I had a lot of things I could start the week off with, but then I learned that it was Iko Uwais’ birthday. He’s quickly becoming a household name for those that watch action movies, and I think his popularity is going to explode after the Raid comes out around the world.
Happy Birthday Iko! I hope you have a great year and that you continue to wow us with your talents.
On the same note, director Gareth Evans was finally had time to write on his blog once again. He’s posted HD versions of the fight sequences most of us have seen by now, but also took time out of his busy day to answer some questions that were posted on the blog. There are a ton of them, but here are a couple that I found fun.
Word of caution, there is some language in some posts because they are other peoples’ words, not mine. Just for the kiddies out there.
Q. mixolydianDec 2, 2011 03:32 PM
Sometime I wondering how if gareth being once of the victum ikos punch in some scene,… but maybe the title problaby will be Rama vs Giant…..hahaha
A. True story, after Merantau I spoke with Iko about not holding back too much when it came to body hits. We were in a gym and I just told him to go for it and hit my in the stomach a couple of times and see how fast and hard he can hit but with a snap so that it doesn’t “wind” the opponent. I figured we could do a practice session and he could use me as a punch bag. First attempt and three punches in that sneaky little fucker with his miserable aim lands a low blow straight to a delicate area. I doubled up almost coughing a ball.
So to answer your question, no I’ll never fight in any of the films. Beyond my fear of scrotal bruising however, I’m also a terrible fighter – it takes skill, precision, rhythm and perfect timing to be a good screen fighter. I’m in my element sitting down, watching a tv monitor and telling those incredibly talented people you see on screen to “do it again!”
Q. DhietaNov 26, 2011 04:19 AM
AWESOME SIR. SIX THUMBS UP. Although I’m wondering will you put the scene of you as cameo on the movie trailer. :p
A. I was rewatching the film the other day and my cameo isn’t actually there – I must have cut trimmed a few frames and not realized during the offline edit. Matt Flannery (DoP) is definitely in there tho. Keep your eyes peeled.
Q. danDec 19, 2011 01:15 AM
all people ask how you meet iko at interview, but no one ask how you meet Yayan Ruhian, How actualy you meet Yayan and know his talent at choreography?
A. Thank you, finally! Yayan was actually part of the group assembled by Pak Edwel to handle choreography on MERANTAU. I had no intention at the time of casting him as Eric in that film. Not for a long time actually. We had allocated roles to all the choreography team (Pak Edwel, Sugeng and Berry) but hadn’t found a part for Yayan yet. We knew Eric was a role that required a 50/50 split with dramatic performance and fighting skills and we searched high and low for someone to fill that spot. Thankfully Anne, my line-producer, suggested we give Yayan a try seeing as he had been the person training with Iko for that fight scene since pre-pro started.
We gave Yayan a ridiculously long 5 minute monologue to audition for the role, this monologue ended up being cut from the film (we didn’t even shoot it) but Yayan’s audition blew us away and we knew instantly he had a natural gift for performance as well as beating the shit out of people. Yayan truly is one of the nicest people I’ve worked with and is an incredibly smart, articulate man. His knowledge of Silat both in a technical and a philosophical level is astounding, and I’m so happy he is such a major part of the Merantau Films family.
Q. Andy in San Diego and ElsewhereJan 21, 2012 11:08 AM
Uh. Holy. Fuck. Hurry up and drop this in the US!
Alvina EFeb 2, 2012 08:18 PM
Mr. Gareth! When will it be released in the US? Been waiting for this awesome movie since forever–we’re dying to see it!:)
please tell us that it’s coming out before April, that seems so long to wait, the wait is already unbearable. this movie is on my mind all day, everyday!
A. I’m presuming you’re all based in the US – thankfully the awesome guys at SONY PICTURES CLASSICS will be putting the film out in cinemas on March 23rd in the US! Day and date the same as our Indonesian release. Please go out and support it and prove there’s a market for martial arts cinema!
Well, you heard the man, show your support and prove there’s a market for martial arts films! For those that haven’t seen it yet, here are the fight sequences in HD for your viewing pleasure:
Lastly, if you want to ask Gareth Evans your own question, post it here on the Raid blog!
Oh, and don’t forget to wish Iko a happy birthday as well!