Interview by Christopher Evans

Ruice Mori from Tokyo Japan, who started out as a child actress, but found an international break out role as the aptly titled ” Insane Nunchuku” in Reiki Tsuno’s smash hit action comedy movie Mad Cats (2023) , and gained a dedicated fan following due to her smash hit YouTube videos  , which focus on faithful frame by frame re-creation of movie film scenes alongside her equally talented mother.

The videos which have a view count well into the hundreds of thousands, feature scenes as diverse as Bruce Lee’s Way Of The Dragon (1972), Chow Yun Fat’s shoot out in A Better Tomorrow Part 2 (1987), The Shining (1980) and the seen to believed, Back To The Future (1985).

 Like her idol and inspiration Bruce Lee, Ruice Mori does not stick to one specific style or visual medium and frequently works as an artist in multiple mediums. Incorporating work as an actress on both TV and movies in Japan and showcasing her amazing Nunchuck stunt tricks and martial arts. Ruice is also a filmmaker and enjoys crafting films the most and turns her hand to almost any genre. Her passion and dedication to the craft of film making from all aspects emanates from her every pore  (or should that be paw..).

Ruice took time out from the set of her latest movie project to discuss her film career so far and her aspirations for the future, and what it is like to be a female actress in Japan.

EFF: Thank you very much Ruice for taking time out from your busy schedule to answer some questions.

Many people around the world know you from your role as “Insane Nunchaku” in the action movie Mad Cats (2023) directed by Reiki Tsuno, and from your YouTube videos in which you co-star with your mother to recreate scenes from the movie scene by scene. Please introduce yourself. What inspired you to start martial arts, what style do you specialize in, and have you been a movie fan since you were a child?

Ruice Mori: Thank you very much for having me on Eastern Film fans, I am indeed extremely honoured.

 I am very excited to answer your questions and say a big “konnichiwa” my fans from all over the world!

To introduce myself, I am an actress, film maker, and of course a nunchaku stunt girl !

I have been an actress since I was a child here in Japan, I mainly appeared in family rated movies and Television programmes on NHK Tv. In my spare time it is my hobby to create and post videos of movie reenactments on my YouTube channel with my beloved mother.

When I was in the second year of junior high school, I came across a Bruce Lee movie known in many places by the title Fist of Fury (1972), which prompted me to learn Bruce Lee’s own style creation known as Jeet Kune Do. After training, I mastered the nunchaku and am now active as a “Nunchaku Girl” which involves doing tricks and stunts using my nunchukus either in films or live performances.

I made my debut as a child actor in 2007, so I’ve been exposed to both sides of the camera for such a long time and it was my education growing up.  My favourite directors are the old school masters, such as Stanley Kubrick, Jean-Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Some of the films can be heavy going entertainment, I know (laughs), but I have learned many things from their movies, and my imagination is always in full of inspiration when I watch their films. If I am stuck with ideas I think ..”what would these film maestros do in my position?” , and I am never disappointed with the outcome that arrives to my mind (affirmation laugh)

EFF: Bruce Lee has had a big influence on your work. How did you discover his films? Also, is there anyone who has influenced you in terms of acting?

Ruice Mori: When I was 14 years old and watching a lot of movies to study acting, I came across “Fist of Fury (1972).” When I saw the last scene, I was shocked and thought, “There’s no actor who’s is as good as this!” and I fell in love with him and his films. Therefore, Bruce Lee is the ONLY one who influenced me in terms of acting. He will always be number one in my eyes and there are no worthy successors!!

EFF: What was the inspiration for the scene-by-scene recreation? What was the first movie scene you recreated for your YouTube channel? What is your general planning process when creating videos for your channel?

Ruice Mori: After a fan gave me a tracksuit, I filmed the Dan Inosanto fight scene from “Game of Death” at home. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I offered my mother the role of the villain as she was the only other actor I had. The films brought us closer together as a family and we enjoy making them for our fans and to challenge ourselves of what can be done on little or no budget, trying to recreate these masterpieces of cinema. When I uploaded it to YouTube, the video received a lot of attention from people all over the world, and from there I recreated many Bruce Lee movies. When I decide which scene to recreate, I choose it based on my own inspiration and what I feel would be a fun watch for our fans. I pick out scenes that I think would be fun to recreate, and I always film them while laughing and having fun. My mother too is always eager to see what she will be starring in next!

EFF: Fans of your videos enjoy how active your mother is in playing different characters. Your mother seems to enjoy appearing in your videos. Did She have any acting experience before making YouTube videos? Also, what did your mother think when you first approached her about the concept of your channel? Also, are you enjoying the fame of being a YouTube video star?

Ruice Mori: My mother has been an actor for many years and was the person who encouraged me to get into the entertainment business and offers me advice and techniques to explore with the acting medium. She has had a plethora and wide variety of acting experience, so I let her play a variety of roles a safe way of course. When I first approached her, she was very happy to film and embraced the idea whole heartedly.  My mother loves Hong Kong movies, so it is always fun for her to recreate these beloved characters in her own inimitable way.

EFF: One of the things that fans love about your videos is the creative ways you recreate special effects on a low budget or in a small space. What effect or visual shot was the most difficult to recreate?

Ruice Mori: The Hall of Mirrors scene in the fight against Mr Han in the movie “Enter the Dragon”. Apparently 8,000 mirrors were used in the actual shoot, but since we were on a low budget, we only shot with 8 mirrors (laughs). The camera kept being reflected in the mirror every time we would do a take, which was the main problem we had to contend with! I lost count of how many takes and false starts this took to perfect. I also couldn’t do a spectacular flying kick like Bruce Lee, so lay on the floor and filmed from the ceiling! (intense laughter). As the film maker and editor, it’s very difficult to decide how to recreate the camera shot work with limited materials, so certain unusual techniques have to be employed. Also, with myself being the only crew member, there are many limitations, so I have to think outside of the box to achieve the required outcome.

EFF: You regularly post photos of your nunchuck collection on social media. Did you make them yourself? What is your favourite nunchuck in your collection?

Ruice Mori: Most of the nunchucks are given to me by fans as special personal gifts, and I treasure each one as they remind me of a certain person who gave them to me. I don’t usually make my own props or equipment relating to my nunchukus.  My favourite nunchucks are the replica nunchucks from Game of Death. I also like my very special 2-way cudgel iron nunchucks !

Very cute (Laughing)

EFF: Are there any video reenactments that you planned to film but your mother opposed, or that turned out to be unrealistic when filming began?

Ruice Mori: Not so far. Planning is the main key to success, and haste equals’ waste. Safety is also paramount, so if something is unsafe then I will not proceed. Even if you want to film a video and plan it, if you lose motivation along the way, or it is too impossible at that moment in time to achieve the outcome you are after, you may stop it for a while and rethink the situation. At the end of the day the YouTube videos are a hobby, for fun, and so not a job to take a seriously. There is no deadline, and I can always rethink on how to achieve the scene, like an artist revisits a painting that they are working on.  I receive requests from viewers to reenact many iconic movies, but the most important thing is that it’s a movie that I like. My productions respect the original movie scene’s integrity and so my only aim is to be authentic and true to the original source that I am recreating.

EFF: The Jedi Nunchucks video was a big hit, especially among fans of Star Wars movies. What video did you enjoy making? Also, what is your mother’s favourite of all the reenactment videos so far?

Ruice Mori: The Jedi Nunchucks video was my first attempt at VFX (virtual film effects), so it taught me a lot about editing.  I’ve always stuck to analog, but I think it’s expanded my horizons to be able to make a 360° change and create a futuristic looking work. I was happy that it actually reached many people other than Bruce Lee fans. It was also fun to film the “Back to the Future” reenactment using a DeLorean mini car and a stuffed toy Einstein!! (Laughs)

Ruice Mori: My mother is in love with Chow Yun Fat (laughs), so her favourite is the “A Better Tomorrow Part II” reenactment video where she played all six characters by herself.

EFF: How did you get involved with the movie “Mad Cats” (2023)? Was your character written specifically for the movie with you in mind?

Ruice Mori: I passed the audition and appeared in the role. I’ve known the director, Reiki Tsuno, for a long time and have worked together on sever other projects.  I really like his style as a director’s and photography direction, so I was happy to be able to appear in his first feature film. He knew that I was good with nunchucks, so he created a character who was equally as good with nunchucks so I could have fun and be totally involved with the character. He asked me to “act with a smile from start to finish!”, so I spent most of the shoot smiling and going over the top with my nunchukus. We were all very happy with the end results and am glad that the film has resonated with film fans of this type of action movie throughout the world.

EFF: What do you think about the Japanese independent film industry from a female perspective? Is there pressure for female action actresses to have a certain image or perform in a certain way?

Ruice Mori: Even indie films like “MAD CATS (2023) have made it big in the world, so I think it’s great that talented and capable creators and directors no matter their gender or age are getting noticed. I don’t have much experience in action films, so I don’t feel any pressure to confirm to a certain type of character or look a certain way. I want to be able to use my techniques and nunchuck skills in action films and possibly direct a feature length film, so  I practice every day for that purpose.

EFF: Your scenes in “Mad Cats” (2023) have been compared to Japanese actresses Etsuko Shihomi and Rina Takeda because of the level of martial arts authenticity. Do you intend to continue your career in the action film genre? Or do you want to branch out in different directions to incorporate other styles of film, like your YouTube channel?

Ruice Mori: What? Really?   (taken aback by the question) I’m truly surprised. I’m so far away from being compared to my great seniors, so it’s an honour (EFF: False Modesty Surely). I would like to continue to appear in more action genre movies, and I would also like to continue making my own style of videos., perhaps a short movie as is the popular trend at the moment.

Am I an actress? A creator? A YouTuber? I don’t think it matters what my occupation is. I don’t have a particular style …you can say I am an artist!  (Paraphrasing Bruce Lee) My style …You could call it the art of fighting without fighting! “……..(Guffaws uncontrollably).

I play to win, and my films are all stepping stones of my career achievements and I learn from each project that I work on, be it a YouTube video, television series or big screen feature film. I hope that my achievements inspire others to get involved with their passion, be it creating for YouTube, film or just for themselves.

EFF: What are your current overall career goals as an actress? Also, what is your dream project that you want to make someday? If you had the chance, would you make a feature film?

Ruice Mori: My goal is to embody “Be Water My Friend”. I want to acquire the skills to adapt to various changes and styles. In that, challenging myself in other completely different genres as well as action movies.  I want to do a project showcasing the philosophy I learned from Bruce Lee into my own life.

One day, I would like to direct and star in an action movie that is fully action oriented. A female version of The Game Of Death (1973/ 1978) , taking ideas from Bruce Lees original script. It is only an idea at the moment, but I will make it happen!

EFF: Lastly, just for fun, the Eastern film fans question If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take three films with you what would they be?

Ruice Mori: That is the hardest question of all (laughs)

1.”Fist of Fury” Because it was an important work where I first saw Bruce Lee and it changed my life completely and brought me to where I am today.

2 “El Topo” It was a work that shocked me, and I felt a lot of philosophy. I recommend all of Alejandro Jodorowsky films, Holy Mountain is another one of his classics. His films derange the senses and fire up the imagination.

3 “Sunset Boulevard” You might not have thought i’d pick this one (laughs).I think this is the film that explores the meaning of the word “actress” more deeply than any other in the world. When I was a teenager, I saw Gloria Swanson’s performance and dreamed of becoming an actress like her when I grow older. Hopefully I will have a very long career in the entertainment industry. (laughs).

EFF: Thank you Ruice For taking time to do this interview. Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans to close the interview.

Ruice Mori: I was going to say everyone to be like water, but that would be too much of an obvious thing to say (laughs), so to quote Bruce Lee again, “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” All the best to my fans throughout the world and please follow me on my social media and YouTube pages to keep up to date with what projects I am working on.

Reiki Tsuno’s Mad Cats (2023) is available to stream online via Terracotta distribution’s streaming platform or if you are “old school” you can buy in physical form in the uk via Terracotta Distribution’s website.

Links to Ruice Mori’s Social Media




Eastern Film Fans would like to Thank Ruice Mori and Christopher Evans for this interview.

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