When Parade magazine last month first began polling on the question of who was the toughest martial arts movie star of all time, Bruce Lee took a quick lead.
Some confusion between reality and fantasy may have been inspired by the 1972 film, “Return of the Dragon.” As Chuck Norris explains it, Bruce Lee asked him to be in it.
“I want you to be my opponent,” Lee told Norris. “We’ll have a fight in the Coliseum in Rome. Two gladiators in a fight to the death! Best of all, we can choreograph it ourselves. I promise you the fight will be the highlight of the film.”
”Great,” said Norris. ”Who wins?”
”I do,” Bruce said with a laugh. ”I’m the star!”
”Oh, you’re going to beat up on the current world karate champion?” asked Norris.
”No,” said Bruce. ”I’m going to kill the current world karate champion.”
Norris laughed and agreed to do the movie, after gaining 20 pounds at his request as Lee wanted him to look more formidable as his opponent.