Here’s something that you’ll want to watch! Ray Park, the actor most famous for his portrayals of Star Wars‘ Darth Maul, X-Men‘s Toad and G.I. Joe‘s Snake Eyes sat down for a question and answer session with the fine folks at Emerson College.
As you probably know, Park isn’t just an actor: He’s a martial artist and stunt man. Park has some serious fighting skills, having trained in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, Wushu and Kickboxing from a young age. He started his acting career as a stunt double in films like Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. His first speaking role was “Toad” in X-Men. While Park has done pretty well as an actor science fiction, fantasy and horror productions, he has lately made inroads into other kinds of films. In 2007, he played club owner Brendan Mullen in What We Do Is Secret, a biographical film based on the life of punk rocker Darby Crash and his band The Germs.
Can’t get enough Darth Maul? Neither can we. Check out Darth Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber. Coming in January 2014!
Park grew up with Star Wars and recalled asking his father, an electrical engineer, to make him a light saber after he saw the first movie. One of his favorite memories of working on Phantom Menace was the allowance of an earring he had gotten during filming. “George was staring at me after the makeup was done, and I was like, oh no, he’s noticed the earring and he’s going to make me take it out…so, I apologized…but he said that it was fine, and he liked,” Park said, and thinks it’s funny whenever he sees stills of Darth Maul that show the earring “since it’s not the character, it’s me.”
Park also discussed his inspiration for becoming a stuntman, citing that his father’s love for Bruce Lee’s martial arts films and actors such as Jackie Chan influenced him with their physicality. “Things like the A-team really influenced me,” Park recalled, “because they were stunt guys, and on their off days they saved people.”