“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

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Video: A Scene from David Mamet’s “Edmond” with Brandon Lee and me

While digging up memorabilia to write my post Remembering Former Love Brandon Lee 20 Years After His Death on the set of The Crow and my book Smash, Crash and Burn: Tales From the Edge of Celebrity I came across 23-year old footage of scene work I did with former beau Brandon Lee, perhaps best known for being Bruce Lee’s son and the young actor who tragically perished on the set of The Crow.

I managed to salvage some of the footage and am posting it here as an archive for myself, but also for Brandon’s remaining loyal fans.

Warning: There’s some awkward acting (we somehow managed to find every shadow in Brandon’s house and chose to act there), there’s a bare chest (but it’s mostly not mine), there’s bad lighting, terrible sound and it’s “guerrilla shooting” in the least exotic meaning of the term.

But we’re young, earnest and trying really hard to be artists. Caveats in place …


Tags assigned to this article:
Brandon LeeBruce LeeDavid MametEdmund

37 comments

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  1. Haralee
    Haralee 30 September, 2013, 14:48

    That was amazing.You were fantastic, beautiful and earnest. What could have been…..

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 30 September, 2013, 15:52

      Thanks Haralee In editing this video I was surprised how much I remembered of that night. It felt like it was so recent.

      Reply this comment
  2. Jane
    Jane 1 October, 2013, 13:47

    Hi Shannon,

    Do you recall why you guys chose this scene or from the play? It is an odd play or the subject is at least.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 2 October, 2013, 20:23

      Hi Jane — I left out some of the more disturbing dialogue in the play because I didn’t want any video of Brandon out there that could be misconstrued as something he said himself. Brandon picked the play I think because it is so disturbing and intense. I think he wanted to explore the theme of a primal reaction to powerlessness, which his character Edmund embodied.

      Reply this comment
  3. Serena Belva
    Serena Belva 2 October, 2013, 07:12

    You were (and are) absolutely gorgeous. Wow, the chemistry between you and Brandon (awkward scenes or not) was electric on camera. Thank you for sharing this. Although I was very young when he died (I’m 28), I have always been so drawn to everything that Brandon was in. His stage presence was so powerful! Wow. Also, Harold and Maude is my favorite movie! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  4. Jane
    Jane 2 October, 2013, 23:37

    He seemed very focus. Did I read right that he stayed in character during set ups? I gather he was dedicated to acting but it seems like acting was his only focus at this time. Did he ever mention his ambitions? I can’t imagine performing such a raw piece onstage.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 3 October, 2013, 10:10

      During the time I knew him Brandon was certainly only focused on acting. He didn’t want to be an action star, he wanted to be an actor who could do anything. From comedy to drama. He was very dedicated to honing his craft. He and I also worked on two other pieces we performed in class. He was a force to be certain.

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  5. Jane
    Jane 5 October, 2013, 20:53

    A class? Do you remember what methods you guys studied and under?

    Not to sound shallow but did Brandon have many famous friends? And if so who?

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 5 October, 2013, 22:52

      Brandon and I studied together for a time with Jeff Corey in Malibu. Brandon didn’t have any close famous friends. All of his closest friends were regular folk, which I loved about him. He did know Lou Diamond Phillips somewhat and considered Miguel Ferrar (Jose Ferrar’s son) a close friend. But he was pretty low-key in the Hollywood scene when we were together. He certainly didn’t want friends who were attracted to him because of who his father was. He wanted to be appreciated for himself and kept that standard.

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  6. Jane
    Jane 5 October, 2013, 23:14

    One last questions. Did u follow his career as it was rising? And did what happened to him change the way you thought of acting as a actor?

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 7 October, 2013, 16:30

      Hi jane — I did go see the two movies he did before The Crow. I thought they were good stepping stones. But no, his death didn’t change the way I felt about acting. I believe it was just a tragic accident.

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  7. Barbara Richards
    Barbara Richards 8 December, 2013, 13:06

    Shannon……words cannot express what a profound effect, reading your loving tribute to Brandon Lee had on me . It was beautiful and touching and quite obvious how much you loved him . He was very blessed to have you his life; if even for a short time! God bless you for sharing such an amazingly lovely tribute !

    Reply this comment
  8. Jim Cullen
    Jim Cullen 21 December, 2013, 13:29

    Shannon – I’ve never read anything about Brandon that ever suggested anything but him being a terrific person and your remembrances seal that. I am a big fan of Brandon’s work – especially “The Crow” (I collect the movie memorabilia – as well as the graphic novel that it is based on). I believe that through your memories and stories and the films that he had done, Brandon lives on, and always will. I do believe that if it were not for the accident that claimed his life, he would surely have been a superstar after The Crow. Keep Brandon in your mind and heart – he wall always be here.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 21 December, 2013, 15:20

      Hi Jim — thanks so much for your kind comment. It was strange to go through the old footage from our shoot which – I can’t believe — was 23 years ago. They really brought Brandon back to me as if no time had passed. I agree that had he lived he would have been a well-known movie star. Most people now don’t know who he is, which I think is a shame. Anyhow, thanks again. S

      Reply this comment
      • Debra
        Debra 18 March, 2016, 09:46

        “Most people now don’t know who he is, which I think is a shame. ”

        I think so, too. I am an English teacher and whenever the opportunity strikes I educate my high school students on the legacy of Brandon Lee. I guess it’s my own way of keeping him relevant as time passes and generations move further away from the period in which he initially resonated with so many people.

        Reply this comment
  9. Joel
    Joel 2 January, 2014, 02:35

    Shannon~Brandon more than knew Lou Diamond Phillips & Miguel Ferrer.They were his best friends along with Bill & Sherman Allen,Ira Heiden,Jeff Imada,Jeff Cadiente.All were pall bearers at his funeral.Brandon was also good friends with Kiefer Sutherland,Brad “Turbo” Pitt & Miguels cousin George Clooney,Melissa Ethridge,Steven Seagal,David Carradine,Jason Priestly,David Hasselhoff etc.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 3 January, 2014, 10:37

      Hi Joel — That seems right. I didn’t meet all of those people. Only Lou, Bill and Miguel. But I know he had many friends I never met.

      Reply this comment
  10. Emilie Conroy
    Emilie Conroy 2 January, 2014, 14:36

    I admit, I came lured by the Brandon, but I’m staying for your wit and insight. It’s so much fun to look back…oh, 25 years…into our own lives and see the havoc we wreaked. It’s even better to be in our own skins now and still be vixens. All of the best to you!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 3 January, 2014, 10:38

      Emilie — thanks so much for your sweet words. I intend to be a vixen until I drop — even if my husband is the only one who thinks so. xo

      Reply this comment
  11. Joel
    Joel 5 January, 2014, 19:43

    Shannon~ Were you at all surprised by brandons acting teacher Lynne Katzellas & the private moment exercise he carried out while moanibg her name?Bill Allen told that very funny story! What are your thoughts? Was Bran trying to Shock?Standout?Prove His Originality? Or as.Jim Morrison used to say…Get his kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames? 😉

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 7 January, 2014, 14:01

      Hey Joel — well this moment happened before I met Brandon. When he told me about it I didn’t believe him. I knew he had a lot of chutzpah, but couldn’t imagine this. Bill would definitely have a better perspective.

      Reply this comment
  12. Patty
    Patty 5 March, 2014, 11:00

    Hey Shannon, in which the film refers to this scene?

    Reply this comment
  13. AlexandraFunFit
    AlexandraFunFit 24 June, 2014, 22:26

    You were beautiful, but I think you are more beautiful now.

    Reply this comment
  14. Enza
    Enza 25 June, 2014, 14:30

    Wow, most grateful for this rare footage. I am a long time, die hard fan of both Bruce and Brandon. As there just aren’t much more left of him these days for us true fans, gems as these are rare and few between and bring him back to us yet again, even for a short while. Thank you endlessly. I am so happy to see him happy in your video.
    xo

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 26 June, 2014, 08:49

      Enza thanks so much for your kind words. What’s funny about this footage for me is it makes me feel like I just saw him yesterday.

      Reply this comment
  15. Melissa aka mellycamacho
    Melissa aka mellycamacho 27 June, 2014, 10:41

    I love the Crow still even if I had a
    Some stupid Facebook fight with one of the actresses. I did throw it out, but bought it back cuz maybe it wasn’t fair to the main actor. What I said was a mistake, but not how I felt. It’s a long story and it got lil scary.ill never forget, something to learn from i guess. But anyways They all loved him even Michael Masse, he never meant harm. Though ur relationship with him was timely, you guys made a good couple just like his last girlfriend too:-)

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 27 June, 2014, 14:08

      Hi Melly — sorry about the kerfuffle you went through and glad it’s resolved.

      Reply this comment
  16. Jeanine
    Jeanine 25 July, 2014, 21:44

    Hi Shannon…watching that scene with you and Brandon was beautiful… You are both very talented…you were blessed to have known and loved him…I was 15 when he passed and he made such an indelible impression on my life…I wish I had known him

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 25 July, 2014, 23:58

      Hi Jeanine — thanks for your sweet words. He was lovely. And I understand your sense of longing. xo

      Reply this comment
  17. Stephanie Weaver, The Recipe Renovator
    Stephanie Weaver, The Recipe Renovator 21 September, 2014, 15:59

    Shannon, this is very sweet and brave of you to share. I thought you were (and are) stunning.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 21 September, 2014, 16:49

      Hi Stephanie — thanks so much for your kind words. This was a very fun and creative time in my life and Brandon really inspired me.

      Reply this comment
  18. Tony
    Tony 7 November, 2014, 18:23

    Thank you for sharing this.It’s sweet to see the chemistry between the two of you.I followed brandons progression.I was a huge fan of his father’s and the same age as him and lost my father at about the same age so felt An attatchment to his success.I have all ways been haunted by his passing.It broke my heart when I saw how substantial his acting had become in this movie.I have seen many instances were his portrayal was borrowed from to create new songs in acting.he truly was a beautiful being.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 7 November, 2014, 18:43

      Hi Tony — thanks for coming by and saying hello. I too have been haunted by his passing. xo S

      Reply this comment
  19. Marcel
    Marcel 23 April, 2015, 02:40

    Hi Shannon,
    thank you for sharing this video!
    I looks very personal.
    Brandon had such a huge charisma, I think he could be one of the biggest actors of our time!
    It is hard to imagine, that it´s been so long ago, that he passed away…it feels like yesterday.

    Regards from germany
    Marcel

    Reply this comment

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