bruce lee interview
Center for Sacramento History

Rare interview of Bruce Lee before he became famous emerges

New footage of a young Bruce Lee has emerged on Youtube and it’s great. The footage was taken back in 1966 when he was starring as Kato in the television series “The Green Hornet.” Shot on 16 mm film, Bruce Lee lets his charisma and personality shine through in the interview. The Centre for Sacramento History released the rare footage of celebrity reporter Harry Martin interviewing the young martial arts legend. Lee was only 25 years old at the time when the footage was taken.

Bruce Lee interview
Center for Sacramento History

It’s really cool that Bruce Lee rolls up to the interview riding an old school “Chopper” bike with his name on it. Martin asks him to clarify what Kung Fu is and Lee replies, “Well, Kung Fu is a Chinese form of combat. Arts like Karate and Jiu-Jitsu derive from Kung Fu.”

The two have good chemistry together as they share a laugh together when Martin asks him, “You’re originally from San Francisco?”

“No, originally I’m from Hong Kong,” Bruce says.

“Well close,” Martin jokes as the two hunch over in laughter.

The two talk about his martial arts school in Oakland and Martin asks Lee what’s the difference between Kung Fu and Karate.

Bruce Lee replies, “Well the main difference in my school is more offensive.”

“So it offends you more,” Martin says as the two share a laugh.

“I attack and defend more simultaneously,” Lee says.

And the short 73-second clip ends. Hopefully, the Center for Sacramento History releases more of the Bruce Lee interview because there isn’t much Bruce Lee footage, especially at this age.

The most fascinating part of the interview was the calm almost shy demeanor of Bruce Lee. Normally, he was confident in his other interviews but in this one, he seemed to be just getting used to having cameras in his face.

Bruce Lee passed away only 7 years later at the age of 32. He died of a Cerebral Edema during an ADR session for his movie “Enter the Dragon,” according to his Wikipedia. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see all his ideas come to fruition when he passed, but this year saw one of his ideas come to the small screen. The show “Warrior” based on old Bruce Lee notes just got greenlit for a second season. It’s about a Chinese martial arts expert caught up in the Tong Wars in the 19th century in San Francisco.

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