Taimak Guarriello*For those of you movie heads who remember the cult classic “The Last Dragon,” you might have wondered what happened to Taimak Guarriello aka Bruce Leroy.

Guarriello’s character left a lasting impression on many of us as Bruce Leroy was such a memorable role for the actor. He was able has been able to blend his two loves and skills, acting and personal training, to cultivate a career path that involves both performing and his martial arts expertise.

The 49-year-old actor sat down with JET magazine to talk about his career, his inspirations and what’s up next for him.

JET: Your first name is unique. What is its origin?

TAIMAK GUARRIELLO: I’m Black and Italian, but the name Taimak comes from the Aztec culture. “Teimoc” means striking eagle.

JET: When did you first start studying martial arts and which ones are you skilled in?

TG: I started in Japanese Goju karate when I was 6. I’ve since studied a number of styles including boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Kung Fu, Chinese Goju and Brazilian jujitsu.

JET: How often do you train?

TG: Five days a week at Marcelo Garcia’s Academy in New York City.

JET: Are you more passionate about filmmaking or martial arts?

TG: It depends on the context. I love them both equally. Acting and directing can be natural and organic but it’s a business and can be political. With martial arts, what you put in is what you get out.

JET: There have been rumors for years about a possible sequel to The Last Dragon. How real is that rumor on a scale of 1 to 10?

TG: Five. I don’t own the rights to the movie, Sony does. Although I’ve spoken to Sony, it’s still up in the air. Actually, I believe the fans would be the best route to help bring that idea alive.

For more go JET magazine.

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