Cung Le Interview – After Pandorum I Will Be Back In The Cage
By Dave Carpinello
Now former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le recently talked with PDG about the release of his upcoming movie Pandorum, returning to mixed martial arts and having his own action figure.
PDG: Let’s start with your new movie, Pandorum that hits theaters nationwide tomorrow. Can you give us some background information on the movie and the role that you play in it?
Cung Le: The movie stars Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. It is about a ship that is the size of a small city that is traveling from Earth to another planet that can supposedly support life. Because of the length of the trip, all of the crew are put into sleep chambers for the duration of the flight. Different crews on the ship take turns waking up every so many years to make sure that the ship is still in working order and on the right track to its destination. A couple of the crew members including the character played by Ben Foster awake to find out that they have been asleep for hundreds of years. My character joins up with his and we begin exploring the ship to find out what went wrong and to get it restarted by turning on the reactor.
PDG: So you are one of the good guys?
Cung Le: Yes I am one of the good guys and along the way there are many twists and turns in the story of the movie. It is a very suspenseful movie as we have to find other crew members to help us fight the villains. Pandorum is a sci-fi action movie that has a little bit of everything which is why the film is rated R.
PDG: How big of a part you play in the movie?
Cung Le: I play the role of Manh, who is an agricultural specialist and my part in the movie begins shortly after the initial storytelling. Every character on the ship has some type of specialty and I can only compare it to almost a Noah’s Ark lightship.
PDG: What was the best part about making the movie?
Cung Le: Having the chance to work with such talented actors and the rest of the film crew including the director Christian Alvart was the best part. Even though the movie went over budget, everyone was committed to the project and I think that that will be evident to the audience when they see the film. It was really a great accomplishment for me to be in a studio film and part of such a great craft.
PDG: With everything going on in your life including the movies and other projects; you recently made the decision to give up your Strikeforce middleweight championship belt.
Cung Le: I gave up the belt out of respect for the other fighters in the Strikeforce middleweight division because it is not fair to them to have to wait for me to get their title shot. It has been nearly 18 months since I last fought and so I decided to take a step back so that somebody else would have the opportunity to become champion. By no means does this mean that I am retiring and I plan on coming back and retaking the belt.
PDG: Scott Coker has always seemed like a pretty reasonable boss; how did the whole process go between the two of you when the decision was made?
Cung Le: Scott and I have always had a very open line of communication and we have been in constant contact throughout the whole process of me working on this film. So because we have a strong business relationship it was really easy for the two of us to sit down and make this decision.
PDG: When you do return, are you planning on fighting the winner of the Jake Shields and Jason “Mayhem” Miller title fight which is scheduled for November 7th?
Cung Le: I plan on returning early next year and taking on a couple of three round fights since it will be almost 2 years then since I have fought. Before I try to fight anyone for the title, I am going to need to see where I am at and what skills I need to improve on. Ultimately it will be up to Scott Coker and the promotion to determine who I fight and when I fight in order to make sure that entertaining fights are available for the fans.
PDG: So what kind of training schedule are you currently on?
Cung Le: I am always training but I am not currently in fight shape. Training is part of my lifestyle and regardless of whatever else I’m doing there will always be time to train. I am basically just on a much smaller scaled back training regimen than I would be if I was still fighting full time.
PDG: Looking back do you think that you will have any regrets about taking so much time off from fighting to pursue other endeavors?
Cung Le: Absolutely not. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me and I’m sure that if other fighters had the same opportunity that they would be doing the same thing that I am. I have no regrets and the last time I fought, I fought my heart out against Frank Shamrock and I won the belt. I would love to still be fighting and defending my belt but these opportunities don’t come around very often. People tell me that you can always do movies but I have to disagree with them because if that was the case everybody would be doing movies and nobody would be fighting. When you’re hot your hot and you have to strike when the iron is hot. I am sure people will enjoy this movie and that will lead to even bigger opportunities for my acting career. I also think this film will create an opportunity for sci-fi fans to get more acquainted with the world of mixed martial arts.
PDG: Another project you were recently involved in was with Round 5; your world of MMA figurine was recently released. What is it like to have a figurine of yourself sitting on store shelves?
Cung Le: I’ve not yet had a chance to go to Wal-Mart to see it but I have ordered plenty of them and I am just waiting to receive them. It is a pretty amazing feeling to have your own action figure and the fact that mine was also created with the limited edition makes it even sweeter. The fact that I was able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time in mixed martial arts is great. Although I have been competing in various forms of martial arts since 1994, I have only been in mixed martial arts for a couple of years. So I want to say thanks to all the fans and I hope they go to see the movie Pandorum and that they genuinely enjoy the experience.
PDG: I appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing the movie; is there anything else you wanted to add?
Cung Le: I want to thank all of the fans and my sponsors ADX, Knoxx, Silver and Throwdown for there continued support.
Post your comments directly below! You can also discuss the latest MMA and Video Game News in the PunchDrunkGamer Forums and don’t forget to Follow PDG on Twitter @PunchDrunkGamer and Like the PDG Official Facebook Page!