Almost 40 years after his untimely death, Bruce Lee remains a powerful global force. His unshakable fan phenomenon burns as a wonderful flame like tribute to his legend. Like fans of John Wayne, James Dean or Marilyn Monroe, this passionate love for Lee shows how influential the legendary martial artist and actor was to people from all walks of life. Though arguably, there’s never been an entertainment icon as multi-faceted in his vast cultural influence as Lee. From actors to comedians, rappers and film directors to body builders and now MMA fighters, this dynamic Chinese-American martial artist, writer, actor and philosopher inspired and motivated scores of people to do incredible things.
LL Cool J (Singer & Actor)
This multi-platnium selling rapper and actor credits Bruce Lee with motivating him and inspiring him in his career. LL is known for his amazing rhymes on vinyl and his dynamic acting in movies like “Deep Blue Sea” and co-starring with Chris O’Donnell (Batman Forever) on TV’s crime drama “NCIS: Los Angeles” as Agent Sam Hanna. Of Lee’s influence, LL says, “He really hit pop culture in the solar plexus, with the biggest right hand you could throw. I think we’re all still reeling from it.”
Brett Ratner (Movie Director)
He’s responsible for directing big hit movies like “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “Tower Heist” with Ben Stiller and the “Rush Hour” movies starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Ratner adored Bruce Lee as a young man, and he continues to idolize Lee in terms of his screen presence and memorable cinematic magic. After hearing Lalo Schiffrin’s score for Lee’s 1973 masterpiece “Enter The Dragon”, Ratner vowed he’d one day work with the composer and the director put him to work on his hit movie, “Rush Hour”. Of Lee, Ratner says, “Bruce Lee inspired me and made me dream. He made me realize I wanted to be a film maker.
Margaret Cho (Comedian & Actress)
She’s the bawdy, outspoken Korean American comedian and actress, who before seeing Bruce Lee, really wasn’t sure she could or would become an entertainer. Cho (Drop Dead Diva) marvels at how before Bruce Lee, there were really no Asian role models to aspire to being like in Hollywood. The Asian movie and TV roles before him consisted mainly of servile men and women bouncing around asking about food and household chores. When Lee burst upon the Hollywood scene, Cho and other Asian Americans had a hero to embrace as one of their own, to look up to and admire – one that could inspire them to do great things.
Eddie Griffin (Comedian & Actor)
This versatile actor and comedian compares Bruce Lee to the iconic musician Miles Davis, “Bruce Lee is like Miles Davis with his hands and feet.” Griffin is a big Bruce Lee admirer and he’s starred in a load of big movies including the hilarious “Undercover Brother” – a kind of Austin Powers spoof of spy movies – where he got to show his Lee like fighting style when he battled the bad guys.
This Grammy award winning musician, known mostly for his membership in the rap and hip-hop music group Wu-Tang Clan, is such a devoted Bruce Lee fan, it led him to scoring a major motion picture for director Quentin Tarantino. Rza and Tarantino met on Facebook, and a friendship blossomed over their mutual love for martial arts movies and specifically Bruce Lee. When Tarantino was creating his mega popular “Kill Bill”, he called upon Rza to score the film – the first time for Rza and a real boost for him.