If you got the glow reference in the headline or have ever answered “Sho Nuff!” to the question “Who’s the Master?” then chances are you’ve come to appreciate the cult classic that is The Last Dragon. Berry Gordy’s campy, Harlem-set 1985 martial arts musical had a legion of us marveling at the combined radiance of Taimak (as the too-damn-cute buttkicking innocent “Bruce” Leroy Green) and Vanity (his lady love/damsel in distress Laura) — and yes, they both were single-name stars. But we also had a soft spot for little brother Ritchie, played by Leo O’Brien. So news that O’Brien was shot three times on Labor Day was surprising and sad. But then came word that not only was O’Brien fine, somehow that tragedy had led to him and Taimak acting together again. What the what?!
That’s right. Taimak, who’s been acting in New York theater throughout the years, says after he heard about the shooting and reached out to his old friend, he ended up offering him a part in the detective movie he wrote and is currently directing, I’ve Seen Things.
“When Leo answered the phone [two days after the shooting], I was surprised,” said Taimak. “I had visions of him laid up with tubes up his nose. I asked him what he was doing answering the phone and he said, ‘You know me, I’m a ninja.'”
O’Brien was indeed in good spirits when TMZ caught up with him as he left the hospital Sept. 10 and showed off his wounds. And he was excited about working with his old friend when we spoke to them on their way to a rehearsal. “It was a great surprise [to get the job offer],” says O’Brien. “He was always a big brother. It was more a blessing. Gotta turn the negative to the positive.”
Of course, it helps that the two still have the same chemistry we remember from The Last Dragon (O’Brien says he called him “Shrimpfried rice head” just this week), which will be good for a confrontation scene the two have in the movie. But those bullet wounds mean O’Brien will keep it kind of mellow, right?
“Tai says he’s going to take it easy on me,” says O’Brien. “Heck no, I’m not going to be easy on him, though.”
Are you excited for this reunion, PopWatchers?