Kai Greene Talks ‘Stranger Things 2’, Body BuildingDecember 12, 2017
Recently we had the chance to talk with Kai Greene, a professional bodybuilder who has begun to branch out into many different artistic fields, including playing Funshine on Netflix’s Stranger Things 2.
You started out bodybuilding at a young age. What was it about it that sparked your interest?
Kai: I think bodybuilding was one of those things that was a wonderful coming together of sciences, personal development, passion and it spoke to me more than anything else. I think that in the very beginning, the thing that attracted me the most to it was the idea that I would later kind of end up understanding more vividly when I think about personal development and self-management.
Being a professional bodybuilder requires a lot of personal sacrifice and dedication. Did this help you in other parts of your life, like in art and acting?
Kai: I would definitely say getting a handle on the discipline, it allows me to better go after the goals I have in my mind. The larger personal ambition and larger achievement as a result of that makes it that much more possible because of the discipline.
What did you learn about acting while doing Crazy Fist and Stranger Things 2 and did those experiences spark more of an interest in the movie business?
Kai: I think the interest in acting has been around for a really long time. It’s only recently that I’ve had the chance to develop enough courage and confidence to go after that right now but I think the interest in acting, that creative outlet, has been with me for quite a while now.
You are definitely an artist who is spreading his creative wings, through bodybuilding, acting, painting, and comics. Do you have a favorite medium to work in or do they each have their own individual charms?
Kai: You know, I would say my favorite medium at the moment is the one I’m most comfortable with, the one I’m at ease with in terms of expressing myself. Going forward I would have to say acting and currently, I see myself seeking more opportunities as well as improving my skill set as a developing actor.
So how did the role as Funshine in Stranger Things 2 come about?
Kai: Well, I was fortunate enough that the opportunity became available to do an audition and my team and I presented ourselves, showing that we definitely had an interest in it and that was really it. I was fortunate enough to get a positive response and it was exciting and I was very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a successful show. I would have to say I couldn’t have planned it any better than how it turned out, it was such an amazing project to be a part of and the response has been overwhelming. Stranger Things on its own is a phenomenon and to be able to be a part of it was a privilege beyond belief.
Where did the interest in comics come from and when did you decide to jump into that creative world?
Kai: I think I started drawing before I learned my ABC’s and I feel very in touch with the way my spirit expresses its artistic awareness. I believe comic books have a unique appeal in the artistic and creative way they are expressed, whether it’s in the writing or illustrations. Part of me thinks that if I had a chance to do it all over again I’d come back as an illustrator, it’s almost embarrassing to admit that, but it’s just another thing that I’m really interested in that is part of my development process. I guess the interest in comic books is all a part of that presence of the artistic mind since I was a kid and still enjoy that expression to this day.
Now you’re a very positive person that has inspired a lot of people. Who or what inspired you growing up and still does to this day?
Kai: I think when the student is ready the teacher will appear and I’ve seen those influences everywhere that I care to look. When I was an aspiring teenage bodybuilder the people that I looked up to was anyone that was in the process of doing what I wanted to do. Anyone that represented the example of some of the things I wanted to see materialize in my life, ended up becoming an example of what things could be like to come for me. Corrina Everson and her husband Jeff come to mind, people that were successful in accomplishing things that were important to me, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, people that were very popular or relatively unknown, but were in the process of achieving some kind of success.
Do you see yourself always being involved with bodybuilding in some way or will you eventually leave it behind permanently as you move on to other things?
Kai: You know, I think bodybuilding at its root is all about self-development, self-mastery, and self-discipline. I believe a person can be an active bodybuilder without necessarily working with the expectation of getting on stage and trying to be a show-worthy competitive athlete. I’m not saying that is anywhere in my future but I’ll always be committed to the idea of self-discipline so the principles that I’ve learned through bodybuilding will be with me for the rest of my life.
So what projects do you have coming up next?
Kai: We have a number of things being sorted out as we speak which I’m very excited about although I don’t know what I can say and what I can’t. We are in the process of doing some auditions, we have Crazy Fist, which is a film we did in China and will be coming out in 2018 and of course, we are currently keeping our fingers crossed about what is going to happen with the third season of Stranger Things. I also have a music video project that I’m waiting to get a release date on and Chronicles of King Kai, which will be making its debut at San Diego Comic-Con next year.
I want to thank Kai for taking the time to talk with us