Malisa, as he received in May 1972, the role of 'Italian Beauty' in the film 'The Way of the Dragon'?
ML: Through my agent. Bruce asked me. He had seen a photograph in a newspaper. They were looking for a young actress, typical Mediterranean beauty willing to undress. A small role, but very important, as it was the only European female role in the film. I went to the appointment without much interest, I had made so many films starring and that little role did not interest me that much. Bruce Lee was a stranger. No one was aware of his American exploits.
What were your first impressions when he met Bruce Lee?
Here comes Malisa ML: In the beginning I thought it was presumptuous. Before him I had to meet twice those involved in the Chinese production. They wanted to be sure I had the right glamor. They told me that Bruce was a big star and was number one in martial arts. Then they told me that Bruce wanted me in his film and, after whispering excitedly decided to get me to meet with him. I assume that their argument was because of my beauty bursting, because, for the first time, there would be an 'image of naked in a film of Bruce, and were afraid that his' image damaged.
- The first time I met him in the Via Veneto to 'Flora hotel where he was staying (Via Veneto is famous for the "sweet life"). I remember it like it was yesterday. When he saw me he looked down shyly. The boldness and charismatic force that emanated from the screen was totally gone seemed helpless. Perhaps he had intimidated my height and my procacità. But I knew he liked me. I looked at him a little 'uncomfortable silence. He smiled as he broke the ice. Then we started to talk like old friends, in broken English, to me quite broken.
Do you remember the funny or extraordinary moments to set?
Malisa Longo and Nora Miao ML: Well, it was a great business partner, a great worker, professional and perfectionist. The film had a big budget and also he being the producer, was attentive to even the slightest thing and, I must say, even spending. And then the Roman program was very dense. Too much! He wanted at all costs to turn in the most historically important places, but to do what he should have asked the various permits, monumental arts, long before stewardships. Therefore, some scenes were filmed without permits, as if we were tourists (even that of the Coliseum) giving a tip to the guardian, (then you could do). I must say that the Italian production, that helped him in the organization was magnificent, the solved all the problems. But he had clear ideas. It was a centralist. He wanted to do and decide everything himself! Of course for giving closer, the small role it was zoomed but then during assembly unfortunately it had to cut it. The sequences were deemed too hot.
- There were dating even out in September Something more than a friendship was born. But he was jealous of his feelings and did not want to create gossip that might harm our image and was afraid of being photographed in affectionate situations. In any case it was in no danger. I was pretty famous, as an emerging actress, but he did it spun anyone. And that little Chinese made no news. Not even a photograph to waste!
Where I am filmed sequences with you and Bruce and how long you worked together in Rome?
Piazza Navona, Rome ML: The sequences were filmed in Rome and around the city. Then the Colosseum (the fight with Chuck Norris), Tivoli, Villa D'Este, and finally my sequences: Piazza Navona and the hotel Flora. Despite the small role, my engagement with him was about three weeks. He always wanted me available.
There are also images of this period?
ML: Unfortunately there are not my photos with Bruce at the time. The only ones I own are those derived from the frames of the film.
Bruce was a great dancer of cha-cha-cha. Is it true that you were dancing together?
ML: It's true it was a great dancer cha cha cha. Once I get involved and we went to the local dance. At a certain point in the evening the disc jockey has put an old dances medley including the samba, rumba and others. I asked him if he wanted to dance but he replied that was wrong. Then I went to dance on the track alone. At one point the medley continued with a cha-cha-cha. It was a dance I knew no good, then I stopped dancing and returned to the table. He got up, took me by the hips and guided me towards the runway teaching me away. It was a pleasant surprise it was very good. He also taught me to appreciate taught the delights of Chinese cuisine. I remember we used to go to eat at the "Jade" restaurant.
When he saw Bruce Lee for the last time?
Bruce and Malisa ML: After the movie never saw him again. After he left I heard him a few times on the phone. By now he had become a big star and was already entering into myth. The following year, shortly before he died, I signed a contract for three action films, copruduzione Italian / Chinese with very important producers of Hong Kong [Shaw Brothers] and it was said that in one of these movies, I would have as a partner the now legendary Bruce. Besides Bruce had worked for them and with that director, early in his career. It was said that would honor an old contract. I should begin immediately after the summer .... but then there was the tragic death .... and everything went to air.
How did he hear of his death?
ML: I was in Rome, informed me by telephone my Chinese friend Yeo Ban Yee. Newspapers in Italy did not give much space to his death. Cinematically was considered a character in the series "B"., Though, for the martial arts he was considered a myth. When I heard of his death I had an uneasy feeling, especially when my friend told me the facts with his haunting version.
What do you think today Bruce and how do you explain the continued interest in his personality?
ML: Bruce is a myth, anywhere, and quite right. More nobody in the world has managed to do what he did. Small man with great strength, external but above all internal. No one is able to create this unique style. No one more than he was able to give siglificato purity to a discipline at times brutal. He has managed to create a legend playing with those "arts", and for mocking fate, are called "Martial Arts" and took him to the death.
Malisa and Bruce (Hotel Flora) After the sucess of 'The Way of the Dragon' She has received more roles than before?
ML: No. That movie had no effect on my career. It 's true, "The Way of the Dragon" [' The Way of the Dragon Awe also The West '] was a great success. Especially after the release of the movie "5 FINGERS OF RAPE" but they were cases related to a genre for fans of action movies. Maybe if I was the star, it would have been different, maybe I would become famous, certainly abroad. Oltrettutto, six months after Bruce's death, I had a serious car accident that had blocked me for a few months.
However I began to work as usual, but the movie I served as curriculum is certain.
Finally, what are your current and future projects?
ML: My current project is to publish my second book "Ali wet," based on a personal experience on the Internet. I'm also finishing a book of poems dedicated to every part of the body, which is called " The Song of the body ". One of these poems, namely "Lips" is already on the network you can read on my website. For the future I have other projects as a writer, and, if it happens a good role, why not ?, also as an actress.
GB: Malisa, thanks for the interview and best wishes for the future!