Hawaii Film Blog

Monday, August 08, 2005

Jason Scott Lee Doesn't Flush

That's because there is no flush toilet, water heater, or electricity at his house in the Big Island town of Volcano. Moreover, local boy Lee farms the land and fishes for sustenance. Why would one of the most visible Asian American (readers/journalists take note: there's no hyphen in "Asian American") actors retreat from Hollywood to live the life of an ascetic? In Lee's words to the Star-Bulletin: "I want to work when I want to, on films that I want to, and not have to pay for a lifestyle that doesn't do anything except obligate me to the machine."

These days, with most "Hollywood" projects fulfilling what that word has come to mean, Lee has found another outlet for his artistic expression. Last week, with the help of a small grant from New York-based Asian American theater group Second Generation, Lee opened the Ulua Theater with "Burn This," an intense two-act drama by Lanford Wilson. The actors in the play all live, work, and hone their craft on the Volcano compound, an artists' commune of sorts which Lee calls "Pu Mu," meaning "simplicity" and "nothingness."

And while we're talking about a Hawaii actor who made it big, here are a few more, FYI:
>> Hollywood Drop Out [Hnl Star-Bulletin, 8/7/05]
>> Black-box theater is up close, personal [Hnl Star-Bulletin, 8/7/05]

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