Movies & TV / Columns

411 Talks w/Cynthia Rothrock About Her New Film The Martial Arts Kid

October 28, 2017 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The 411 Interview: Cynthia Rothrock


If you’re a fan of martial arts movies, action flicks, and the various hybrids of both, you no doubt know who Cynthia Rothrock is. She is, without question, a martial arts and action movie legend. She has black belts in multiple martial arts, and she’s been kicking butt onscreen since 1985 all over the world. As of this writing, she has appeared in well over thirty movies, and she’s still rocking it today. Rothrock recently appeared alongside fellow martial arts and action movie legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson in the family action epic The Martial Arts Kid. Ms. Rothrock recently took time out of her busy schedule to talk with this writer about The Martial Arts Kid and her career in general.



Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you get involved with The Martial Arts Kid, and what made you want to do it?

Cynthia Rothrock: James Wilson asked if I would be interested in doing a family film. Being a mom, I said I would love to since it would be something different than anything I’ve done before. I’ve always wanted to do a children’s show or a movie that has a good message for children and is inspirational.

BK: How did you prepare for your The Martial Arts Kid character Cindy?

CR: It was pretty much me, so I didn’t have to prepare too much. I am a mom, was a wife, and a martial arts teacher.


BK: What was it like working with Don “The Dragon” Wilson as a married couple in The Martial Arts Kid?

CR: Don and I have been friends for over thirty years. I consider him to be one of my closest friends. Since we know each other well, been through a lot together, it was easy to play husband and wife.

BK: What’s it like making a sort of family oriented action movie like The Martial Arts Kid as opposed to making a more traditional action movie like Rage and Honor?

CR: I love doing both. I like the hard tough action of Rage and Honor, and I love the sweet message The Martial Arts Kid has for kids to not tolerate bullying.

BK: What’s it like making a movie in Florida?

CR: I love Florida. I want to have a second home there some day. After work you can go to the beach, and the water is warm. The locations were quite beautiful in the film. It is quite hot and you sweat all of the time, and our clothes were sweaty but glad we are going back there for part 2.


BK: How often do you get into seemingly random street brawls with bad guys like Cindy in The Martial Arts Kid?

CR: I have never gotten into a street brawl or any kind of fight. I think once you know how to protect yourself you also know how to avoid dangerous situations.

BK: What would you like to see in a sequel to The Martial Arts Kid?

CR: We are doing the sequel, The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback. It will still have a great message but this time the fights are going to be more serious and brutal.

BK: How has the action genre changed since you started making action movies?

CR: In independent films not much, in high budget films lots of CGI, and stunt doubles.

BK: What is the future of the action hero movie vehicle?

CR: I think the future of the action hero is on the rise. Just look at the success of Wonder Woman. The danger is repeating the same kind of films and not making it better. You don’t want to flood the market with the same old same old stuff. People will become bored and not want to go see the films.

BK: Why aren’t there more female action heroes and more female action hero vehicles?

CR: It’s the same, studios think men sell better than women. Again, not true with the success of Wonder Woman, but then you get a film that doesn’t do well like Atomic Blonde and they go back to saying women in action don’t sell. Many times they use women that can’t fight, and the audience can see that, and it’s not a successful film. No one wants to see bad action, and sometimes producers think if a woman looks great she can sell it on that, not the action, which isn’t true.

BK: You’re probably best known for your heroic roles, but you’ve been a bad guy, too. Do you prefer to play heroes or villains or does it matter?

CR: I prefer heroes but it is more fun to play the villain.

BK: How did you get the role of Valerie in the recently released Death Fighter?

CR: The producer called me to be in it.

BK: Will we ever see a Mercenaries 2?

CR: I don’t think there will be a Mercenaries 2. I got that job at the last minute, actually the day before. The original actress dropped out, I was getting an award at the International Hall of Fame with Arnold, and had to fly back right after and be on set in 8 hours, to start filming. I didn’t even get a chance to study the script till I got on the set.

BK: Who would you like to work with that you haven’t had a chance to work with yet?

CR: I would love to work with Jason Statham, Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh. I love Jason’s action and Colin and Kenneth are two of my favorite actors and directors.

BK: Have you ever considered directing?

CR: No, I haven’t considered directing, only acting and producing.

BK: Any upcoming projects that you can divulge?

CR: Well we are going to shoot The Martial Arts Kid 2 next year, and I am in the process of getting funding for a documentary I want to do on my life. It won’t be your typical one. It will be funny, quirky, entertaining, motivational, and inspiring.


BK: How often do people call you China O’Brien?

CR: Back in the 90’s all the time, then everyone started calling me Lady Dragon and that name stuck with me.


I want to thank Cynthia Rothrock for agreeing to participate in this interview and david j. moore for helping set it up.

Check out Cynthia Rothrock’s official website here

Image 1- from Fanboy Nation Magazine
Image 2- from
Image 3- from The Martial Arts Kid Movie Official Website
Image 4- from Martial Arts
Image 5- from YouTube