Rush Hour

So you did start by thinking of action set pieces. In some of the movies there can be a sense that you’re waiting for the next action scene. Did you make action the priority?

Steve: What we did is we didn’t want to do your standard “hey, they’re in an abandoned warehouse and now we’re going to fight the bad guys and they all come from 10 different doors?” It’s like how can we give a fresh spin on that. Most importantly, Blake and I both don’t come from action filmmaking. We both come from where world where this is “oh my God, we’re playing in this sandbox?” For us, it was like: what’s the most fun we can have with our action pieces? Especially once we get into these worlds and into these cases. So the chase across town with the soldiers chasing after them, we’re going across skyscrapers and swinging across ziplines. Let’s have a fight scene inside a school bus. Those are the things we aim for and we’ve got Jeff Wolfe, who’s the most amazing stunt coordinator who brings these things to life in such a phenomenal way.

Blake: I also think we manage to, week to week, find some interesting personal aspect of any given case for one of our two guys. Whether it was something that they had a tie to from their past, or whether it was a person needed to be protected who was a sympathetic character that they felt obligated to put their life on the line for. Within all that action, we also I think found some nice ways to connect the guys personally to it. We got two really talented actors who are able to really sell those moments extremely well.

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Brett Ratner says they’re still developing Rush Hour 4. What would happen if there’s a new movie and the show concurrently?

Bill: That would be great for us. Whatever he wants to do, I’m down.

Blake: The unofficial way that we’ve always looked at it, and I don’t think we would ever address this on the show, is that these are the younger versions of the characters. So there’s no continuity that we would have to balance.

Bill: Then the movie would be a time jump? Is that what you’re saying?

Blake: Yeah, there’s a time machine. It’s in the third episode.

Steve: Yes, I think that if we got Jackie Chan ever to come on the show, it would be the greatest meta weirdest thing. There’s 100 Doctor Whos, right? I doesn’t matter.

The same year Rush Hour came out, CBS had a show I loved called Martial Law. Did that pave the way for being able to do martial arts and action on TV?

Steve: We actually have been stealing stories from Martial Law the entire season.

Blake: He is 100% kidding. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of that show. I just remember Arsenio Hall was on a show with Sammo Hung. That’s the extent of my knowledge.

Steve: You know, there’s actually been a couple of attempts to do a variation of Rush Hour and this actually is Rush Hour. These guys are not those guys in a great and wonderful way. As we learn about John Foo and the sort of physical marvel that he is. There’s a sweetness to Justin. We’re able to push those buttons and sort of operate that. We have something that’s familiar and nice and yet unique and stands on its own and is as warm as engaging as Bill hopes something to be that has that familiarity.

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John Foo speaks better English than Jackie Chan still does, so we do understand the words coming out of his mouth.

Steve: And he’s masking a British accent. That’s the amazing thing about this guy.

So are you playing different culture clashes than the movies were?

Bill: I think the biggest thing is not a lack of understanding each other, the words that people are speaking, as much as it becomes about who they are and how they became the people that they are and how they approach not only law enforcement and their life, but their own personal moral code. The interesting thing that these two guys have done is at the end of the day, I think they grow to love each other because they aren’t that different. They both care about their family. They both care about doing what’s right at any cast.

And the romance with Wendie Malick’s character is something new.

Steve: That’s something that happens because she’s Wendie and there’s this energy that is drawn. I think every male character that comes on our show is somehow caught up in the tractor beam that is the sexuality of Wendie Malick.

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