KFMG Podcast S01 Episode 07: Don Niam

Posted in Podcasts by - October 03, 2016
KFMG Podcast S01 Episode 07: Don Niam

“I always liked different things. I was never one to go with the norm.”

We have one of action cinema’s most beloved baddies on the show today: it’s the one and only Stingray from the low budget 1994 Godfrey Ho head-kicker Undefeatable, played by all-round super nice guy Don Niam. As he explains in this extended chat, Don landed the role because of the intensity in his eyes and his long hair. He talks about his experiences making the film which has now become a cult classic, not to mention a viral YouTube sensation. The final fight scene between Don Niam and John Miller has been viewed over 11 million times. On this podcast, he talks about what it was like working with the film’s co-star, Cynthia Rothrock, and the prolific Hong Kong exploitation filmmaker Godfrey Ho, as well as living for three months with future Mortal Kombat star Robin Shou. He is also still trying to figure out why so many people like the film after all these years, and even stop him in the street to tell him so.

We discuss the highs and lows of Don’s journey from teaching kung fu in Akron, Ohio, to relocating to Hollywood in a bid to make it as an actor. Apart from a handful of other film appearances – including the Don “The Dragon” Wilson film, Out for Blood – it is his work as Stingray in Undefeatable which remains his most famous role. Don has led a colourful life and worked in numerous professions including owning a strip club and working as a bodyguard for a Saudi princess. Now 62, he lives in Las Vegas where he works as a personal trainer. He is also teaching kung fu again and working on a treatment for a new film project, so we may see Don Niam on our screens again. This is quite a frank discussion which at times features some bad language, so if you’re bothered by that sort of thing, you have been warned. Keep up to date with Don Niam by visiting his website, donniam.com, and following him on Twitter at @UndefeatableDon.

John Miller, Don Niam and Cynthia Rothrock in Godfrey Ho’s Undefeatable (1994)

Follow Don Niam on Twitter @UndefeatableDon.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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