you get involved in Ninja Busters and in the movie business in general?
HM: World renowned martial artist Eric Lee asked me to get involved with his film, Ninja Busters. In doing so, I brought my team with me and we provided the stunts for the show. My martial arts ability is what got me my start in the film industry something I wanted to be a part of ever since I saw my first Bruce Lee movie. Yes, Bruce gave me the martial arts movie fever and I never looked back!
CTB: Thank you Harry for your time and best of luck on all your future projects.