Bruce Lee’s TV acting career began in 1966, when he landed a part in The Green Hornet. (Watch his thrilling audition here). But it took another five years before he gave his first–and, it turns out, only television interview in English. For 25 minutes in December 1971, the martial arts star sat down with Pierre Berton, a Canadian journalist, in Hong Kong. And their conversation covered a fair amount of ground – Lee’s success starring in Mandarin films …. despite only speaking Cantonese; his difficulty developing a career in a country still hostile toward China; and his work training other Hollywood stars in the martial arts.
Taped in 1971, the interview aired only once, then went missing, and wasn’t found until 1994, when it finally aired again as a TV special called ”Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview’.’ First featured on Open Culture in 2011, the recording is now considered his only surviving on-camera interview and/or his only meaningful interview conducted in English. A somewhat restored version can be viewed on Vimeo here.
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