BACKScott Adkins Fanz Q & A

Fanz Q&A with Scott Adkins

This is an exclusive Q&A Scott did with the fanz on the Scott Adkins Fanz Forum.

Of all the movie fight scenes you've seen over the years, which of them has been your favourite and why?

S.A - I'd have to go Jackie Chan V Benny Urquidez in Wheels On Meals and Dragons Forever, you can almost feel the off screen competition between the two. Jet Li V Billy Chow in Fist Of Legend, the whole movie is beautifully choreographed and it's a great finale. Also Jackie V Ken Lo in Drunken Master 2 - epic. I gotta give They Live with Roddy Piper V Keith David a mention, if you haven't seen it watch it now!

You played a footballer in The Pink Panther? Do you follow and football teams back in England?

S.A - aston villa

What is your thought about getting older every year and having a career that need you to be the best in shape?

S.A - I'm definately aware of getting older but to be honest I still feel as fast as I always did but I am getting injured more often and I think a lot of that is to do with trying to maintain a physique that is not my natural state. It's hard to do acrobatics when your 14 pounds heavier than you naturally should be. I think most of my injuries are linked to weight training.

What do you do to stay always in shape and fast in martial arts techniques?

S.A - Just train and keep trying to improve yourself on a regular basis. I have my lazy times, normally after I've finished a film but I'm pretty dedicated all year round. I mix it up a lot, sometimes I'll focus more on MMA, other times more on Extreme kicks and flashy moves, sometime more on gymnastics, sometimes more weight training, it keeps things interesting.

Seems like shooting a fight scene always has issues. What would be the ideal environment to film the best final fight scene of a movie? Who would be your co-star, director, fight choreographer, and how many days to rehearse and shoot the scene?

S.A - To be honest we had an almost ideal enviroment on Undisputed III with Marko as my opponent, Isaac directing and Larnell choreographing, the only thing we didn't have was the time. I would love to have a great set outside of the ring, maybe a warehouse with different levels so we could put stunts in there. Have Isaac direct and JJ Perry choreograph. I'd love to fight against Tony Jaa or Donnie Yen but I'd easily settle for Lateef Crowder, Marko Zaror or Michael Jai White. In an ideal world we could rehearse for 3 weeks so we could not only come up with the choreography but also create some new techniques and moves and pre viz the whole fight before hand. Then I would love just 1 week to shoot it. I get goose bumbs just thinking about the possibilites. To give you an idea of how other films with more money work we had 2 weeks for the swimming pool fight in Unleashed. Jackie Chan spent 3 months on Drunken Master 2 end fight and I believe Tony Jaa had 2 weeks for the alley chase in Ong Bak.

Would you have any interest in remaking any movie such as Bloodsport? Maybe a slightly different story, better fight scenes, bigger budget?

S.A - Undisputed is an extention of the Bloodsport idea only it's set in a prison. It's very easy to make a martial arts film with that premise because an important plot line is that people fight so I feel that I've already covered that. I have an idea for something similar but with a twist. Also I wouldn't want to follow so closely in Van Damme's footsteps because there are so many comparisons to him already. The first time I met with Jean Claude he was talking about me doing a Kickboxer TV series, I said no because I thought it was dangerous to be a carbon copy of him but I was honoured that he thought of me for that.

Do you have any interest in writing or directing films?

S.A - I'm working on the writing side at the moment. I would love to start directing my own action sequences and go from there.

What is it that pushes you to do what you do best, if you could be taught by any historical figure who would it be and any advice to fellow admirers and martial artists alike?

S.A - I'm a huge Bruce Lee fan and the fact that you put me above Bruce Lee in your list makes me want to tell you to stop being so silly. If I could be taught by any historical figure it would be Bruce Lee, he lived and breathed martial arts and I still find that motivating today. What keeps pushing me on is the fear of failure and not being able to do what love so I work hard and try not to get complacent because I don't want to have to get a real job.

I heard a rumor that you had a chance to appear in The Expendables. Is this true? and if so, can you enlighten us on what happened? It would have been cool to see you in it.

S.A - It's true that I was offered a role in The Expendables but for personal reasons I had to turn it down. I was extremely dissapointed at the time but at least it allowed me to do Undisputed III which I'm very happy with. I've heard that The Expendables is great and I really hope it performs well at the box office because I plan on bugging the hell out of Sly for a part in The Expendables 2. There are many other high profile roles I've been in line for which you will never hear about, it's all part of being in the business and being able to deal with rejection, dissapointment and just plain bad luck.

How is everything going along so far on the Turkish film Dark Deal? Can you give us any details about your role and what can we expect actionwise? What is it like working with Cyril Raffaelli?

S.A - We haven't started filming yet because of production delays but I've really enjoyed training with Cyril and his team in Parkour, it seems I'm quite good at it. Cyril isn't actually in the movie, he's only stunt co-ordinating. Actionwise expect more grounded realistic fights and big action with guns and car chases and some parkour

In Undisputed 2 and 3, you played Uri Boyka, a Russian fighter. I was impressed not only by your monstrous physical capabilities but how you were able to capture a convincing Russian accent and bring a menacing performance. As an actor, how did you prepare for this character?

S.A - I think the accent works for the western world but I'm sure any real Russian would laugh at the accent, it's definately flawed. I think it's better in Undisputed III and will be better still in Dark Deal. My problem at the moment is doing a Russian accent different from Boyka's. At the end of the day you just work day in day out on the accent, you try and create a backstory for your character so that he's fully fleshed out by the time the film starts.

Did you weigh more than 92kilos on the set of UD3 ?(You look more muscular in photos than in the UD2.)

S.A - I was less. Maybe 86 kilos or something like that. I had more fat on me in Undisputed 2 and a bit more muscle but because I had less fat on UD3 I looked more muscular.

How many years did it take you to reach that physical conditions? How many times do you visit the gym in a week?

S.A - I started weight training when I was around 14 but properly started weight training at age 17. I'll normally weight train 3 times a week if I'm wanting to put on muscle. For Undisputed 3 I trained almost every day to give me that ripped look.

Re-kill: what can you tell us about this movie and you character? Is it a small role like Wolverine and The Tournament (4-5 minute) or more big like Stag Night and Special Force

S.A - It's like Special Forces. The film really is an ensemble peice. I'm in the movie a lot. I'm actually very excited to see it because it's shot like a documentary following a team of zombie exterminators as the clean up the outskirts of the city. It was a fun experience because we get to talk to the camera as if it's a character in the movie. We'll see what it ends up like.

Dark Deal: what is the budget and you character like (screentime, he is a bad or good guy etc)?

S.A - I am the bad guy but it's kind of like Assassins, my role is as big as Antonio Banderas' in that movie. Budgets pretty big but I don't have specifics.

Do you has some projects besides Dark Deal, Re-kill & Undisputed 3?

S.A - i have plenty in the pipeline, don't worry.

Can i buy DVD with you seminars? If Yes, where i can by this DVDs?

S.A - No you can't but I'm thinking of doing something on the internet in the future, is that something you guys would be interested in?

How long did it take you to get to your current level in Gymnastics. I'm 30 now, is it too late to start, to get to where you are? Flips, somersaults etc... I'm guessing it'll take years!

S.A - I didn't start gymnastics till I was 18, it's never too late to start, again the more you do the better you get.

What supplements do you typically use for your training especially considering you seem to stay so lean even when you bulk up?

S.A - EAS, XYIENCE, MUTANTMASS

What action film(s) are you most looking forward to seeing this year?

S.A - Kick Ass, Warrior, Ip Man 2.

What actor(s) or martial arts star(s) would you most like to work with?

S.A - Sly Stallone, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa

What is your favorite filming experience/story so far in your career?

S.A - I had a really great time on The Medallion and Wolverine in terms of actually enjoying it but in terms of my favourite end product it would have to be Undisputed II and III.

Did you happen to see Universal Soldier: Regeneration? If so, what were your thoughts?

S.A - I really enjoyed it. I thought John Hyams did an incredible job. I loved the mood of the film and the way it didn't try to explain everything that had gone before. There was actually talk of me playing the Mike Pyle part at one point but then it stopped. When I saw the film I was really dissapointed I didn't get that opportunity. I thought the action was really well done apart from the fact you could tell it was stunt doubles all the time. I know the stunt guys though and was impressed with what they did. I'm really excited to see what John does next. If I was a Hollywood producer I would snap him up and give him a big budget straight away.

During the Ninja, did you have to do any research ro go over any study material on the Ninja's, Sekio Fujita and their techniques, and if so, what was the most interesting to you that you did not know before?

S.A - I would have loved to have prepared more for the role but I just didn't have the time, I had 1 day off in between finishing Wolverine and starting Ninja. I did my best to get to grips with the sword which I had never used before but I had a really bad shoulder injury from Wolverine which was making it difficult to even hold it up. The problem for me on Ninja was that I was going into the project already beat up and tired. This is why we took the decision to make the school more of a Japanese martial arts school rather than a straight up Ninja school hence the opportunity for Fumio Demura to be there. Also Isaac is a Karate nut. Our idea was to keep the film very realistic in the martial arts department, no flying or teleporting. There was a bit of pressure from the studio to put in the more fantastic elements like the Bat wings and stuff like that which I thought was plain stupid.

What was it like working with Tsuyoshi Ihara and Fumio Demura?

S.A - Ihara was fantastic. Very good actor and very good at film fighting. I looked up to him in many ways. Fumio Demura and his students are all incredible martial artists, we were honoured to have them take part.

In Undisputed 2 & 3 about how long does it take for them to apply the tattoos for Boyka, and which one was your favorite out of the lot?

S.A - On Undisputed 2 it took longer because they used stencils which they would cover in a glue based ink and roll them onto my skin every morning, however they always came off during the fights, it was a nightmare. For Undisputed 3 it was better as they applied stickers to my body and coloured in the insides and the substance was better and stayed on longer but for the difficult fights they came off eventually. Probably would take 30 minutes to apply. My favourite one is the one on the chest. It's a karate symbol.

What are your ambitions in the future (career and private life)?

S.A - I want more creative control in the films that I'm starring in. Problem is that the future of the straight to DVD action film is in doubt because of the huge piracy problem we have, people are not paying to see these movies so pretty soon there won't be any of these movies. It's very concerning.

Ninja was your first film were you played the lead character and you had to carry the film almost alone. Did you felt more pressure during the shooting than in your other films?

S.A - Not really on the set as I knew everyone and it's a good trusting set of people to be with, I certainly had the feeling that this was the chance I'd been waiting for and I was determined to give it 100%. Unfortunatly I don't think the character of Casey fit very well. I always try to play the part and I don't think I'm very good at the clean cut hero type which suited Van Damme so well, I'm better with a bit of an edge like Boyka.

While watching "Undisputed2" and "Ninja" I was impressed that Isaac and his team are able to make this films look much better and more expensive than other DTV-Films with a 2 or 3 times higher budget. What is his secret?

S.A - Ross Clarkson is the secret weapon you are talking about. He can give a hollywood gloss to the shots. The idea on Ninja was to give it the Dark Knight look. Also Isaac gets a lot of set ups done every day and he pushes the crew. A lot of directors who are spoilt by budgets are used to taking more time so when they come to low budget they can't cope.

I heard you were training in MMA. Are you specifically training in brazilian jiu-jitsu?

S.A - I'm training in MMA because I love the sport and when I moved back to Birmingham from London a great MMA gym opened up 15minutes from my house. I prefer the striking game to the grappling game but I do a bit.

Are you going to play Boyka again in any prequel or sequel of Undisputed?

S.A - I would love to play Boyka again, he's a great character. I don't like the sound of a prequel but definately another sequel. I want to see Boyka go to Thailand!

Are you interested in playing more commercial films?It was really exiting see you as Weapon XI in Wolverine.

S.A - I am very interested of course. Actually when I was originally talking about playing Weapon XI with the producers the idea was that Ryan Reynolds was not available at all for that part of the movie so they wanted me to do it and I guess I convinced myself that this could be my Darth Maul. I wasn't aware that they would do reshoots with Ryan in Toronto but I completely understand why they did it as you could tell that we were two different people. Originally I expected to be wearing Deadpools costume, it was only when I arrived in Sydney that I saw that it would just be prosthetic make up. So it was dissapointing to say the least but that's show business folks!

Is true that you will again take the role of weapon 11/deadpool, in the spin-off of x-men?

S.A - I'm under contract to 20th Century Fox for another movie but I doubt they'd pull me into do Deapool to do stunts as I have an actors contract. Let's see what they need for Wolverine 2, as they didn't see my face I could easily play another role.

You've worked with some of the worlds greatest fight choreographers like Stephen Tung Wei, Yuen Woo Ping, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, JJ Perry, Cyril Raffaeli and Alpha Stunts. I know every fight and every film can be very different, but which action director did you find most challenging to work for and who pushed you to your limit?

S.A - Extreme Challenge was a great learning experience with Tung Wai, it was also a baptism by fire, a 2 day fight scene on the raft, 14 hours a day, very exhausting. I learned all the basics from working with Tung Wai. I worked with Cory Yeun on a teaser trailer for Black Mask 2, that was very challenging, he gave me a really long kicking combination and at one point I thought I was going to faint as it was so hot in the studio, they pushed me to the limit on that. I'd say that JJ Perry pushed me the furthest on Undisputed 2, I'd show him a move and he'd take it to the next level, like I did a flip of Silvio's chest and he'd say can you kick him as you do that? Also the jump spinning kick with the front kick on the end was a product of him pushing to get the best out of me. Can't wait to work with him again so we can really let loose.

If given the choice to work with just one of the following choreographers, who would it be and why? Panna Rittikrai, Ching Siu Tung, Jung Doo Hung, Pat Johnson (just kidding hehe)

S.A - You sure know your martial choreographers my friend. I'll go for Panna as I'm sure he'd put some gung ho Thai guys in front of me that would let me kick them full force in the face!!

Did anyone approach you for the role that went to Darren Shahlavi for Ip Man 2? You've said many times you want to work with Donnie, and this seems like it would have been perfect for you.

S.A - I was indeed approached but for whatever reason they went with Darren, I would have loved to have done it, I'm happy for Darren though, he's a good guy.

How was your experience fighting against Jet Li in Danny The Dog?

S.A - Very good. Jet is a real gentleman. There was a bit where we both had to front kick each other at the same time, I weigh more than Jet so on one of the takes I kicked him off his feet. The stunt guys gave me a bit of a telling off but Jet was really cool about it and nice. I enjoyed the experience. Love working with Yeun Woo Ping too, he has to be the best of the best for martial arts choreographing and filming.

Thinking about the great cast of martial artists in Undisputed 3 I wondered if you guys had time to train together? I think I would love to spent hours training new moves with you, Lateef and Marco?

S.A - I got a lot of training tips of Marko which I still use now, he helped me adapt my training to give me more power in my jumps and overall explosiveness.

There was once a rumour/plan about a capoeira film with you fighting capoeiristas? Would you still like to do that one?

S.A - The Capoeira script was really good but I would have adapted it away from Capoiera and set it more in the world of Vale Tudo in Brazil. I really hope we get to do it at some point but some of the script ended up in Blood & Bone which was a shock.

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