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See A Young Forest Whitaker In “Bloodsport” (Ya Gotta Start Somewhere…)

See A Young Forest Whitaker In "Bloodsport" (Ya Gotta Start Somewhere...)

One of the many fun things about watching old movies is catching a glimpse of a now famous actor in a role back when they were young and hungry. This weekend I happened to catch, on cable, Jean Claude Van Damme’s first movie Bloodsport, which I hadn’t seen in more than a decade, and had completely forgotten that a very young Forest Whitaker had a supporting part in the film.

In the picture, he plays an Army military officer who’s assigned to track down and arrest Frank Dux (Van Damme), an Army officer who has gone AWOL to fight in an underground illegal martial arts tournament.

Whitaker, by the time this film was made back in 1987, had already appeared in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money , in a terrific scene, playing a pool hustler trying to con Paul Newman, as well as a role in Oliver Stone’s Platoon. So doing a Van Damme film might look like a step down, but hey, it was a gig, and promised an all expensive trip to Hong Kong, so why not?

On top of that, it was a martial arts film. You would have to be a dope to turn that down.

This is the scene where Whitaker and his partner finally catch up with Dux, but he gives them the slip, leading to a foot chase though Hong Kong, ending up in a har-de-har-har “hilarious” scene. Or at least that was the intention. Enjoy

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He was originally offered a role in The Expendables but he turned it down. I’m sure now to his regret

Mic Vilin

My screenwriting professor actually wrote Van Damme’s first film…it was “No Retreat, No Surrender”. I also heard he was supposed to be part of the mega-cast from The Expendables, but don’t recall seeing him in it.

James Madison

He’s come a long way since “Fast Times At Ridgemont High”.


This is an interesting post. It had me thinking… “What is the first movie and strangest role you remember Forest Whitaker in”

I don’t even remember him in The Color Of Money and I liked that movie. Anyway, for me it’s his part in The Crying Game. The whole movie was strange (as we all know *wink*) but I loved it. But when forest came on the screen, I was like… WTH is going on? I think the year was 1991.


I should have added that Van Damme also reportedly played the Predator under all that makeup in the first Predator movie in some scenes

James Madison

Funny too, that Jean Claude’s debut was a cameo in Breakin’.

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