Actor Rich Ting's Past Makes Him A Perfect Cast For Show 'Warrior'
Actor Rich Ting plays the role of his childhood hero Bolo Yeung in the 2019 Cinemax television adaptation of Bruce Lee's Warrior.
Ting has since gone on-record multiple times to talk about what inspired him to take up this persona and how everything he did after his toddler years prepared him for this role.
Rich Ting is a Chinese Mobster, Bolo, on 'Warrior'
In the Cinemax show, initially written by the legendary Bruce Lee, Rich Ting adopts the persona of a Chinese mobster from 19th century Chinatown.
If you didn't know already, in the 19th century, when Chinese immigrants were finding their way to the US in waves, the Chinatown in San Fransisco was home to a lot of gang violence.
And now the show's screenplay is set in a similar time frame, where, unlike today, bloody turf wars and sounds of gunfire in Chinatown were as common as seeing the moon in the sky. Amidst that constant turmoil, Ting's character, Bolo Yeung, is a central figure in the plot.
Ting Rich has Always Been a 'Bolo'
Interestingly, Ting considers himself lucky to be a part of Bruce Lee's vision. Even more so because the character he plays onscreen, Bolo, reflects his early days in some way.
The actor drew a lot of inspiration form the martial arts legend Bruce Lee since he was a toddler. This impression of his idol was so strong that it moved Ting to take up martial arts training in taekwondo at the age of four. It was around the same time that he was first introduced to the Bolo Yeung - a martial artist and film actor - through Bruce Lee's film Return of the Dragon.
Coincidentally, Ting was often affectionately and sometimes teasingly called Bolo since he was bigger than many kids his age, one of the key features of the Bolo.
The name-calling extended even when he studied at Yale University. Being a multi-sport athlete, he had taken up football. And, his time on the field reminded his fellow athletes of the real Bolo's persona from the 1988 hit Bloodsport. After all, he was the only Asian athlete competing in his division and usually the biggest Asian most footballers had seen.
He reminisced the memory in an exclusive with MEAWW in 2019.
Being the only Asian football player, I think, in the country at the division one level when I was playing between 1998 - 2002 and also the biggest ... naturally, people started calling me Chong Li [Bolo Yeung from Bloodsport] because I was not only the only Asian football player a lot of my teammates had ever played with but I was the biggest Asian person they had seen, muscle-wise and athletic-wise.
Not only the co-incident that he was called "Bolo' from a very young age, but Ting's upbringing in San Fransisco also prepared him for the role of the Warrior. He lives just streets away from the Chinatown, and it gave him a peek into what the gang scene could have been like two centuries ago.
So, in a nutshell, Ting's entire life seems to have been preparing him to play a pivotal role in fulfilling his hero, Bruce Lee's vision.