Team BSN athlete, Julien Greaux, arrived in America from his homeland in the French West Indies five years ago with only 400 dollars and a dream to make it big as a professional fitness model, martial arts celebrity and action movie star. Since then he has achieved all of his modeling, training and martial arts targets, and is now poised to become one of the movie industries biggest action hero names.
If you speak to Julien for long enough it becomes clear that it was only a matter of time before he broke through to movie stardom, such is his relentless desire to methodically and systematically act on his dreams with determination and the kind of effort that has enabled him to build one of the world's most phenomenally conditioned physiques.
Like his screen idols, Jean Claude Van Damme, who is a close friend of Julien's, and the immortal Bruce Lee, Julien has both the look and the physical ability to make a powerful impact on the big screen.
With his first acting role as a modern day martial arts warrior in the upcoming Dimitri Logothetis trilogy, Wings of the Dragon, part of a six-movie contract he has just signed, Julien is counting the days and ready to show what he has to the widest possible audience.
In the following exclusive interview, Julien gives the lowdown on his new role and how he built one of the movie industries best physiques.
[ Q ] You arrived in America five years ago with only 400 dollars to your name and a gym bag. Since then you have become a major fitness model and martial arts expert and are set to become one of the film industries biggest action stars. How did you come so far in such a short period?
I arrived here five years ago, but all my life I have been training and thinking about coming to the states to realize my dream. Since I was nine years old, I pictured myself in crazy shape and being an action hero. I never doubted it just because I was a dreamer. I have been training for 20 years and today I have a chance.
[ Q ] What led to your break in the film industry?
I was just at the right place at the right time. My friend Rico McClinton (big thanks bro) introduced me to a cameraman and the guy asked me if I was interested in working as an extra in a martial arts movie, I told him yes. Next day I brought him a nice portfolio with all my covers, articles and so on and he gave me the synopsis of the movie.
Once I was home I checked the synopsis and at the bottom was Dimitri Logothetis phone number - he is the director. I called right away and I introduced myself and he told me he was going to call me because he would like to meet me in person.
We had a great meeting. Since then it has been 1, 2, 3, 4... at least 10 meetings. Then one day he announced his decision to rewrite the three first scripts of Wings of the Dragon, and give me the role of lead character. Wow, that was crazy, but he continued and told me, he was going to sign me up for a six picture deal and I said, "What?" "Six movies (laughs)?" This is how I got my six-picture deal.
[ Q ] Tell me more about this six-movie contract.
The first three movies is a trilogy called Wings of the Dragon and it is a cross between Kill Bill and Bloodsport - the story is really cool. David Carradine is going to be in the trilogy; it's going to be an amazing experience. We are focusing on the trilogy right now so I do not want to talk too much about the other one. One step at the time.
[ Q ] Can you tell me more about this trilogy? What is its storyline?
I cannot talk too much about it but readers can go to www.dimitrisite.com and look under current to check out the synopsis.
[ Q ] When does filming begin?
You know in the movie business it's always hard to decide about the right time, date and so on and that is the hard part. But I am so pumped up everyday and ready to go.
[ Q ] How are you preparing for filming right now?
Right now I'm just doing my regular training, and in two weeks I will start to work with an acting coach.
[ Q ] What have been the major challenges associated with transitioning from fitness model and martial arts teacher to actor?
Honestly I do not see anything as being so difficult because once again all my life I pictured myself being in a movie. I am ready physically and mentally.
[ Q ] What new skills have you had to learn to break through to where you are now as an actor?
I have to take some acting classes, I believe in myself; I do not say I will have an Oscar one day but I did some screen test and I am very comfortable.
[ Q ] I understand Jean Claude Van Damme initially inspired you to become an action star and is a friend of yours. In what ways did he help you to achieve what you have?
Jean Claude Van Damme helped me a lot and as a kid I looked up to him. He and Bruce Lee were my heroes. I talked to him many times and he told me I was going to be successful just because I already see myself there. I always visualize myself, where I want to be. This way I always stay motivated.
[ Q ] What kind of person is Jean Claude Van Damme? What is he really like as a martial artist?
Jean Claude Van Damme is the coolest guy, I think at the beginning of his career everything happened to fast. And at one point he was a little arrogant, and in the media they always gave him bad publicity. But with time he realized that this person was not who he was.
At the beginning he was an athlete, a real athlete. He is a good martial artist but a few people talk really bad saying he is not a champion. Who cares? He inspires people from all around the world as an actor. The funniest thing is people who talk crap about him today used to watch all his movies when they were kids.
[ Q ] How far do you think you can go as an actor?
When I start something I see myself at the top; this is just the way I am. I am very competitive and very hard on myself. It is not than I am not satisfied with what I have done so far. Everyday I realize what I have done, and I really happy. It is just that I like to challenge myself. I would like to be remembered as one of the best action guys in Hollywood.
[ Q ] Who do you admire for their acting skills and why?
I like Robert De Niro. I met him in New York and he was so down to earth. I like him because is a chameleon - he can really play anything.
[ Q ] The movie industry elite are successful because they have a style that is unique and that appeal to the masses? There is no mistaking their acting talent. What will separate you from the average actor? Can you describe your acting style?
When I talked to many people about being an action hero most of them laughed and told me about my accent. You know what I said? Have you heard you governor talking (laughs)? I think having an accent is a plus because you are not a stereotype - you are different.
Also I want to be into action movies only, to start off with. As an action guy, I have a background in martial arts, which is another big plus.
[ Q ] What do you enjoy most about being an actor?
Being a role model for people from all around the world and inspiring them to dream big. I want to inspire kids, and to be a hero for them. Because if you look today, kids do not really have a role model on the big screen.
[ Q ] Are you looking to emulate any one actor or will you make your own statement as an actor?
I already know people are going to say, he just wants to be the next Van Damme. But you know what? I want to be the first Julien Greaux.
[ Q ] Would you like to use your acting career as a way to transition into other areas? If so what will these areas be?
I take it one step at a time. I want to focus on my movies first, but believe me I will find something else to do after I have done at least 20 movies (laughs).
[ Q ] You have said that your look will be one of your major attributes as an actor. Just how important is a well-proportioned, ultra-ripped physique in the action movie acting game?
In action movies being in shape is one of the major things, because it is very visual. All action heroes have to be fit because when you beat up 10 guys it has to look believable (laughs).
[ Q ] Has your training approach changed since you became an actor. If so how? If not, what are you currently doing training-wise?
I have the same training program right now. For the movies I will train the exact same way, while ensuring my diet is stricter.
[ Q ] A cut appearance is something you always seem to have. How do you maintain such great shape day in and out?
[ Q ] In your experience, what is the most effective training program for achieving ripped conditioning?
[ Q ] Can you provide your abdominal training routine?
I like to train abs every day. I pick five exercises and do circuit training. I do 10 reps of each and keep moving to the next exercise. I do it for 10 minutes.
[ Q ] What is your current approach to nutrition?
I have three solid meals a day and three syntha-6 shakes from BSN. I eat very balanced but do not weigh anything. I try to eat as much different food as I can.
[ Q ] Can you describe an average day in the life of Julien Greaux?
Right now I am waiting to shoot for the movies, so I train few clients a day. I wake up at 4:00 am do my stretching and then I train my clients. Around 12:00 I go back home and have my lunch and take a break. Then I am back in the gym, this time for my training.
[ Q ] Thank you so much for this interview Julien. You will be the next big action star.
David, thank you so much for this great interview.
To find out more about Julien, his six-movie contract and his nutrition and supplementation choices go to the following sites: