John Woo's Once a Thief

[Nick as Victor Mansfield]

Nick as Vic Mansfield, former cop and international crime fighter.

"...Fox gave us the most exhilarating TV movie of the year, Once a Thief, dazzlingly directed by Hong Kong action King John Woo."

Tom Shales, On Television, Jan. 2, 1997

[Nick on on his hands and knees]

"One of the main stars, Nicholas Lea, will probably be the most familiar to a wider audience. Fans of THE X-FILES will no doubt recognize him as Agent Krycek (last seen languishing in an abandoned silo with only a slimy alien for company). This is a change of pace for him. Forget dark alleys and FBI regulation macs. The conspiracy theories may still be in abundance, but the action is much more in your face.

"Woo had not seen Lea in THE X-FILES until he was shown some footage during casting.

"'All the casting was my choice. I only saw a piece of that when it was shown to me. I tend to choose people through my own instincts. With Nicholas Lea, Ivan Sergei, and Sandrine Holt...I think these people had a great potential. I do think I have a good eye, I tend to spot people before they go on to bigger and better things. I first met Jackie Chan in 1975 when he was one of the stunt coordinators on Countdown in Kung-Fu. When I saw him, I knew this guy was going to be a star. I gave him one of the major roles.'"

- IMPACT: The Action Movie Magazine, February 1997

Ken Shapiro's Life In the Box pans ONCE A THIEF. But he dislikes Nick less than the others, and his comments are interesting! (Thanks to Mrs. Fish for the heads-up!)

And check out the Sympatico: ONCE A THIEF page.

Stomp Tokyo review

TV Series

ONCE A THIEF is now a syndicated TV series. Twenty-two episodes were made by Alliance for the CTV network in Canada. It's being syndicated around the world.

Now Available for Rental!

ONCE A THIEF, the Fox TV movie, was released for rental in the U.S. on July 17, 1997. If you missed it when it aired last fall, you should be able to rent it at your local Blockbuster! And it's the "director's cut" - about 12 minutes longer than the version that aired on TV. The box has three photos of Nick. On the front is a big photo of the three stars. Nick is holding a gun in each hand, as if firing two-fisted. On the back are some small photos. One is of Nick punching Ivan Sergei in the apartment fight scene, and one is of him (or his stunt double) jumping out the window onto the motorcycle. (I notice the ending is slightly different in this version. Li Ann makes Mack and Victor hold hands! :-)

This also aired on TMC (The Movie Channel), along with two ONCE A THIEF "movies" made by editing four of the TV episodes together in pairs.

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