WKI Magazine Entertainment Article #42 James Pax
WKI Magazine Interview with
"Lightning" from Big Trouble in Little China
WKI MAGAZINE: How did you get into the film industry and what was the first film you worked on?
James Pax: I started as a model at age of 24 working as leading actor in varous commercials such as Old Spice, milk and T&T, I was teaching kung fu to great actors on General Hospital and also taking lessons at Jo Jo Smith dance studio in New York learning Jazz dance and Jeoffrey Ballet school learning ballet. Soon after I was landing roles as the Asia jazz dancer in several MTV. Soon after I was doing big Ad campaign for West Cigarrete & Phillip Morris Cigareet for Germany and for Europe. Till today, i'm still the only Asian Male actor that had done cigarette campaign in Europe.
Then I landed a small roll as assassin in Year of the Dragon with John Lone and Mickey Rourke playing the lead. My claim of fame came when i was offered to play Lightning in Big Trouble in Little China. Till now still millions of fans remember me as Lightning God, which i'm very proud of.
WKI Magazine: How did you get the role of "Lightning" in Big Trouble Little China?
James Pax: I auditioned in New York for John Carpter, I partnered with one of the best Wushiu kung fu master who studied in China, we did a ten minutes long non-stop kung fu exhibiton as a pair and as individual. soon after my agent said I got an offer. But wasn't really the part I want, but the role as Lightning God. I took it and move on to LA. the part I really wanted was Wang Chi, Side kick to Kurt Russell.
WKI Magazine: How did you feel about playing "Lightning" and was there any moments in filming your character that stand out the most to you?
James Pax: I was a little lost in the beginning, because it was new environment for me in LA, but i concentrated on my action role, designing special movement to make Lightning shines. When the movie is finally playing in theater, I saw it for the first time, I was glued to the screen, becauce we shot with no Lightning just with my movement, and yet now the completed version is unreal. The Lightning god suddenly comes alive for me. it was unreal, it was surreal, haha!!!
WKI Magazine: How do you feel about the success of "Big Trouble in Little China"?
James Pax: I was not so happy at first when the US box office didn't do well due to the fact that 20th century Fox didn't put much advertising dollars in to it, as they didn't believe in it enough, they thought the Ghost Buster that came out on the same week would kill Big Trouble because Ghost Buster had more bigger stars. After years passed, I realized there are more, more and more fans building around the world talking about it and made it into a cult movie, Then I was very happy to know that it gets the success it deserved. Big Trouble is one special movie that unlike all others. it stands out like a sore thumb til today. Fast moving, thrill seeking adventure into the underground world of China town in San Francisco. Pork 'Chop express takes the pair into an adventure of mystical China town roller coaster ride I say!
WKI Magazine: I heard you are a fan of Bruce Lee...what sparked your interest in him?
James Pax: Yes, my favorite kung fu action star has always been Bruce. He inspired me to study further on Nunchaku and pursue martial art to its height. I studied Haikido, Taekwando, Kung Fu Wu shiu, Japanese swords and Chinese wushiu with broadsword, spears and staff. etc etc. Bruce is the ultimate Kung Fu star till today. Bruce live forever!
WKI Magazine: How was your experience in the modeling industry? Did you enjoy working with Armani?
James Pax: Yes, as I said I was the first Asian Model working in European market for two cigarette brands. After I ventured into Asia and did several movies in Hong Kong and Japan on TV and movie. Armani invited me to do one of his Winter run way show. Again I became the first Chinese American to be walking on Milan runway for Giorgio Armani. It was great meeting him. I had small feet wearing 42 in size. Armani took off his own white sued shoes for me to wear becauce they coudnot find other shoes to fit me. which became a big news on head Line the next day on newspapaer in Italy.
WKI Magazine: Tell us about your training in Kung Fu?
James Pax: I've been an avid kung fu practictioner for 35 years. Rigorous daily training for 30 years, now I spend more time writing, kind of training my brain to write good novel and scripts , Similar to the way I train my body to do kung fu. But every week I still pick up my nunchaku and practice and run around the park jogging. I had many injuries on my left knee, slowed me down, but i'll get back training again soon. When i'm getting ready to do next action movie. Never give up is my motto in life.
WKI Magazine: Tell us about your role in "The First Emperor"?
James Pax: First Emperor is one of the rare project I worked on. I was proud to be in it becauce I believe a Chinese subject can be done in English instead of just always in Chinese. The success of The first emperor because of its great writing and directing by Nick Young, a wonderful British director. But the fact that it was written in English, makes it easier for audience to follow and to understand the story better. Besides its done in ducumentary style but dramatic style to make the story more gripping to watch.
WKI Magazine: Who has been the biggest inspiration in your acting career?
James Pax: Many great actors such as Marlon Brando, Robert Deniro, James Dean, Morgan Freedman, Al Pacino, and many more inspired my acting. I learned from each one of them of how to charactorize each part with heart and soul and movement.
WKI Magazine: What are your up and coming plans?
James Pax: My up coming plan is to do more acting in Hollywood and may be to play lead in advertising campaign for many more brands, now I can play more matured part, I can play parts from 35-70 now. I enjoy that maturity in mind which I didn't have before. I'm also looking to direct my action feature: Shaolin Warriors 7 (the Earth Justice defenders
Fans can follow me Lightning International Fan chat room: facebook.com/groups/lightningofbigtroublefanschatroom
memorabilia site: hotlipsmall.net enjoy browsing and interact with other fans in the fan club, let the Lighting god keep you safe and spreads good karma around to enrich each one of your life.