Sad news to report: actor David Carradine has died.
I’d be depressed about this news no matter what, given Carradine’s impressive body of work, which includes the classic TV series, “Kung Fu,” as well as such films as “Death Race 2000,” “Bound for Glory” (where he played Woody Guthrie), “Q: The Winged Serpent” (one of my favorite cult sci-fi/horror flicks), and, most recently, Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” films. But what really hits home is that I actually interviewed Carradine last year, when he was doing the promotional rounds for “Kung Fu Killer,” the miniseries which reunited him with his “Kill Bill” co-star, Daryl Hannah.
When I heard the news, I immediately thought back to these particular comments, which came about after I asked him how much longer he thought he could get away with playing a bad-ass:
Well, it’s almost a vanity of mine that I can still do this stuff when I’m 70. I think I can probably still do it when I’m in my 80s, but we’ll have to see. But I don’t really feel like I’m getting any older. I don’t know what that’s about…but I’m happy about it! I don’t hurt, I don’t much get tired, there doesn’t seem to be much that I can’t still do, and there are even some things that I didn’t used to be able to do that I can do now. I actually seem to be getting stronger, and I have more endurance and everything. I don’t know, I can’t explain it.
Wow, that makes me sad.
It also makes me very skeptical of the current reports that he may have taken his own life. (As of this writing, they’re still unconfirmed.) Suicide would go against not only the things he said during our conversation but, indeed, that he’s said in just about every interview I’ve ever read or seen with the guy. He always seemed to be as inherently spiritual as the character who brought him his greatest fame. I’m sure he’d be at peace with himself at the moment of his passing, but it just feels unlikely to me that he’d opt to be the one who chose that moment.
By the way, I think this is the first time someone I’ve interviewed for Bullz-Eye has died. Let’s hope that, despite our editor-in-chief’s comment when I mentioned this fact, it does not signify the beginning of “the Bullz-Eye curse.”
Rest in peace, grasshopper. At least we’ve got a lot of great work to remember you by…
And, of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer up what’s arguably Carradine’s signature scene within the “Kill Bill” films: