Written by Jennifer Giresi
07 June 2022

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MY FIRST BIG MOVIE ROLE

The Kai Files

By Kai Greene

 

THE GREENE LIGHT

           

For me personally, the end of 2016 presented me with a hectic, interesting and challenging non-bodybuilding opportunity. Namely, flying to Guizhou, China, to take part in the filming of an awesome big-budget martial arts movie entitled “Crazy Fist.” The role called for me to play a villain who fights the movie’s hero in an arena during the film’s opening sequence. The whole crew of “Crazy Fist” couldn’t have been more accommodating and gracious in the way they welcomed me onboard and treated me the whole time I was out there.

           

This opportunity came about in a very convoluted sort of the way through a really wonderful business associate I had in South Korea. The gentleman has contacts in the Chinese movie business, and it was he who suggested my name for the part in “Crazy Fist.” Before I got to China, I didn’t really know a lot of what was required of me – there were preliminaries to go through, but they didn’t fill in too many dots. I did see the script, which was huge, but most of the information was in Chinese so I didn’t have a real direct insight into the character and what was expected of me.

 

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THE CHINA SYNDROME

           

It turned our to be an awesome experience. By the time I landed in China, I already knew I would be asked to take part in a host of physical stunts. It required that I had to have a certain command and mastery of physical things, merged with acting ability. Quite honestly, I felt a big responsibility and challenge by having to do stuff I had not been professionally trained to do. I had to learn fast and master those skills.

           

It didn’t help that when we landed, I was under the weather and did not want to be there. I probably needed to be in a hospital, not in China. But man, when I got on the set, everything changed. The set included a full temple with a pit of alligators, and it reminded me of the Temple of Doom in “Indiana Jones.” The set brought back memories of the martial arts film “Bloodsport” [made in 1988] that starred Jean-Claude Van Damme. I absolutely loved “Bloodsport” when I first saw it as a teenager.

           

My feeling, at first exposure to the stunning set, was like …“Man, at this point in time, there is nothing else I want to do more than be here right now.” My mindset was, come on, let’s get it on – I’m ready for any challenge you’re going to throw at me.

           

The city where we shot the film was also spectacular. It reminded me so much of Venice, California, with its amazing weather and beautiful palm trees everywhere.

           

It was grueling, demanding project with long, 12-hour shoots. With all the fighting and stunts, I was physically doing a lot of things I’d never been asked to do before. And until I’d done them, I wasn’t sure I was capable of such things. In the end it all went well, and I took great pride and satisfaction in being able to deal with physical disciplines I’d never attempted before. My biggest hope was that most of the material that we actually shot – the more difficult stuff – actually made it through editing.

 

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Women’s Bodybuilding: Saluting Iris, Cory and Bev

 

With the right goals and application, a man or woman can begin to mold another reality in which you create the future you want.

 

“Generation Iron,” released in 2013, centered on the battle for the 2012 Mr. Olympia title and the different personalities giving their all to claim victory. “Generation Iron 2,” released in 2017, takes a much wider view, and really is a snapshot documenting the whole bodybuilding and fitness world at the time. The movie shows how the landscape has evolved and shifted, due to the advent of social media and new figures and personalities that have been produced. One segment stands out for me: an examination of women’s bodybuilding, which was AWOL in the original.

           

I was particularly intrigued and inspired by the scenes we shot with Iris Kyle, 10-time Ms. Olympia – just let that sink in, 10-time Ms. Olympia … wow! Iris, in compelling and candid style, opens the window into women’s bodybuilding, illuminating their struggles – which are much more different than the men’s. We learn of her entry into the sport, how she evolved into the champion she was, what she did to achieve that and what she is doing now. We see her interaction with partner Hidetada Yamagishi and as I look back on our filming, I’m drawn toward Iris’ story.

           

Connecting with Iris made me think of a couple of women bodybuilders whose images I really admired back in the day. I was 10 years old and doing push-ups in a small and dark backroom of an institutional facility. There was a poster of six-time Ms. Olympia Cory Everson standing on her tiptoes doing a lat spread with an Olympia gold medal around her neck. As a pre-pubescent 10-year-old, I looked at that image and thought, damn … if I attain even half her muscle, I’d be satisfied. Inspired by Cory, I set my goal to be much improved in the next year.

           

Then in the early ‘80s, a bodybuilding book called Mass was published and there was a black-and-white photo of Bev Francis helping to illustrate a section on chest training. She was hitting a most muscular, and that crab shot pose stayed in my mind and inspired my gym efforts.

           

Looking at these photos of Cory and Bev, displaying those round and hulking, veiny muscles that I couldn’t even name on an anatomy chart, had a big effect on me. Looking back on those early jump-starts to my career makes me appreciate how far I’ve come on my bodybuilding journey. It’s the understanding that with the right goals and application, a man or woman can begin to mold another reality in which you create the future you want.

 

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Kai Greene’s Redcon1 Stack

Total War® RTD - pre-workout

BIG NOISE® - pre-workout

ISOTOPE® - post-workout

Yohimbine HCL - pre-workout

MED+KIT® - upon waking

BREACH® - intra-workout

 

For more information, visit redcon1.com

 

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Instagram @kaigreene

Twitter @KaiGreene

Facebook @officialkaigreene

trainwithkai.com

YouTube: Kai Greene

 

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