He’s Not Interested In Being Kicked Around! / Could
Vallejo’s Currie be the next Jackie Chan?
Richard Freedman, Times- Herald staff writer
Green Hornet was a flash on television, running only
1966-1967. Yet, for then 6-year old Chucky Currie, it
helped shape a lifetime in martial arts.
Lee as Kato”, recalled Currie of high-flying side kick
to the hero. “I will never forget it.”
did’nt hurt that Currie’s downtown-stairs neighbors in a
Chicago apartment complex practiced Tai Chi daily.
“Becoming a martial artist seemed only natural,” said
took classes. And became good. Very good, in fact.
Currie earned a black belt when he was 10 and, at 43, he
is a seventh degree black belt.
I was 14, I competed in my first tournament came in
first,” Currie said. “ I knew that’s what I wanted to
it’s time he said,
not the world- know’s he can do more than just inflict
pain on any unsuspecting attacker.
martial artist is not interested in films. Some are into
teaching, photography or whatever.” Currie said, “ I
want to act.” Yes the valleoan wants to follow in the
likes of Lee, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme and
even Jacky Chan. ”But please, don’t turn him into some
black guy with really fast hands and feet who gets
whupped at the end of every movie.
don’t want to be Jet Li’s punching bag. I want to be a
principle,” Currie said. And I don’t want to be a
has learned the ancient American art of schmoozing,
cozying up with directors on variuos sets when possible.
He has landed cameo parts in “ Oceans 11” with Brad
Pitt, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts and George Clooney, and
“ Rush Hour 2” with Chan and Chris Tucker.
has also gotton inside the show business game as a
bodyguard, protecting Richard Pryor, Prince and
Pryor gave me some great advice for making it in films,”
Currie said. “ He told me that making a million dollars
come with a million friends, enemies and a million
dollars worth of trouble. He also said I didn’t have to
move to Hollywood. That they will find my talent here.”
noting that he had excellent grades in high school and
college drama classes, believes he has the heart and
dedication to make it on the screen.
want to be a successful actor,” he said.” I don’t want
to be just another actor in a action film getting beat
up. I like acting and I like playing a role.”
laughed at he became such a Bruce Lee fan, he still has
dreams of the late martial arts master and actor.
have Bruce Lee flash backs,” Currie said, adding that
when he was 11 when he met Lee and a few years ago stood
at the graves of Lee and his son, Brandon Lee, in
Traveling Chucky Currie show is taken outside of Muggs
at the Ferry Terminal Building where the 5-foot-10,
190-pounder does a few spin kicks for the camera
helps being a black martial artist with acting skills,
Currie said between kicks.
is a stereotype with some people that you have to be
Asian,” he said. “One of my masters even said, “You must
be half Korean.’’’
Currie, If nothing else isn’t bashful. On the set of
“Rush Hour 2,” he struck up a conversation with Chan and
even suggested the two make a movie together.
you don’t take a chance,” Currie said, “you won’t have a
rolling the dice on an acting career and banking on a
self-defense video available online at
Because Currie believes he has acting ability, then he
said he should be acting.
you’re a chief, get into the kitchen,” Currie said.
E-mail J.M. Brown at email@example.com
or call 553-6834.
March 7th, 2003