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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Gerald Okamura

Updated: Jul 1

Gerald Okamura

As the more astute among you will recall, Black Belt ran a piece in its December 2018/January 2019 issue titled “8 Things You Didn’t Know About James Lew” right after he won an Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination in a Drama Series for Netflix’s Luke Cage. Within the article, Lew’s longtime kung fu buddy and perennial Hollywood bad guy Gerald Okamura chimed in with a little good-natured trash talking. At least, we hope it was good-natured — either way, readers loved it.

WELL, THE TIME HAS COME, Okamura informs us, for the “Hard Master” to have his say. Okamura figures that if a whippersnapper like Lew can dazzle Black Belt’s readers with eight things they presumably didn’t know about him, he can certainly do the same. Actually, Okamura bets there are nine things you didn’t know about him. So brace yourselves, gentle readers. The road gets bumpy from here. 

KUNG FU COWBOY: Although he has more than 91 film and television credits to his name, having appeared in everything from the original Kung Fu series (1972) to Blade (1998) to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), Okamura’s most iconic role — the one he gets recognized for most often — is as the pistol-packing Wing Kong tong hatchet man in 1986’s Big Trouble in Little China. The choice of a pair of gold-plated six-shooters was a bit of a surprise, even for him. 

“I went into the audition with all these crazy, exotic kung fu weapons — I’m kind of known for that — and then I get the call that I got the job,” he recalls. “So when I show up, they go, ‘Here’s your weapons,’ and hand me a couple of gold cowboy guns. I was shocked!”

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