KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 25: Diana Lee Inosanto

Posted in Podcasts by - March 19, 2018
KFMG Podcast S03 Episode 25: Diana Lee Inosanto

On being a stunt performer: “It’s like being a football player and a ballerina in one. You have to be tough to take the hits, but you also have to understand choreography and timing.”

Actor, stunt performer, filmmaker, teacher, activist – there’s a lot more to Diana Lee Inosanto than just being the daughter of legendary Filipino-American martial artist Dan Inosanto, not to mention the goddaughter of the iconic Bruce Lee. Despite being only seven when the martial arts star passed away, she still has fond memories of “Uncle Bruce” and the Lee family, with whom she is still very close. Along with her husband – the actor and martial artist Ron Balicki – she has continued to teach the philosophy and martial arts of her father, and is currently working on bringing his life story to the big screen. In 2017, it was announced that veteran Hollywood producer Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan), would be working with Diana to tell the story of Dan Inosanto’s secret training regime with Dr Bob Ward and the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s. Their adoption of martial arts techniques was seen as the catalyst for eventually winning the Super Bowl in 1978.

In this candid conversation, Diana speaks of developing her own interest and appreciation of the martial arts, as well as her journey into Hollywood as an actor and stunt performer. Her credits include the hit TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Walker, Texas Ranger, and films including Face/Off, Blade and Wild Wild West. We also discuss her directorial debut, the 2008 independent action drama, The Sensei, plus her work as a fight trainer for actors including Aaron Eckhart and Melissa McCarthy (for Paul Feig’s hit 2015 comedy, Spy). We also talk about sexual harassment and abuse in the movie business, highlighted by the Me Too movement and the many high-profile claims against leading figures in the industry. Diana speaks of her own experiences of sexual harassment on film sets and how the industry can use this breakthrough moment to make positive changes moving forward. Keep up-to-date with the latest Diana Lee Inosanto news by following her on Twitter.

Diana Lee Inosanto as a child with her mother, Sue Ann Reveal, and their family friends, Linda and Bruce Lee.

Diana Lee Inosanto as a child with her mother, Sue Ann Reveal, and their family friends, Linda and Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, with Diana Lee Inosanto at the Celebrating Bruce Lee event on 15 November 2015 in Los Angeles.

Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, with Diana Lee Inosanto at the Celebrating Bruce Lee event on 15 November 2015 in Los Angeles.

Diana Lee Inosanto with her husband - the martial artist and stunt performer, Ron Balicki. Photo by Kevin Travis.

Diana Lee Inosanto with her husband – the martial artist and stunt performer, Ron Balicki. Photo by Kevin Travis.

Diana Lee Inosanto with Melissa McCarthy in rehearsals for Spy (2015).

Diana Lee Inosanto with Melissa McCarthy in rehearsals for Spy (2015).

Diana Lee Inosanto on the set of The Sensei (2008).

Diana Lee Inosanto on the set of The Sensei (2008).

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Hi there. I'm the editor of Kung Fu Movie Guide. Be sure to visit regularly for the latest analysis, interviews, profiles, podcasts and reviews on martial arts movies made around the world.

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