In this fast-paced episode Vivica talks with Michael Jai and Gillian White about their cliffhanger love story and lessons in show business. Happily married since 2015, actor-martial artist, Michael Jai White, and wife, actor and martial artist, Gillian, do everything together including training, raising their three girls and staring in and producing movies. Michael has eight black belts and Gil became the first African American women martial art star in their recently wrapped action thriller, “Take Back.” The couple has a fight scene and Gil wins!
It wasn’t always easy professionally for the couple. Even though he was a skillful fighter and actor, Michael wasn’t getting hired because Tinsel town moguls preferred white heroes. One executive told him if he was white he could be as big as Tom Cruise. Undaunted Michael worked abroad, returning stateside to become the biggest martial arts star in the U.S. Gil had to endure racism and sexism, as well, but both have come through tough times, having taken control of their work with their production company, Jaigantic Entertainment.
Just as dramatic as their working stories, is their love story. They met 25 years ago, dated happily and then drifted apart because of their schedules. Years later Michael realized, while away on a set, that Gil was the love of his life. He called her, confessed his feelings and they’ve been together ever since. Michael wasn’t going to let Gil get away and he wasn’t going to get angry about racism in Hollywood. He got motived, got the jobs and the girl. A great lesson for all of us.
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