Actor Tony Jaa, who once imitated Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li in the paddy fields, has become an equally big superstar himself. Pankaj Shukla has had an exclusive conversation with Amar Ujala with actor Tony Jaa, who joined Ayodhya in Thailand in his first film as a hero.
You do not think that you are 44 years old, where do you get agility and agility like children?
There is only one principle of my life, keep on working. That is my motto. When I wake up in the morning, I practice keeping my body fit. I take training in different types of martial arts required for a film. And besides that, I have benefited a lot from meditation. The thing that benefits me the most from moving from one character to another is meditation. Meditating has also helped me a lot in assimilating a new character.
So in your new film 'Monster Hunter', you used the same technique to get into your new character, or did anything else work?
(Laughs) This film is based on a video game, so obviously it just wasn't going to work carefully. I tried hard to play this game and I am not hesitant to say that it was not easy for a person like me. But, this game is very interesting and entertaining, playing it helped me a lot in understanding my character.
Even before the movie 'Monster Hunter' you have shown amazing acts on screen, this time how tough was the challenge?
This was my first time working on a fantasy film. When I was working on the first film on a video game, I got a lot of time to run the horses of my imagination. While shooting, I had different thoughts about this monster. Sometimes I imagined a giant scorpion in front of me and sometimes a mountain elephant. It was more challenging to fight the invisible demon than the real villains because this time I had all the weapons on my body. Many times their weight used to exceed 10 kg.
People in India also know Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li as well, but all this was pleasing to the urban audience, did your name become famous from the village 'Ong Back'? Do you watch Indian cinema?
All these great names of great actors are aristocrats of martial arts. These are the people I have followed to reach here. I like Indian cinema very much. I liked the movie 'Bahubali' very much. I watch Indian cinema whenever I get a chance. I like the actors there too, especially Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan…
… Have you ever heard the name of India's action stars Akshay Kumar or Vidyut Jamwal?
(Jumping almost excitedly ..) Yes, yes ... Jamwal! I am fond of his action sequences. I have heard his name and seen his action. I hope that someday both of us can work together.
Do you make any special preparations before working with big stars of another country?
Yes, I do research about my character. I need to know what is the mental state of this character, what is his background, what kind of weapons will he use, what language will he speak? Just like in the film 'Monster Hunter', I had to work very hard for the language. This was similar to what its actors in the film 'Avatar' might have felt.
Your films have been very popular in India, but in these films, people have seen you fighting with humans, this time the war is with unknown demonic powers, then how much help did you have in your imagination?
In this film, together with my fellow cast member Mila Jovovich and director Paul Anderson, we have done a lot of things collectively. We were given complete information about the 'Monster Hunter' video game before we started shooting for the film. The preparations that we made beforehand came to us. Then we had to give a big boost to our imagination. Imagination contributes greatly to the shooting of fantasy films. We imagined the scenes seen in video games and accordingly fought the invisible demons in front of us.
The mythological figures on the squares in Thailand attract a lot. Which of these characters of mythological stories do you like the most?
If I want to fight a monster. Or as you have discussed the mythological characters, if I have to confront a demon of a mythological saga, then I would like to be like a superhero of the same era. I would like to become Hanuman. I can defeat all these demons by becoming Hanuman. To be honest, I love Hanuman a lot. He is powerful as well as intelligent and has the restraint to use power properly. Hanuman has been my favorite mythological character.