BOOBOO STEWART AND FIVEL STEWART VIDEO Behind the Scenes at Black Belt Magazine Photo Shoot, Pre-“Warpath” BulkingChances are, few of his fans would think to ask him that question, however, because they’re not old enough to remember the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon. To them, Booboo is the name of the actor who played a werewolf called Seth Clearwater in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010). The character figured more prominently in the second film, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (2011), and he resumed the role in 2012's Breaking Dawn: Part 2. And in 2014, of course, Booboo Stewart assumes the role of James Proudstar, or "Warpath," in the comic-book-franchise blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past. In fact, his character is featured as part of Empire magazine's special 25 limited edition collector's covers celebrating what it calls "the biggest-ever superhero movie."
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST VIDEO Newest Trailer for the Upcoming Superhero Epic
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST VIDEO First Trailer for the Upcoming Superhero Epic, Featuring Booboo Stewart as "Warpath" at 0:43Yet I’m not talking with Booboo to learn about his films; my interest is the martial arts. I find out he’s taken lessons since he was 3 and was a Tournament Promoters Association world champion in 2002 and 2003. “It’s just been so much fun — I got all these trophies down at the house,” he admits. Booboo's current martial endeavor is fut sau kune do, or Buddhist fist way, a form of wing chun. Not surprisingly, he’s a fan of the Ip Man films, which had Black Belt Hall of Fame member Donnie Yen portraying the title character in his early years, before he started teaching 13-year-old Bruce Lee in 1954. If all goes according to plan, Booboo will follow in Yen’s footsteps and showcase some of his kung fu skills in the next project, Jake Stevens: The Last Protector, which also involves his sister.
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And he and Fivel donate time to Free Concerts to End Child Abuse, organized by the nonprofit Childhelp. “With these concerts, we’re trying to help these abused children get back on their feet,” Booboo says. “Childhelp has been going on for about 50 years — they’re amazing and have saved millions of lives. We are proud to be part of such a great thing.” Fivel adds: “We actually went to a village a couple of months ago to see the children being helped. It was really awesome to see how they were doing — 83 children in one village [now] have a petting zoo and a school.” Martial Arts Philosophy and Its Affect on Booboo Stewart and Fivel Stewart's Lives I ask if the martial arts have influenced their lives in other ways. “It’s taught me about discipline,” Booboo says. “It’s also just a cool thing to be a part of, especially on set where it helps me clear my mind and think about what I’m doing — because there are so many things that are going on around you.” Fivel’s answer is short and sweet: “It’s the discipline and confidence — plus, it’s really cool for a girl to learn how to protect herself.” Thinking the interview is over, I thank them for their time. That’s when Fivel suddenly asks about my martial arts training. In 20 years of interviewing kids and teens who were involved in the martial arts and filmmaking, this is the first time one of them has fired back a question. I smile as it occurs to me that if the next generation of martial artists is anything like Booboo and Fivel, the arts are in good hands. They’re not just interested in sharing their own experiences; they’re interested in the experiences of others.
About the Author: Dr. Craid D. Reid is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Martial Arts Movies of the 1970s: 500+ Films Loaded With Action, Weapons and Warriors.