Posted on Nov 22nd 2016
The baddest of the bad
When I arrived in Hong Kong it was January, 1973, I received my copy of the script and noticed my character’s name was Okata. I told Bruce that wouldn’t work as I am Irish, so the character’s name should be “O'hara”!! Bruce said great, and the O’Hara was born. Then Bruce and I discussed the relationship between our two characters. Bruce and I were great friends who had been training partners for nearly 11 years, so the characters’ relationship needed to be different than the personal relationship between Bruce and I. We determined that O’Hara was quite unlike Bruce’s monk character. We decided that O’Hara would be egotistical, very tough, and nasty. O’Hara, of course, had been responsible for the death of Bruce’s character’s sister. This was the main reason for Bruce’s character going to the competition, as he wanted to punish O’Hara for what he’d done. O’Hara was a thug type character who believed he was invincible, again, to contrast the character that Bruce was portraying. He was an intimidator, which is why he threw a board into the air and punched it, causing Bruces character to utter “Boards don’t hit back”.