Cung Le: 'My Next Opponent Is This Movie'
In an exclusive interview with TopGunMMA, Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le announced he is starring in Pandorum with Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. It's a science fiction film about a group of astronauts sent from a dying Earth to try and repopulate on another planet.
Cung was very open about his blossoming movie career and the crossroads he know finds himself in. He talks about his upcoming Tekken film, the praise he has been receiving for his acting and fight scenes, possibly stepping out of fighting for good, more about Pandorum and even a little MMA. Namely, who he would like to fight in the middleweight division.
Check out the interview below:
Franz: First of all, I just want to say that I'm a really big fan. How are things going?
Cung Le: Things are going great. Couldn't be better right now. Just a litte, super busy.
Franz: Are you training full-time?
Cung Le: I train full-time but I just landed a big movie role with Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. It's been pretty exciting for me. I didn't even get the role for my fighting abilities. I actually auditioned and I got it off straight acting.
Franz: Well that's a big accomplishment.
Cung Le: I just landed the role. They just made their offer last Friday and I think as soon as we get with the studio then we're going to basically do a huge press release.
Franz: That sounds really exciting. So this is a lead role?
Cung Le: Lead role, yeah.
Franz: That's a really big accomplishment then. Congratulations.
Cung Le: Thank you. My agents all, ‘We better get you several different coaches to get the right feel for it.' It's definitely a big role, big actors in there.
Franz: Will this be taking second place to your fighting for a while then?
Cung Le: Yeah, this is something big for me. This is a great opportunity. I have two movies that are going to be released. One at the end of this year and one next year with decent sized roles in there. Not huge roles and then all of a sudden this is a huge role. Pays pretty good too. It's comparable to fighting.
Franz: Wow, that's very impressive.
Cung Le: Yeah, and right now we're in talks with John Woo for one of his next projects. I don't know exactly when I will fight again but I make sure I'm staying in shape and just being smart about things. Picking and choosing my projects and also my fights.
Franz: Did you play Marshall Law in the Tekken movie?
Cung Le: Yup, I'm Marshall Law in Tekken.
Franz: Is that in post-production now? Is that all finished up?
Cung Le: That's in post right now. They're editing right now.
Franz: Wow, so you're career's really taking off in the acting end.
Cung Le: The company who produced Tekken, is the company now who's managing me. So far, the two movies that I did had fighting. They were saying that's the best fight scene and they're actually going to send it in to see if that fight scene gets best fight scene of the year. With me and Channing Tatum, who's actually the lead for G.I. Joe now. The other one, Tekken, they said my fight scene with Jin is the best fight scene of the movie.
Franz: That's quite a bit of accolades just like fighting.
Cung Le: Yeah, so I feel like I am at a crossroads. I feel like I still got a couple more good fights in me but at the same time I have to be smart. I'm at a crossroads. I can't stretch myself too thin. I gotta be smart about things. Right now the door is open for Hollywood and it's not like any fighters out there get this kind of opportunity and pass it up because he or she wants to fight.
For me, I've done a lot of fighting and I've done a lot for martial arts. The martial arts community, definitely stepping into MMA but I'm sure if I get taken away for a couple of years or for good, it's all pretty much in God's hands right now.
Franz: Has Strikeforce been supportive?
Cung Le: They're very supportive. They're actually getting ready to put their media machine behind me because for Strikeforce it's going to be a huge marketing tool. It's like, Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le is starring in Pandorum with Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster. Strikeforce middleweight champion is Marshall Law in Tekken.
Franz: That's very impressive. So, this isn't a retirement so to say, this is just a crossroads and you're going to go in one direction for a while.
Cung Le: I just barely started my MMA career. I just got my world-title but right now I feel like I am in the driver seat and I just got to be smart.
Franz: Is there anybody out there that would excite you to fight?
Cung Le: Right now I'm so excited about my role that I really never even thought about it.
Franz: Definitely, I'm surprised to hear about this.
Cung Le: There's a lot of great fighters out there. Of course, there's the great Anderson Silva but that matchup doesn't seem like it's ever going to happen. He's UFC, I'm Strikeforce. In the meantime, my next opponent is this movie. It's an opportunity where I get to carry the action the whole movie and have a lot of acting. Actually, a little pressure for me. It's almost like my first MMA fight. I have a lot of heavy dialogue with Ben Foster even though it's in a different language. It's a lot of facial, a lot of non-verbal communication.
I think it's also huge for MMA. Where MMA is today. All of a sudden athletes coming out doing small pictures with Jet Li and stuff. You're never going to see me in a cage or fight another fighter on the big screen but you can see me fight off some crazy looking alien or cannibals. Saving the day with lead actors Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster.
Franz: Is there anything else you'd like to say? Anyone you'd like to thank?
Cung Le: I just want to thank all the MMA fans out there for all their support.