Tony Jaa is one of the most talked about Action stars in the world, with his ground-breaking action and stunt work, he will certainly be around for a long, long time. The first time i seen Tony in Ong Bak, i could not believe what i was seeing, just incredible stuff i had not seen since the first time i watched Jackie Chan in Police Story. Hard hitting fight scenes, excellent stunt work, incredible flexibility, and just had a fresh approach of Martial Arts movie making.
Apart from starring in movies, Tony has also been stunt work in Mortal Kombat Annihilation for the character Liu Kang (Robin Shou). I recently heard he also doubled Sammo Hung, when he did a commercial which required him to somersault onto the elephant’s back.
Over recent years, Tony Jaa has proved to the world what he can deliver on screen and that has now crossed over to Hollywood, where Tony has just finished up shooting Fast And Furious 7. Tony now has the world at his feet, with other legends such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Sammo Hung slowing down, Tony is now the next big thing, along with Donnie Yen.
I dont want to ramble to much, so here is the Tony Jaa interview, i hope you all enjoy.
1:When you were growing up and started training in martial arts, did you always aim to be a screen fighter, or was it just to stay fit?
Actually it was neither. I grew up in a small village in Surin, North East Thailand. My parents tended Elephants which I rode often. We didn’t have a TV. I watched martial arts films at the village cinema and the temple in the village. I thought Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan were just so cool, I wanted to be like them.
2:What are the main Martial Art styles you have trained in?
I trained in Muay Boran, Muay Thai, Tae Kwando, Wushu, Kungfu, Sword Fighting and Judo.
3:Is culture a very important part of your work, meaning do you want to share Thai culture and way of life in your films to the world? By Rick Somchai
I am really glad you asked that question. The answer is an unqualified yes. I am so proud of my country and I want other people to see who we are and what we are.
4:How was your experience working on the new fast and furious movie and will you be making more Hollywood films? By Anthony Hickman
It was really fantastic. Everyone was very very nice to me. I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be doing more Hollywood/International films.
5:I have heard you signed up to star in Sha Po lang 2 with Sammo Hung and Wu Jing. How did that come about?
I was approached for the movie. My manager and I liked the story and we liked the idea of being able to do something for the Chinese market which is a huge and growing market.
6:Would you ever like to cross over and do a Kung Fu movie with the likes of Sammo Hung or Jackie Chan? By Kevin Lewis
Maybe. I don’t have a problem with the style. What is important to me these days is that the movie have a solid story and my character has a real personality. Many of the films made in Thailand and frankly other places in Asia concentrate only on action and the story and the character is lost. I love doing action and I always will, but I think it is a lot more interesting when there is a real story with real characters that the audience can get involved with.
7:If you could make a movie with any kung fu stars past and present, who would you choose and why?
Wow, too difficult to answer. You already know I am a big fan of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. However there are so many great martial artists. I just did a film with my very good friend Michael Jai White and we had a blast. Scott Adkins is amazing and also a friend. So lets see what the future brings.
8:Have you ever thought of starring in a Muay Thai movie and have Jean Claude Van Damme playing your teacher, he did a great job in Kick-boxer?
JC and I are friendly. He is too good to be cast as some kind of teacher with a protege, he handles current action very well. So, one of these days something might come up for us.
9:What projects do you have coming up and what can you share with us about them?
I just finished Skin Trade and I will go back in June to finish some additional scenes on Fast 7. I start shooting SPL II in May and I am very excited about that. I will be in Hollywood later this month for some meetings with several studios to discuss several projects but I can’t talk about those quite yet. I expect things to be pretty busy over the next couple of years but that is something I am really looking forward to.
10:Do you have a dream role which you would like to play?
I have never told anyone this before but I have this character I developed who is a super hero from another planet but loosely based on Hanuman. I keep thinking about this. It is not something that is up for the near future but I think it would be fun.
Do you have a message for the reader at Asian Movie Pulse and your fans around the world?
Yes, you cannot imagine how much I appreciate AMP and others showing interest in me. It is very kind of you and all of the people who follow what I am doing and I thank you all very much.
Myself and the rest of Asian Movie Pulse, would personally like to thank Tony Jaa for doing this interview and wish him all the success in the future.