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We recently had the chance to chat with Rich Ting from “Waco.” Rich talked about getting his start in the entertainment industry, working on “Waco”, upcoming projects, and more!

1. How did you get your start in the entertainment industry?

Having played Division I college football at Yale University, I continued to maintain my physical weight training and conditioning workout regimens as well as my martials arts well after graduating from college. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate school careers, I trained (as a hobby) at different acting studios as a way of pursuing my childhood dream of being a Hollywood actor. After graduating from both law school and business school, I was coincidentally approached and asked by stunt coordinators in Hollywood if I would be willing to do stunts in some upcoming feature films.  With absolutely zero knowledge or experience in the film making industry, I decided to take this challenge as an opportunity to learn and educate myself on set etiquette, film and television culture, as well as just “jumping right into the fire”. I promised myself (and also notified my close friends and family that were in the stunt business) that I would work in stunts until I was able to completely cross over to the acting side of the industry. As a result, I was fortunate enough to work on various major Hollywood feature films gaining and obtaining an immense amount of knowledge and insight about the film making industry.

My career as an actor began in Los Angeles, cast for “Lenny” in the TV series, “Beyond the Break” (2007-2009) and “Heatblast” in the Warner Brothers’ (Cartoon Network) feature film, “Ben 10: Race Against Time” (2007).  That same year, I was also cast in the feature film, “Deadly Impact” and in 2009, I debuted on the big screen alongside Angelina Jolie in the film entitled, “Salt”.

2. How did you land your role in “Waco”?

I was cast for the role of F.B.I. Hostage Rescue Team (H.R.T.) sniper, “Lon Horiuchi”, in the Paramount TV series, “Waco.”  My agent notified me that casting was searching for a Japanese American actor to play the role, and they wanted to find someone who closely represented the real life character.  I was cast by director, John Erick Dowdle, as the recurring character of the F.B.I.’s top sniper in the series. Coincidentally, this was my second casting as a true, real life character starring alongside fellow actor, Taylor Kitsch. I previously filmed with Taylor Kitsch in the feature film, “Lone Survivor,” where I played U.S. Navy Seal, “James Suh”.


3. How would you describe the show?

I would describe “Waco” as extremely true, real, and overall, convincing.  I will not forget when I ran into Taylor Kitsch (who plays “David Koresh”) at the gym in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we were filming on location.  He was so skinny and emaciated that I honestly believed it was the real “David Koresh” working out on the stationary bike.  The accuracy and close resemblance of all the characters in the series as well as the actual Waco compound are truly outstanding.  I remember watching the final scene where we completely burned the compound to ashes. To say the least, it was surreal, as it resembled the exact scene I remember watching on the news as a young teenager when the real Waco compound caught on fire and millions around the world watched it burn to the ground. I am excited for the fans to see our series as it accurately depicts the critical events prior to and during the entire 51-day siege of the Branch Davidians’ Waco compound.


4. What character do you play?

I play F.B.I. Hostage Rescue Team (H.R.T.) sniper, “Lon Horiuchi.”


5. How is this role different from others that you’ve worked on previously? 

This role is different from other roles I have previously played because it is a non-fictional, true character role. “Lon Horiuchi”, is a well-known F.B.I. H.R.T. sniper due to his significant involvement with the F.B.I.’s siege of Ruby Ridge as well as the Branch Davidians’ Compound in Waco, Texas.  Ironically, this is the second time I have not only played a true, real life character but also the second time I have starred alongside fellow actor, Taylor Kitsch.  I was cast as U.S. Navy Seal, “James Suh,” in the feature film, “Lone Survior”, where Kitsch played fellow U.S. Navy Seal, “Michael Murphy”.


6. What is a typical day like on-set?

A typical day on set starts with my early call-time, usually around 6 a.m.  Once I arrive on set, I like settle into my trailer and unpack my backpack while requesting my usual daily breakfast: 1 breakfast burrito (eggs, cheese, bacon, and salsa), fresh orange juice, and hot coffee.  I review the day’s call-sheet to familiarize myself with the list and sequence of scheduled shots as well as review my specific sides (lines) in the day’s script.  Then, I proceed to change into my wardrobe and then, head to the hair and makeup trailers.  Once I am fully dressed and approved my hair and makeup, I like to run lines and warm-up with my fellow actors for any of our upcoming scenes for that particular day.  The rest of the day consists of waiting to be called to set, filming, breaking for lunch, and resting in my trailer.  To date, I believe the most difficult task of each day of filming is to conserve as much energy as possible.  Due to the mass amounts of film crew, extras, security, catering, medical staff and personnel as well as the overall high energy involved with filming a production, it is very easy to get drained and tired simply by being present on a live set. I always try to rest in my trailer and focus on my upcoming scenes, so I am ready to go when called upon.


7. When and where can fans watch the show?

“Waco” will premiere on January 24, 2018 on the Paramount Network channel. A new episode will air every week leading up to the anniversary of the actual event.


8. Do you have any other upcoming projects for 2018?

I will be returning to Cape Town, South Africa to continue filming my HBO Cinemax TV series, “Warrior”. Cinemax has given a 10-episode straight to series order to “Warrior” from creator Jonathan Tropper (writer of “Banshee”) and fellow executive producers: Justin Lin (“Fast & Furious” and “Star Trek” director) and Danielle Woodrow from Perfect Storm Entertainment as well as Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee Entertainment), the daughter of Bruce Lee.

The drama is inspired by an idea from the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee. “Warrior” is an action series set against the backdrop of the Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century. It tells the story of Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who immigrates from China to San Francisco and becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful organized-crime families.  Based on the real character and close friend of Bruce Lee, “Bolo Yeung”, I will be playing the character of “Bolo”, the universally feared fighter and top lieutenant of the Hop Wei Tong.


9. What are your social media accounts?

My Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are all under my brand name, “Rich Ting World” (@RichTingWorld).


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