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Interview de Godfrey Ho (page 5)

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Godfrey Ho (page 5)

Directing Gweilos

What memories do you keep about Alphonse Beni?

Alphonse Beni in all his ninja glory.

The black guy, right? I met him in the Cannes Film Festival. He was a distributor in Cameroon. When he saw our movies, he was “Oh, great, Godfrey!”. “I want to make movies” “you want to make movies? Ok” “but I also want to be the star” “ok, come on!” (laughs). That’s it! Just pay the money, you have your copyrights for Cameroon or for Africa or France, you have your copyrights and it includes you to be the star in the movie. You like that? Cool! That’s how we did Black Ninja. It was so lousy (laughs). But he paid the money, he wanted to be the star, why not? (laughs). That’s the business.

Did he do anything else for IFD?

Just Black Ninja for IFD and then I worked with him for myself. [Godfrey Ho probably refers to a film called “Top Mission”, produced by himself and directed by one “Charles Lee”]

I would like to know the memories you’ve kept of some of the western actors you’ve worked with. The first one is Pierre Tremblay.

Pierre Tremblay in “Princess Madam”

He’s also a dubber. He’s good. He’s quite a guy with humour. Very nice guy, he married a Chinese girl.

John Ladalski.

John Ladalski

in “Diamond Ninja Force”

He’s a little bit of a trouble maker. I met him last year at Hong Kong film market. He’s now staying in Thailand. He has quite a cinematic face but he’s not very professional, he’s quite emotional too. Compared to other American actors, he’s not quite so professional. I think I prefer working with Pierre [Tremblay] rather than John.

Bruce Baron.

Very troublesome. I remember once he wanted to make fun with a cameraman. But he made trouble with him and they wanted to fight with each other. I had to stop them. Because he speaks a little bit of Chinese and he wanted to get acquaintance with the cameraman. At the beginning, it was for fun but he lost temper and the camera crew, a couple of guys, wanted to fight with him. I was “You want to kill him? You want to hurt him? I cannot shoot! Come on, kidding is kidding, joke is not supposed to be taken seriously. Stop that crap”. He’s not the kind of professional actor.

Stuart Smith.

It’s ok, quite good. Quite cooperative.

Richard Harrison.

Richard Harrison, obviously enjoying

himself in “The Ninja Squad”.

Richard is good! A very good guy, a kind of gentleman.

Mike Abbott.

Cop Mike Abbott meets his maker in « Princess Madam »

A kind of rude person. Because he’s quite a strong guy and straightforward, western style. But no complaints for me.

Bruce Fontaine.

Yeah, quite kind. Good personality with good moral. Very cooperative.

Jonathan Isgar.

Jonathan Isgar is... Catman !

Kind of funny guy. I like him too but not too professional, he made movies for fun. Still, he was very cooperative.

Ken Goodman.

So, so. But no complaints for me.

Steve Tartalia.

Steve Tartalia in Robert Tai’s “Trinity goes East”

He’s quite challenging, very active. Because he knew Kung Fu and always wanted to challenge. I was “no, no, don’t challenge anybody, keep Kung Fu for yourself” (laughs). Once, he fought with a British guy.

Mark Houghton, right?

Yeah! And Mark Houghton is a good Hung Gar practitioner and he punched his nose. I asked them: “please guys, don’t do that on set, do it if you want after we have wrapped but not on set, please, please” (laughs). But Mark is a good guy.

Some actors you have worked with and I’m thinking mostly of Richard Harrison and Bruce Baron, have complained about the deal they did here. They signed for one movie and found themselves in ten of them!

Yes, you talk about the ninjas stuff right? Yes, we did by editing. Because they are on a kind of mission so the mission can be in this movie or another one. That’s why the producer asked me if I could do it. I was “Oh, come on”. I didn’t want to do it but as he was the boss… And that’s why Richard Harrison was “Godfrey, you betrayed me!” “come on, it’s not my fault”. I could not control it because my boss forced me to do so. I’m just the middle man. He did the deal with the producer, that’s to him he should complain, not me. But it’s true he signed a contract for maybe 2 to 3 movies and the producer made it the double by editing. It made Richard Harrison really mad. It’s because this kind of boss has no moral. That’s also why I left. He was just looking for short term benefits and didn’t really want to do something good.

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