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This interview appears courtesy of Zink Magazine. The issue was called "Dust Particles" and it was Issue2.


It takes all types of people to make up Hollywood, and Johnny Strong is definitely not the normal kind. The Los Angeles native started with television movies and got his break playing a drug addict in The Glimmer Man with Steven Seagal. He worked with Sylvester Stallone in Get Carter and played street racing gang member Leon in The Fast and The Furious. More recently, Strong played Randall Schugart, a Delta Force sniper in the Ridley Scott movie Black Hawk Down.

I recently had the pleasure of discussing everything from movies to martial arts to girls to The A-Team with him. I found him a little on the eccentric side, very ambitious and hard working, even if he wouldn't tell me his age.


What first inspired you to act?
I was coerced into doing a spot on a TV show, a daily show called Hour Magazine. I didn't want to do it at all, and I was convinced into it by the promise of getting a large Chewbacca dog at the time. They told me how much money I would get, and I cried and cried and they said, 'Hey we'll get you a Chewbacca dog.' That got me into it.

How was working with Sylvester Stallone?
That was pretty interesting. He's a lot smaller than I thought. You see him in the movies and you imagine him being this huge guy. But he's a nice guy, fun to work with and cool.

What's been your favorite role to play in a movie?
Probably Randall Schugart. It just was sort of a long time coming. Two years before receiving the script for Black Hawk Down, I watched a History Channel show called A Suicide Mission. There was this segment about these snipers who saved a helicopter pilot and were killed when they went in, and I said to myself, 'That's what I need to do in a movie; I would love to play this part in a film.' I had no idea about the book or anything like that. All of a sudden, two years later, it was meant to happen.

Would you play more military roles in the future?
I sort of do just about anything. If the script is decent and the director has a vision of what they're after - that's the hardest thing to work with, directors who don't have a clear vision of what they're after.

I've asked you actor question, now more about you. Tell me about being a musician.
I play pretty much every instrument, everything from drums, guitar, bass, keyboard, banjo to the violin. I'm also a songwriter and composer. I wanted to write songs and put a band together. But during the making of our second album, the band decided mutually to split up.

What other kinds of things do you like to do?
My favorite is music and creative expression. I do martial arts, Brazilian jiu jitsu and go mountain hiking.

When did you start practicing martial arts?
When I was 7, I took a judo class at the public park and then it just evolved. I saw my first Bruce Lee movie and it was just crazy. I was like 'holy shit.' I got into Bruce Lee and what he was teaching and read his books. Then Ultimate Fighting came out and a friend took me to a jiu jitsu class.

Do you have a girlfriend?
I did have a girlfriend. Right now I'm sort of enjoying being single. I was married for three years to Alex Holden and then I got divorced. We both realized working on our careers was a much better idea.

What do you look for in a girl?
Intelligence for one is pretty big. A beautiful, intelligent, adventurous girl who is as crazy as I am sounds wonderful. I think it's one of those things you can tell when you're looking someone in the face. There's a great line I had in Get Carter that didn't end up in the movie. It said, 'You can tell with people in their eyes, you can see it' and that's what I really look for. You see it in everybody.

What's your favorite Movie?
I really love watching Ultimate Fighting - I like full contact-figting. The Professional and Baracca - you gotta see that. It's like this 'sit down and watch the crazy images' movie. Anything with Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan.

What other actors do you like, besides the obvious Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan?
That's it. Those two guys. That's where I'm going with my career. I'm also a big fan of David Morse. I love actors who are in like 50 to 60 movies who play every range of character. They are the true champs of the industry.

Do you see yourself doing a martial arts movie?
Yes, I'd love to do like tow back flips off a truck, you know?

What do you like to watch on television?
I like watching Dismissed on MTV. It's fuckin' awesome. I watched a guy get knocked out. There are these two guys in the boxing gym - this guy is screwing around and he gets knocked out. I love this new show Combat Missions. I just watch the movie channels and National Geographic. But I'd rather be outside climbing the mountains.

What do you do to stay fit?
Hiking, boxing, jiu jitsu, weights and underwater stuff.

What's the scariest extreme sport you've tried?
BMX. Fighting is pretty extreme. Trying to stay out of trouble with 50 actors in a hotel, that's an extreme sport in itself.

Black Hawk Down was filmed in Morocco. Tell me what that was like.
It was a lot of fun working with Ridley Scott, playing the character I played and working with the Delta advisors - that was amazing. Oh and Camp Morocco - I call it Camp Morocco - that's where we were at, and it kind of sucked. I'm a private guy, you know what I mean? I like to be quiet and do my own thing. I have my house and my dogs. I use to live in an apartment, and I got really stressed out because there were so many people. Bein in a hotel with 50 people you know can be confining. Parts of it were fun, and other parts were like, 'Am I going to kill someone? Oh my goodness!'

How old are you, anyway?
Umm, it's rumored that I'm anywhere between 25 and 35.

Not reporting your age is usually a woman thing.
I just don't like to talk about my age. Brazilian men are like that, like in jiu jitsu. They don't want to tell other fighters how old they are.

You've lived most of your life in L.A., is there anywhere else you want to live?
I'm definitely going to buy an island. You ever see the movie where Harrison Ford builds the house on the island - Mosquito Coast? He goes crazy and builds a house Robinson Crusoe style. That's one of my small goals. You know how Charlie Chaplin would make the movie, star in the movie, and make the music? That's what I want to do. I want to do a lot of things in life.

Anything else?
Yeah, I'm going to start an A-Team. Anybody out there that wants to join, send me your resume. I think the world really needs an A-Team right now. It'll only have like five members. I'll hold the biggest audition in Hollywood since E.T. Remember how the A-Team used to operate? You had to open up the newspaper and look in this secret column.

Any acting projects next?
A film called Blowback. It's a story about a company that hires an employee who's sort of over-the-edge and they have to figure out how to fire him.

Sounds like a comedy.
Kind of, but a dark one. I just received the rewrite of the script - an amazing script. It should be a fatastic psychological thriller. I'll be working on another record with a couple of other people. We'll see.
 
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