Adopting the mask to play the menacing Sub-Zero, Joe Taslim advances his profile with the high-profile release of Mortal Kombat, director Simon McQuoid's R-rated cinematic reboot of the classic Midway Games franchise. While the martial arts movie received mixed reviews from critics, the Mortal Kombat cast has been praised, most notably for their fighting skills, and Taslim's breakout performance has certainly been highlighted.
Over the past decade, Joe Taslim impressed audiences with his performances in The Raid: Redemption, The Night Comes For Us, and his ongoing role in Cinemax's Warrior. As he continues to propel his career, Taslim has gained some great insight, particularly when it comes to fine-tuning his craft and advancing his skills. If you're a fan of the hard-working martial artist, here's what you should know about the Mortal Kombat star!
Prior to Acting, Joe Taslim Was A Judo Athlete Who Modeled On The Side
Before Joe Taslim found his way to the big screen, the martial artist was a member of the Indonesian national Judo team. This tenure lasted from 1997 to 2009 — a sizable chunk of time! While this membership advanced the artist's talents as a martial artist, it wasn't Taslim's only source of income. The future actor was also in front of the camera as a model — a side job that found him in magazines, TV commercials, and various films prior to his acting days. It wasn't until Taslim signed on to star in Gareth Evans' The Raid: Redemption that the skilled performer's career path really blossomed, though.
The Raid: Redemption Fueled Joe Taslim’s Desire To Pursue Acting
As noted above, Joe Taslim began his acting career in earnest when he was cast in the role of Jaka in Gareth Evans' acclaimed martial arts drama, The Raid: Redemption. The future actor won over the filmmakers through his impressive fighting mixed with his versatile line delivery, and the new actor impressed in this breakout performance. From there, the developing star continued to find his style as a performer, resulting in an impressive series of projects throughout this past decade:
Here's what Taslim said in an interview with That Shelf:
Joe Taslim Developed A Strong, Family-Like Working Relationship With Justin Lin
The best collaborators can feel like family. They allow the actors to excel at their craft while also complimenting the creative vision of the filmmakers. When it comes to Joe Taslim and director Justin Lin's creative bond, they've reconnected on a number of projects in the past few years, including Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek: Beyond, and Cinemax's Warrior, where Lin serves as an executive producer. They're close to one another, and Taslim equates their bond to family. Hopefully, they'll continue to collaborate on future projects.
He Believes That There Should Be A Great Emphasis On Balancing Great Acting With Great Action Choreography
Great action choreography is a splendor to behold. At its best, it's like watching a beautiful ballet ... except that two people are beating the crap out of each other. While a great on-screen fight can bring its fair share of excitement, it's only half the ingredients to success, according to Joe Taslim.
In an interview with Asian Movie Pulse, Taslim discussed why he believes that great acting and character development should complement great action. He claims that the root of one's emotional investment comes from what one knows about the characters and how much that person cares about their own personal stakes in the fight. Otherwise, whatever emotional investment you'll get out of a fight is superficial, fleeting even.
Here's what Taslim said:
Joe Taslim Believes That Pain Is An Important Part Of Acting For Martial Artists
Martial artists are among the most dedicated performers in the world, full stop. Every actor's body is their instrument, but these action-intensive professionals throw themselves wholly and completely into the art, putting themselves through rigorous physical turmoil for our entertainment. Subsequently, pain is a key factor of martial artist's work, according to Joe Taslim.
In an interview with Daily Dread, Taslim claimed that when it comes to martial artists, "pain itself is part of the acting." He believes that trading these scenes to stuntmen is a "cheat." In that sense, Taslim equates it to method acting, in that the actor needs to commit to the stunts to experience what the character's feeling and be able to show that in their performance. "You owe it to yourself and the fans to just go for it," as Taslim notes:
The Actor Has An Emotional Connection To Mortal Kombat, The Video Game
Sometimes, a role is a role. Other times, it's something special. When Joe Taslim was cast as Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat, he didn't take the role lightly. As he noted in an interview with POC Culture, Taslim giddily discussed the elation he felt for this project. He also discussed why this role was so meaningful for him, and how it had a direct connection to his youth. Here's what Taslim said:
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.