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Interview with Jonathan Isgar, a blunt gweilo
Background & Coming to Hong Kong 2/2 - Page 2
Info
Author(s) : Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 10/1/2010
Type(s) : Interview
 
 Intext Links  
People :
Mike Abbott
Eva Cobo De Garcia
Jeff Falcon
Bruce Fontaine
Ken Goodman
Mark Houghton
Mark King
Dan Mintz
Movies :
Armour Of God II : Operation Condor
 
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Page 1 : Background
 
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Page 3 : Outlaw Brothers


HKCinemagic: Why did you come to Hong Kong?
Jonathan Isgar: I visited HK on a package tour once and knew I would be back, so backpacking through South East Asia, I wasn’t surprised to end up there.
 
HKCinemagic: How did you manage to enter in the local film industry?
Jonathan Isgar: HK was pumping out films and the demand for Gweilo faces was huge. Scouts would come check out the hostels and take Polaroids, that’s what happened with me, next thing I’m a Russian windsurf instructor-cum-spy fighting the infamous Golden Ninja in a public park, star knives hanging off bit of fishing line with fireworks attached, plastic guns and makeshift explosives. What a way to make a living! Bring it on!
 
HKCinemagic: Was your lack of martial arts expertise an obstacle to get parts? Same about the language?
Jonathan Isgar: Ha-ha, there I am looking for a mic. No problem, we dub. And I had a background in gymnastics plus the help of many foreign accomplished fighters, Ken Goodman, Bruce Fontaine, even mad Mark Houghton. These guys where always happy to help you look good, great bunch of blokes.
 
HKCinemagic: How would you describe the way western actors were treated on sets of Hong Kong movies?
Jonathan Isgar: Well, at that age we are all the centre of the universe, the best memories and the most fun was on the really low budget stuff. We didn’t kid ourselves and we all worked as a team, most of the guys had gigs on big budget stuff so these crappy little jobs gave us all the chance to have a say, stunts, dialogue, and most of it, well all of it is done in one take, haaa, it does show doesn’t it? The local stunt guys where good fun too and over the years you all get to know each other. The bigger budget stuff we were a necessary evil and were treated as such, I didn’t get paid for Armour of God 2, what can you do? Then again a big star like Eva Cabo apparently got ripped off as well.
HKCinemagic: Were the parts you got in movies enough for you to make a living?
Jonathan Isgar: Mate, at one time we could be working 2 to 3 jobs, day and night. I made a living out of it for 3 years. I have trades background which is always handy to fall back on.
 
HKCinemagic: During the time you worked in Hong Kong, you were a little group of western actors trying to make their way in the business, people like Vincent Lynn, Bruce Fontaine, Mark Houghton, and Jeff Falcon… How would you describe the atmosphere there was in the group? Do you have good memories of the time you spent all together?
Jonathan Isgar: Good memories, all top blokes, and laugh. Mark Houghton was a crack up to be around and what a tough man, he met Mark King through an advert: "want to fight an American". Ken Goodman had a typical American Humour. Bruce always good for a laugh, wonder if he did manage to keep his hair. Jeff Falcon what an artist, and a nice guy to hang with. We had a few good sessions out at my place on Pengchau, I remember how he wanted to wear a skirt and fight, I thought your bloody mad Jeffo! Mark King you could upset him real easy, but stand back. On day, he put his forearm through a solid wooden door when we where in Morocco, we didn’t push him that far again. I worked with Dan Mintz on that job he taught me to do the Jewish rant and rave cuss, he was really good at it, it was good memories. Big Mike Abbot what a gentleman. I right hooked him once in a scene, he went down. I thought he would rip my head off, he just asked me to go away for a little while. I heard from Mike not long ago, he’s still in HK, has an entertainment business and a fan club for his old work. We all got a big laugh out of Mike.
 
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Page 3 : Outlaw Brothers

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