*Interview* With All Around Badass Olivier Gruner

AR: What an absolute pleasure to have you drop by to chat with me.
Before becoming an action hero, you were genuinely an action hero.. You were in the French special forces, what lead you to join the military?

OG: I always wanted to join the Special forces, the French SEAL was really what made me who I am today, I learnt how to survive in any conditions, any climates, any situations.It was an amazing adventure, from jumping out of airplanes to ski in the alps and coming out of submarines in the middle of the ocean life was challenging but fun.

AR: Did you see any combat while serving?

OG: I got captured in 1979 in Arta (Djibouti)I made the wrong turn the other guys got out, I got caught for over 3 hours then they let me go.

AR: When you left the military you became a full time professional kickboxer. Can you tell me about your journey from leaving the military to becoming a kickboxing champion.

OG: I really was not into fighting, I was really into martial arts, I could not find a shotokan karate instructor as good as the one I started with in the south of france. I switched to kick boxing in Paris with Dominique Valera and Ended up with the French team. What a great adventure being an athlete with an amazing team and coaches.

AR: Did you pick up any Injuries in the ring that are still felt today?

OG: I got few cuts, one above my left eye and one on my lips

AR: Other than kickboxing what other martial arts have you studied?

OG: I started with Judo, shotokan, kickboxing, BJJ, and mixed martial arts.Kapap, knife And sticks fighting As well, I try any martial arts and keep what I like.

AR: Your first break into the industry was in the classic ‘Angel Town’, was it hard transitiong from hitting people in the ring to pulling hits in fight scenes?

OG: Yes it was not easy having the students complaining about getting touched, but we did adapt to what the industry wanted.

AR: After ‘Angel Town’ you went into your most associated role in ‘Nemesis’. What initially attracted you the script?

OG: The company I signed with was for a 5 picture deal, they told me what we will shoot next, Nemesis was really a great opportunity for me to show more than fighting.

AR: What was the shooting schedule for the movie?

OG: My schedule was wake up 3:30 am, cardio, weights and martial arts. Breakfast then 6 am on the set for make up, very demanding schedule, great shoot. Everyday was action day 😀

AR: Were you initially asked back for the sequel?

OG: We wanted to do something different after nemesis and maybe do nemesis number 2 at a later time.

AR: I have to say I loved ‘Savate’, how was working with Isaac Florentine?

OG: Savate, I love westerns, I used to go to the movies with my dad and my brothers and watch Clint Eastwood on the silver screen. Working with issac was great, he is a character we laughed a lot.

AR: Did you always have a hand in the choreography for the fight scenes? your fight scenes etc were way ahead of themselves. The speed and the way they would flow was magnificent

OG: For the fight scenes I wanted to be different then the other guys, we needed some stuntmen that did not mind getting touched with only body shots no head shots.

AR: If you could make a sequel to one of your movies, which one would it be?

OG: Nemesis and Savate


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