It is funny to realize that most of the Hollywood action actors would have taken on completely different career paths if destiny didn’t knock on their doors at a time they were least expecting.
In fact, most of them were accidentally introduced to the cinema industry. Luckily, they were spotted at the right place, at the right time, by the right people.
For instance, Jason Statham was having good times working as a model and a competitive driver with a past as a black market salesman when he was introduced to a director named Guy Ritchie. The rest is a history.
Hugh Jackman was a gym teacher and a professional party clown, Johnny Depp was an averagely performing telemarketer and Brad Pitt was an El Pollo Loco Chicken dancer. The list is long and surprisingly weird.
Introducing Olivier Gruner!
Olivier Gruner, the French-born star, mostly known for his leading role in the direct to video hit “Savate” (1995) was a former Commando marine and a model before he started his acting career as an action hero.
Olivier was born in 1960 in Paris, France. Like many other fellow action actors, he was captivated by the skills of Bruce Lee when he was a child and that is how he decided to start training Karate and later kickbox and boxing.
As an adolescent, he took the plunge and joined the military forces as a Commando marine. In the army, serving mainly in Somalia and Djibouti, he further developed his combat skills.
When he went out of service, Olivier decided to pursuit a professional fighting career. His path was glorious and Gruner proved the ultimate truth- the hard work always pays off. In 1985 he became a World Middleweight Kickboxing champion.
Destiny works in mysterious ways…
One day, while he was working at the Cannes film festival as a security guard, Olivier was advised by a friend to advertise himself by putting a poster presenting him as a world kickboxing championship winner.
By chance, a producing company called “Imperial Entertainment” was looking for young martial arts stars at the festival and that is how Olivier was first spotted by the movie industry.
Working with ”Imperial Entertainment”, Olivier Gruner made his first film “Angel Town” (1990). Being an urban action drama, the flick was a success and is a fantastic funny action movie with plenty of ridiculous scenes.
A few much-acclaimed movies followed and the young martial arts sensation rose to stardom thanks to them.
Some of these movies are Albert Pyun’s action sci-fi flick “Nemesis” (1992), “Savate” (1995), “Automatic” (1995), “Mercenary” (1996), “TNT” (1997) and later “The Circuit” (2002), “The Circuit 2: The Final Punch “ (2002), “Power Elite (2002) and “Sector 4” (2014) where Olivier partners with Eric Roberts.
In 2016 Olivier participated in the “Expendables”-alike funny action movie “Showdown in Manilla”, directed by another legendary name in the b-rated action genre Marc Dacascos.
The movie gathers many famous action stars from the 90’s such as Marc Dacascos, Casper Van Dien, Cynthia Rothrock, the living legend Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Matthias Hues, Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Tia Carrere.
Of course, the low-budget movie was heavily panned by the critics (and there are many reasons why), but it is a hilarious action flick with very laughable scenes.
Being a versatile person, Olivier has also directed several action movies he starred in and another curious fact is that he is a licensed helicopter pilot. On the top of that, he had a short career as a model.
Nowadays he is shooting training videos for kickboxing and he is also establishing his own clothing line.
In the few previous years, the name Olivier Gruner seemed to vanish from the action movie scene but the French-born actor is still shooting funny action movies and plans to stay active as long as he can in both industries-movies and sports.
Olivier Gruner in a Nutshell…
The muscular build actor is known for his spectacular martial arts skills, intense action movies, and irresistible on-screen charisma.
Those who expect another Robert De Niro, Al Pacino or even Ryan Reynolds will be utterly disappointed. It is impossible to find an actor who possesses an equal quantity of martial arts skills and acting capabilities. Especially in the action film genre.
Plus, unlike some of the action stars in the guild like Sylvester Stallone for instance, Olivier Gruner has never taken a single acting lesson in his life.
The true fans know what to expect from a funny action movie-a pure action and a genuine fun.
And that is exactly what Olivier Gruner brings in his films.
Sources: Wikipedia, oliviergruner.com.