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WWP09: Ray Park Q&A

Ray Park Q & A 12pm-1pm

Now I’m going to be honest.. I wasn’t much looking forward to this as I wasn’t really a huge Ray Park fan… I mean sure I liked him as Darth Maul but I really didn’t know what he could talk about aside from Snake Eyes and I really don’t think THAT’S going to amount to much.

So first things first, I really didn’t understand WHY so many people were there, the room was midsized but about 70% full of people. The answer was soon made clear when Ray Park came out and right away you could tell what a nice guy he was…

He started off the panel by thanking everyone and telling the fans that without them he wouldn’t have the career that he’s had in life and was extremely thankful.

What follows are some highlights and notes from the Q&A

First question off the bat was someone asking about his long rumored involvement with the Iron Fist movie.

I was attached to it I think in the late90s early 2000s but things happened, life happened and things changed. We had a script getting passed around and we were looking at Beyonce for Misty Knight and around that time I had a crush on Lil Kim so yeah… we were looking at her too”. (laughs) “But I’d love to do it now because I’m such a better performer than when I was younger”.

On how he got into martial arts:

My dad got me into sci-fi and comics and he was a young dad , and got me into Bruce lee as a kid. When  Jackie Chan came out and I was fascinated by the guy.

I saw a guy training in the park and he looked right out of a movie. My dad went up to him and asked him about his style and he wanted to do it and he wanted me to do it with him.

When I was a kid I didn’t know special effects were real, and finding out about all that, it spoiled it for me a bit.

On Snake Eyes:

What I did as snake eyes was my interpretation as snake eyes. I was ready to send in an audition tape and then I got the call to audition.

“It was coming to the shows and seeing the passion and the support from the fans that made me want to do it right and do well by the fans. If it’s a bomb I’ll probably steer clear from conventions for a few years so I won’t get killed”.

So when I did the audition I knew I had it. I just had that feeling, like when I went in for Star War I just had that gut feeling and I nailed it.

Does Snake eyes talk in the movie?

“I wasn’t sure about the lips on the costume but we kept true to the character.” (Didn’t give straight answer)

“I always wanted to be batman but obviously that’s never going to happen, even so I want to be like a ninja in the movie or something.”

-I learned martial arts mainly to get into movies and not for self defense or anything like that.

-Sometimes what you wanna do and what you need to do for the camera is different and it can be a bit annoying.

-Played the headless horseman.

-“Jackie Chan had 3-4 stunt doubles which I was heartbroken to hear but he was smart about it and had them try the stunts out first”.

-I would never try to hide my face when I was a stunt double. I would tell them I just couldn’t to the move without hiding my face. So in the final cut I could see my face… looks like my plan worked. (Laughter from crowd)

Were you a big fan of star wars before the movie?

“First movie I saw when I was 7, Empire Strikes Back” I saw Luke doing a hand stand with yoda standing on his back and I said, “That’s what I wanna do”

-The shows that I loved when I was a kid were Star Wars, Krull, Treasure Island and Superman I played hooky from school my mom hated it. I loved those shows.

What’s the status of Iron Fist?

“I dunno I’m hoping something’s happening with it. I really wanna do traditional stuff and I wanna go back to basics. Keep it Raw.”

He mentions that he does a “GI JOE” Style handstand in the movie…  not sure what he means but fans of the show may know.

Do you have a wolf as a pet as snake eyes?

“Can’t answer that”

-I always wanted a tiger or a lion when I was a kid to walk down the street. (JESUS!-D)

-He’s working on Heroes in the next season.

I’m working with everyone on Heroes. “I’m a big fan of the show” “I’d be up till 2 in the morning when the DVDs came out”

(At every mention oh heroes these four kids behind me start getting uncontrollably giddy.-D)

If Darth Maul never died? How would you play the character in the sequels?

“In episode 3 I was practicing with two double bladed light sabers because I wanted to be the first guy to do that… but nothing came out of it”.

“I’d like to go back to the character, show off more of the tattoos and be more acrobatic… maybe in the TV show…”

Of the major roles you played, what was the most difficult for you to deal with?

“Darth Maul would take the longest to do… it took about five hours; taking off the makeup was the worst because I sweat a lot.”

I warn everyone when I work with them that I sweat a lot. For Toad my skin was literally yellow as they used food coloring and as I sweat more and more it would just seep into my skin.”

How do you keep yourself so grounded and such a nice guy?

“My martial arts and my parents, I always saw how some guys could act and I told myself I was never going to be like that.”

“My wife and my kids have kept me grounded and I could get a little crazy because you know… when was the next job going to come?”

I’m so grounded now that I am older I’m more relaxed, it’s a blessing to be here right now”

“I wonder if they had conventions like this when I was a kid so I could sit in the audience and see Jackie Chan or Bruce lee up where I’m sitting right now”.

Ray Park really is a class act and it was really cool to see him get THAT excited about fan interaction. Totally love this guy now.

-D

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Devon

Devon is a Co-Founder of ANTiFanboy and ANTiFanboy.com He writes weekly articles and is the star of the ANTiFanboy Podcast. You can follow him on twitter @DevonKopec