Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mortal Kombat‘s Lewis Tan and Mehcad Brooks for an interview about their upcoming film.
Me: I just wanted to say — before we get started — I saw Mortal Kombat. Absolutely loved it. You were both absolutely so good. I was actually kinda afraid that because of…you know…the stigma behind video game movies. So I was like, please be good, please be good, and it did not disappoint. So thank you. Now my first question is for Mehcad, and that is, one aspect some actors are afraid of when taking on these huge franchise characters, and Jax is a huge fan favorite. Ben Affleck was told not to look online after he was cast as Batman, because of the possible negative backlash.
Me: Did you look online or were you even fearful when you took on the role of Jax?
Mehcad: No, I definitely wouldn’t say fearful. I would rather say…um…Respectful. Here’s the thing….I’m a fan or Mortal Kombat, myself.
Mehcad: I’m a lifelong fan. So, like, as much as the fans want this to work, I want this to work as a fan, right? Not just as an actor, not just as a story teller, but as a fan respecting the characters, and the canon of those characters and the world they encumber in, and the backstories that we’ve added. We did our best to make these characters feel based in physics and based in reality. So it wasn’t just like.. you know, these aren’t just roles for us as actors, we love Mortal Kombat. I think I can speak for everybody when I say that. So, yeah, there’s pressure involved when you’re playing a character that everybody has an opinion about, right? But, at the same time, I learned a long time ago, if you’re going to believe the positive reviews, you gotta believe the negative ones too. So just don’t look at any of them.
Me: Well, that’s really awesome to hear.
Me: Okay, Lewis, I actually did some research and turns out your father is Phil Tan, who is a very famous stuntman and director.
Mehcad: Dude’s a legend. Dude’s a legend.
Me: Oh yeah.
Me: Now, your character plays an MMA fighter. Did your dad have any influence on any of the acting decisions you had in this movie or in any sort of training? Did he have any input for you for this movie?
Lewis: He didn’t have any input specifically for me for Cole, but he had a lot of input into my life as an actor and as a martial artist so he started martial arts when I was five. My father’s a national champion in martial arts, so that’s been something that’s been in my family for generations.And yeah, he has been a huge influence on me as a filmmaker, as an actor, living on movie sets since I was a kid — watching him, uh, learning from him. So yeah, you know — and he got to come out to Australia and watch me perform in the last week while we were filming and it was beautiful, full circle moment for me to have him watch me. So that was great, and yeah, he’s an influence on all my work, but not specifically for Cole in any way I can describe except for who I am as a person.
Me: Wow. That’s just amazing, man. I’m really happy for the both of you. So to wrap this up I’d just like to say, if you’d like to do a sequel for this movie, would you sign on immediately?
Lewis: Give me the date and time and location.
Me: Love to hear that! I’m so excited for a sequel, and I hope to see you guys come back.
Mehcad: Drop a pin and we’re there.
Lewis: Yeah, drop a pin, drop a pin. And with this cast and this director — IN A HEART BEAT.
Mehacd: Yeah. If it’s Simon… Oh man, Simon’s a…a genius, right?
(I make fanboy noises)
Mehcad: Can we just agree on something, Noah? This is — and I hope you agree with me — this is the greatest video game adaptation of all time.
Lewis: I agree with that. I agree with that.
Me: I agree with that. I agree with that. One-hundred percent.
(All of us agreeing to that)
Lewis: So if people go out and go support this film, then I think we can definitely, we’ll see a sequel or trilogy or spin offs in the works for sure. So yeah, if enough people support it, then I think we’ll have that option.
Mehcad: It’s that good. It’s that good.
Me: It really is.
Lewis: thank you, Noah.
Me: Hey, thank you. Thank you for your time, everybody.
Mehcad: Yeah, anytime, brother.
The interview ended there. Mortal Kombat releases April 23rd in theaters everywhere and streaming exclusively on HBOmax and at no extra charge to HBOmax users.