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Actor/stuntman Stephen Oyoung Talks Jupiter's Legacy And The Importance Of AAPI Representation - Exclusive Interview

Stephen Oyoung plays Barry Bishop AKA Tectonic in "Jupiter's Legacy," a superhero with earth-based powers and the best friend of main character Paragon. He's heavily involved in the series' inciting incident. Oyoung — an actor, stuntman, martial artist, and fight choreographer — also did all his own stunts, a double duty role that took up a good chunk of time.

He's also spent years doing behind the scenes work, training megastars like Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, and Adam Driver for fight scenes. Beyond Hollywood, he's also appeared in the PS4 video game "Spider-Man" as Mr. Negative via mo-cap and voice acting, and he's set to play Jason Todd in the upcoming DC game "Gotham Knights."

Oyoung spoke with Looper during an exclusive, wide-ranging interview during which he went over "Jupiter's Legacy," his love of martial arts, working on "Star Wars" properties, and training A-listers. He also spoke extensively about the importance of AAPI representation in Hollywood, how people can help fight the spike in AAPI hate, and the benefit of a wide variety of narratives. Spoilers for "Jupiter's Legacy" follow!

Barry Bishop on Jupiter's Legacy

Let's just start up with "Jupiter's Legacy." Tell me about your role in that.

Right on. "Jupiter's Legacy." I played Barry Bishop. I like to call him a part-time playboy, full-time family man and Paragon, played by Andrew Horton's, best friend. In this, obviously, superhero show I'm one of the members of the Union of Justice, a proud member of the Union of Justice. We have a climactic showdown with the main villain, Blackstar, near the end of the first episode. It sets up the whole tone of the show. My superpower is basically, if you've ever seen "Avatar: The Last Airbender," I like to call myself an earthbender. I'm the earthbender of the group. I have the power of earthquakes. That's why I'm called Tectonic, super cool costume. Everybody had cool costumes.

My purpose in the show, I think, is to give a little heart to the young group, the second generation of superheroes. I have a great scene with Paragon, Andrew Horton, where I'm basically trying to convince him to live his life. Don't let the obligations of our superhero duties outweigh experiencing the real world and all it has to offer, too.

What happens at the end of the episode is a tragedy, spoiler alert for anybody who hasn't seen it, but you should, because it's number one on Netflix so far. I think that sets up the tone, as well, for Paragon's journey throughout the rest of the season as well.

Yeah, absolutely. The scene where he's saying, "Take a shot, please. I'm begging you."

[Laughs] Yes. I feel that. I feel that a lot, especially with the pressures of the world. Sometimes you got to do that.

How'd you get involved with "Jupiter's Legacy"?

The production for "Jupiter's" — they needed, basically, an actor who could do their own stunts. That is kind of my forte. My background is in martial arts. I also worked many years as a professional stuntman and fight coordinator and choreographer. So I actually reached out, because I knew that they were shooting. I reached out to the stunt coordinator, Phil Silvera, and I said, "Do you guys have anything going on over there?" and he told me, "Hey, we're looking for this guy, basically Paragon's best friend. If you're interested, I'll get you the scene." They had tried to cast out in Canada and thankfully, I basically, I just auditioned for it. They needed a guy who'd do their own stunts, but also act, and that was it. End of story.

An actor and a stuntman

What's it like doing your own stunts when so many of the other people have stunt doubles? Is that confusing to you?

[Laughs] I'm so glad you asked that question. That's amazing. Good call. It's so funny because a lot of actors like to say, "I do my own stunts. I do my own stunts." And it's like, yeah, doing your own stunts is awesome. It is dope. Until you're like me, where you have to be ... I'm not complaining. I'm just saying it was so funny. We trained for two, three months for this epic showdown. And how we would train is they divide the stunt team and the actors. The stunt crew would rehearse and then the actors would rehearse, and then the stunts and the actors would rehearse together.

I was doing four rehearsals, because I had to be with stunts. I had to be with actors. [Laughs] I never had a chance to just chill. And that was one of the first times in my life where I was like, "Get me a stunt double! I'm okay just being in my trailer. Let the double do it." But I ended up being my own double, so I was doing all this stuff. Phil was so funny, he'd say, "Hey man, you want a workout?" And I'd always be like, every morning, I'd be like, "Man, I just did three workouts! I'm warm! I can't be any warmer, bro."

And you don't really stick around that much longer afterwards. So I just feel bad that you didn't get to spend time with your cast and crew.

Thank you. [Laughs] I always say, though, it's comic books, right, so anything can happen. Maybe season two, whatever. We also know Blackstar's first death, that's kind of a twist, too. So anything can happen. When the trailers for "Jupiter's" first came out, it was so funny because they showed a shot of three caskets and the American flag draped on it. And I wanted to take a screen grab and put it on my social media and say, "Hey, look, it's a cameo! Stephen's cameo! Blink and you'll miss him!"

I have no complaints because I'm used to that kind of ... I always call myself the Sean Bean of Asian-American actors, because I feel like I die in everything. It's so random. You name a TV show, I've probably died in it somehow throughout my career. So this is old hat for me. I'm used to it, it's okay.

Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and martial arts movie levels

It's funny, because when we got the information for you, you had a quote where you said you wanted to be the next Bruce Lee, and they put his actual death in a movie.

[Laughs] I've always wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I think a lot of Asian-American male actors, we feel that, especially coming up. And it's so ironic because I always turn out to be, instead of the Asian-American Bruce Lee, I turn out to be thug number five that Bruce Lee just whacks, breaks his neck. [Laughs] But I'm always hopeful because Jackie Chan, I don't know if anybody knows this, but in "Enter the Dragon," Bruce Lee's big Hollywood movie, Jackie Chan actually got killed by Bruce Lee in the underground scene when he's infiltrating the headquarters. And there's actually a famous screenshot where it's literally Jackie Chan getting his neck broken by Bruce Lee. So I think, hey, if Jackie can start from the bottom like that, then shoot, so can your boy Stephen. I have nothing but hope.

I think what you need to do is you need to get killed by Jackie Chan. So you absorb his powers.

Yes! That's what I'm trying to say. I have been killed by Donnie Yen on "Rogue One." On "Rogue One," I was a stormtrooper. I also doubled Baze. But yeah, Donnie Yen killed me. I haven't developed any powers from him yet. I'm waiting for it. I'm waiting. I'm going to the doctor every week. We'll see. I'll let you know.

Because you mentioned Bruce Lee and obviously I'm sure Jackie Chan was a big influence for you.

Oh, absolutely. Jet Li as well. It is funny, there is that, kind of the levels. When you first get into kung fu films, you start out with Bruce, obviously. Then you get into Jackie. Then I got into Jet Li, real hard, especially during the late '90s, early 2000s. And then now I'm a full-on Donnie Yen fan. I don't know, there's something about his attitude that I just love. And he's a nice guy, too, to work with. If I could be like any of those dudes, I'm golden.

Well, I think that you just had an interesting thing. Jet Li, he was a good actor, but his specialty was telling stories through combat.

Yeah, absolutely.

Jackie Chan, that was part of the thing, but it was also him being a goofy character a lot of the time. You're describing different kinds of martial arts actors here, too.

Absolutely. For me, man, again, as a kid, I was like, "I'm going to be the next Bruce Lee." You talk to me in real life and I'm a goofball, but then on film and TV, I kind of gravitate more towards the serious stuff. So I'm always cutting the line or riding on the edge of that. When "The Matrix" came out, I'll give Keanu Reeves a shout out, too, because when "The Matrix" came out, my goodness, that was one of the things that really kind of pushed me to say, "Yeah, let me try my hand at Hollywood." Because it was always a dream before then, but then you see it, sci-fi, comic book, big Hollywood movie, and you go, "Yeah, that's something that I could do, I could see myself in."

Training Keanu Reeves and getting killed by famous people

Fittingly, you later trained Keanu Reeves.

Keanu, every time I meet him, which is only a handful of times, but every time I'll say, "Hey, Keanu, it's me, Stephen from '47 Ronin.' Remember me?" And he's always so cool. He always says, "Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. I remember you." And of course, he doesn't remember me because there's a million people he meets every day. Why would he meet little old me? But he's such a class act.

I trained him on "47 Ronin," out in England, years ago, 2012. My first big samurai film. He was an awesome guy then. He's an awesome guy now. And then I just happened to randomly get killed by him on "John Wick 3" as well, in the big Chinatown knife scene. He's great. He's super great.

It's interesting to me, because with all these Keanu roles, "The Matrix" was a huge game changer, and then "John Wick" was a huge game changer.


So what's it like getting killed by famous people?

[Laughs] That's really the thing, right? I've been killed by Denzel Washington on "Equalizer." I helped come up with some fights for that. I've been killed by him. I've been killed by Jason Statham. I've been killed by Jennifer Garner on "Peppermint," helped come up with some fights for that as well. I've been killed by Gerard Butler three times, if you watch "Olympus Has Fallen." They kill me three times! Literally, you see my face. I've been killed by obviously, the man, Keanu Reeves.

It is so surreal, especially for me growing up and saying, "Yeah, I want to be the action actor." It's kind of humbling actually, because for me, I've spent a lot of my career getting killed by these guys. And they're all delightful. They're all nice. But it is, it's so odd because it's just like, okay, you're a superstar and you're literally shoving a knife into my chest right now. And we're having a scene, though! How many people can say they have a scene like that with these A-listers? But one day I will live! You will see! It's going to be great.

Training Denzel Washington

You mentioned Denzel Washington. I know you trained him. What was working with him like?

Denzel, man, he is a class act. It's such a cliche to say "Oh, I cut my teeth on set and watching good actors do their thing." But with Denzel, I did learn the secret, right, which I'll just share it with you right now. The camera loves you, baby! The camera loves you! And he knows that. And as long as you're just relaxed, you don't have to push. You don't have to make people see your emotion. The camera can see your emotion. [On the set] you'd watch him. You'd just be like, he's so quiet. Because you're far away. You're like, he's so quiet. I don't even see that he's doing anything. And then you watch the film. I'm watching, I'm like, "This guy's intense. He's the most intense actor I've ever seen in my life." That to me, showed me a lot.

And then as far as physicality goes, he's a boxer. I had no idea. He grew up boxing, I think at the Y or the Boys Club for his whole life. And he's a huge boxing fan. So of course, again, another humbling experience, Stephen Oyoung, master martial artist, I get in there and I say, "All right D, I'm going to show you how it's done. I'm going to show you some moves." And he just goes, "Yeah. Okay. So it's like that." He looks at it once. He's got some kind of mind, man. He looks at it once and ... you think he doesn't have it. Then he does the rehearsal. Perfect. Just like Keanu. Keanu is the same way, man. He can pick up 50 beats of fighting. I don't know what it is.

I always thought to myself like, "Ah, I could, I could show all these actors, what's up. What's up." Then I see what they can do. And I'm like, "Okay. They probably deserve their millions of dollars."

Wushu and other martial arts

If I remember correctly, your martial art of choice is wushu.

Yes. Yeah, I'm a big wushu fan. My father actually got me into martial arts when I was a kid. He actually studied judo and Chinese wrestling, which is called shuai jiao, which is kind of a mix of judo and kung fu. So I grew up learning that. And then during college I went to UC San Diego, and I was fortunate enough to have a Chinese coach from the Beijing wushu team come to San Diego while I was down there at college. I found him in the Yellow Pages. It's not a thing anymore, but back then you had to search. So I found out this guy is from the same school as Jet Li. And that's right when "The Matrix" came out. That's right when "Lethal Weapon 4" came out and I said, "I want to do what those guys do."

So I got obsessed with wushu starting from then. And then I just carried my training all through college and then after college I thought to myself, "I want to do something with it." So there was a time where I thought I was going to maybe open a martial arts school. And then I realized I have no patience. I love people, but I have no patience teaching. I'm just like, "Ah, do it like this and do it right!" Which is actually the way that wushu teachers teach.

Here's another helpful tip. If you ever go to a wushu school and your coach is not mean to you, I'm telling you right now, they don't like you, bro. They don't like you, bro or girl. They have to be mean to you! That's when you know, all right? "They think I have some potential here." At least that was my experience. I could be totally wrong. Most of my coaches were super mean to me, but I just loved it. I don't know. That's probably the sadist in me.

Do you do any other kinds of martial arts besides that?

Yeah. When you're in the stunt industry, you have to pick up everything, especially if you're fight coordinating or fight choreographing. You have to know a little bit of everything. So now I'm super into ... everybody's really into BJJ, jiu-jitsu and judo because of "John Wick." I'm super into collegiate wrestling because I have a buddy, Steve Brown, he's kind of changed the game. He's working on "Avatar" with James Cameron right now. He came in and showed us all these wrestling moves. I thought that was really cool. This is like something I'd never seen, especially as an Asian American. My background is primarily in Eastern martial arts.

After college, I obviously kept up with my wushu, but I started to get into TaeKwonDo. I started getting into Eskrima cause I love the fighting sticks. And especially with sword work, you have to pick up all these different little techniques to spice it up a little bit. I love all martial arts. I'm not going to be the guy that's like, one martial art is the best. But if I had to only do one martial art, it'd still have to be my first love, wushu. It's kind of like food. Your mom cooks you your food, whatever. You go back to mom's food no matter how good other food is.

BJJ and a Jason Statham storry

I remember looking up once why BJJ was so popular in Hollywood and Jason Statham once said it's because it doesn't have a lot of contact with the face.

[Laughs] That totally makes sense! That absolutely makes sense. When I first started my journey to try to be an actor, I started picking up Muay Thai kickboxing, and I'll tell you why I dropped it. I dropped the sparring aspect anyway. The first day ... I'll tell you why. Because as an actor, this is what happened. I went in, they paired me with a 16-year-old girl and I was like, "I can take her. It's fine. I'm stronger. I'm taller. It's cool. Whatever." They said, "All right, let's see what you can do." And by this time I had four years of wushu experience, so I thought I was amazing. Turns out I was only amazing at forms, looking cool, right? The second the bell started, this girl punches me straight in the face. One punch. That's all it took. I went boink. And I said, "Okay! Yeah, no, I'm good! I can't do this, man!" [Gestures to his face] This is the moneymaker. This is the moneymaker. You can't ruin this. [Laughs] If you're going to ruin this, it's got to be on film and you've got to pay me, but I can't just do it on my free time. So that totally makes sense.

And by the way, Jason Statham, he's a nice guy too, man. He trains over at 87eleven, which is Chad Stahelski, the director of "John Wick." He trains over there all the time. I just remember one day going over there and talking to one of the stunt coordinators. And the stunt coordinator was showing me a pre-viz, a rehearsal that they were planning on doing for one of the movies. And Jason Statham, who's not even involved with the movie, runs over like an excited comic book kid. And he looks over our shoulders and he's just like, "Ooh, what are you guys watching? Oh, that's awesome." And he's watching these stunt guys do their rehearsal, and he's just as excited for them as we are. And I just thought, "Okay, Jason, you're a true martial artist. That's cool. That's very cool."

Playing Red Hood in Gotham Knights

We already talked about "Jupiter," but I know you've worked with Marvel and now you're going to work with DC soon.

Yes, that's right. Which, it's a dream to cross over [laughs], do both, right? I did Marvel with "Spider-Man" PS4. Oh also, I just voiced Shang-Chi, by the way, on "Marvel's Contest of Champions." Check that out. I was able to voice Shane Kai and Mister Negative, so that was fun. And now I'm going to be voicing Jason Todd AKA Red Hood on DC'S "Gotham Knights," which when I got that role ... I totally wasn't expecting to get that role. Because the guys in the audition room, they did not look like me, man. They were ginormous. They were buff. They were all bodybuilders. It was kind of nuts. But when I did the audition, they had asked me, "Do you do your own martial arts? Are you good with weapons?" And this and that. And I was just like, "Have you seen? Do you know who I am?" Luckily, everything worked out. But yeah, we're having a great time and it comes out next year.

You mentioned that there's a physicality to it, so are you doing motion capture for this too, then?

For "Spider-Man" I did. For "Gotham Knights," we started doing the mo-cap. It was all performance capture and then COVID hit. We were filming that in Canada. And so now, they stopped that for us. They finished with their crew of very talented motion capture stunt performers and actors, and so I'm doing the voiceover to lay over their action. They've already given me a media blockade, but I'll just say it right now, from what I see — I'm a fan. I love the "Arkham" games. I love "Origins," which is WB Montreal, who are making this game as well. "Origins" is kind of underrated, but I feel like now people are appreciating it a little more, and so I think people will be happy with the final product that we're working on.

The importance of AAPI representation

I also know you wanted to talk about Asian representation in media.

I did! I had my publicist write "Asian representation!" Obviously it's AAPI month. I know it can be overwhelming for us Americans that there's so many social issues out there. How do you keep up with all of them? And I would say you don't. You just keep up with your good boy, Stephen Oyoung, and be his number one fan, and everything's going to be all right! [Laughs]

No, no, no. It's very important, especially now. There is truly an uptick in Asian hate and Asian hate crimes, and it's being perpetrated against the most vulnerable members of our community. Even if the news stops talking about it, it's on the social media. If you talk to your Asian friends, we know. We're aware of it.

They never pick on guys like you or me. It's always our moms or our grandmas or our grandfathers or fathers, right? For me, I always think, what can we do? What can I do, personally? I feel like, as selfish as it sounds, for me, this has to be the thing that I have to do. I have to get out there. We have to show people in America that we're part of the community. We have a story to tell. That's all it takes, is to see Asian Americans in all the lights. To play the gangster, to play the doctor, to play the lawyer, to play the whatever, to play the person with mental illness — to play all of the things, so you see a whole range of characters. And that's just my contribution.

But go on GoFundMe. There's always people coming up with things that you can contribute to, especially a lot of the victims. I like to contribute, literally, contribute money to the victims of these crimes. They're on there on GoFundMe. Go find them. Check it out. Don't just go watch "Mortal Kombat" or go just play my games, go spend five bucks to help some people. That's what I would say.

Bringing it full circle to Bruce Lee, something it reminds me of — I remember Bruce Lee said that he didn't just want to be the guy who punched and kicked people. That was his method of sharing Chinese culture with Americans.

Right. Absolutely. Absolutely! For him, he said, a punch is just a punch, but for him, a punch is also a method, as you said, of communicating an emotional content. And so you got to take it back to that philosophy. I think, in my small way, and in all of our Asian actors, our small way, we are contributing to, again, the image, we are building the image of Asian Americans in every American's mind of a complete picture, to see the human side. And ironically for me, I'm able to play a lot of superheroes and supervillains, but I believe that space, especially, is very important because that kind of genre, sci-fi superheroe fantasy, that reaches globally. And so if they can see us, and especially me because I want money, but if they see us, then I think the world will be a better place.

And also, just last thing for that I have to say is, I have to give credit to people like me, but other people as well. There have been many Asian Americans, a lot of my friends, who have been working for years, for decades. For me, I've been working in stunts for eight years, in acting for six, but all together 15, 16 years, we've been in these things. We've been on TV shows. You've seen us. You might not remember, but you've seen us. People say things in interviews like, "Well, I grew up and I didn't have anyone I could look up to. It was only Bruce." It's like, yes, but we're also there. We have been there and we are doing the work and we're still doing the work. But things like this, being on venues like this, talking to you is helpful, too, to boost our profile. So I appreciate it.

The groundbreaking work of Crazy Rich Asians

Always glad to get this out there. It's been kind of slow, but it's gathering up — in the last few years, let's say the last decade or so, there's definitely been a rise in Asian-led movies and television shows that just show people being people. "Fresh Off the Boat"...

Yeah, absolutely.

"Crazy Rich Asians," which was a huge hit.

Absolutely. I think "Crazy Rich" opened a lot of doors. Even though I wasn't in it, I have to give credit where credit's due and yes, absolutely. You can tell from the '90s. I think it started when China started opening up. And then Korea, obviously, was having its moment and it's having its moment now. And Japan had its moment in the '80s. So economically, it's so nuts, economically those countries do better. So then we just need more products showing faces like that. And it started from the late '90s and it kept going through the 2000s, and then you had all the Hong Kong guys coming over for "The Matrix" and that spread the culture and it just kept growing and growing until you see it like now.

People, I think, are desperate to see a little spice, something new, something nice. Absolutely, I think Asians now are having a moment. I hope to extend this moment. This is my prediction: I think India is going to have their moment, too. You're going to see a lot more Bollywood. It's such a huge market. So I feel like that's going to happen, too. Look at what's happening with "Eternals." That kind of cast is very diverse, because they're trying to hit all the markets. It can only be good for all of us. I'm just pleading with people, "Get your boy out on there. Get your a boy out on there!" I used to be humble. I used to be humble, but now I'm like, "nah, nah, nah." I just got to be loud. I got to be loud and out there about it.

That's how you get the parts. People notice you.

That's right. Just got to ask. You just got to ask.

I think you'll also get a kick out of this: a friend of mine is Filipino and his parents saw "Crazy Rich Asians." And he said, "What'd you think?" And his mother said, "Weak matriarch."

[Laughs] No, I get a kick out of that. Yeah. The mother was probably like, "I would never let that happen. No way." [Laughs] Exactly, exactly. "Crazy Rich" is such an interesting thing too, because they're Singaporean, that story is Singaporean. I'm hoping that we'll have more things that actually take it back to the Asian American experience as well. You know what I mean? Something shot in Arcadia, Monterey Park, California, something like that. We'll have something. I'm hopeful for it. If you're Asian, you know, your moms, they're the best. They're the toughest, but they're the best, too. Much love to our moms and fathers, frankly.

What makes a good fight scene

Let's talk about fight scenes for a second. What goes into a good fight scene for you?

The best fight scene starts with a story. And when I was coming up, I didn't really know that. I had to learn. I thought, and I think most people do, that a great fight scene starts with technique. It's just like a hodgepodge, a demonstration of one cool technique followed by another cool technique. But it really is a story. It really is a dialogue. So if you, as a fight choreographer, can come up with ... And you, as an audience, you know this, when you watch a good fight, if you watch "Star Wars," if you watch anything great, it's a dialogue, it's a dance, there's rhythms to it. Things pop. And it's not just "check out how cool this move is," because a lot of cool moves are too complicated, that you can't even tell what's going on. Sometimes the simplest stuff is the best. Sometimes just a hard look, and you can follow what's going on, as Bruce said, the emotional content.

If you can see that the hero or heroine is rising. They're winning, they're winning, oh, but now there's a setback and now they got to struggle, they got a struggle, they got to struggle. And then, oh, they do something tricky and boom, they win. That's "Rocky," all over.

The obvious comparison here is professional wrestling. I don't know how much of that you watch.

Of course, yeah. Absolutely.

They talk about how people love, what they call spotfests, which is just when they do silly stunts all the time that are awesome to look at.


But you can't sustain on that. You need something with a good story.

Exactly. The story is what keeps people watching. Initially, as you said, the spotfest, we'll watch three, four moves, after that, we'll go, "Okay. I think we know where this is going." People want to be surprised. So if you can tell what's going to happen, they're going to lose interest immediately.

And then also for Hollywood films, for any film, frankly, you have to make it a fight that people can actually perform, or at least that CG can take care of as well. But it has to make sense. I'm talking about limits. But I do think when you work within limits, that's where the greatest art comes from.

Absolutely. And are there any particular fight scenes in any movie or show that really stand out to you?

Oh my God. So many, so many. Well, talking about "Star Wars," Ray Park, that is one of my favorite ... I don't care what they do forever. I've done lightsaber fights, for mocap, for "Star Wars," whatever, "Knights of the Old Republic," things like that, cinematics. But Darth Maul will always go down in history for me as one of the greatest fights in history. Just his look, the music is incredible. I wanted that. Okay, I wouldn't have minded a spotfest on that, I'll take it back. I would not have minded a spotfest for that, but again, that's wushu. I love wushu. So the first time you could see wushu, my people's art, in "Star Wars," that was so inspiring and amazing. I love that.

And then of course, like I said, you've got to give it to Jackie Chan, "Police Story," the final fight in "Police Story," that was 50 minutes long. Got to give it to him. All the movies, though, man. "Atomic Blonde." I could go down the list. The stairway fight in "Atomic Blonde," you see Charlize Theron doing her thing. I'm like, I'm blown away. Marvel movies, every Marvel movie is fantastic. That's just good story. Batman's fight in "Batman vs Superman" in the warehouse. I feel like that was the first time you saw live-action Batman do his thing. These are the kind of fights that I'm drawn to.

Star Wars, KOTOR, and training Adam Driver

I think I heard you say "KotOR" there. You did work for "Knights of the Old Republic?"

I did. Yeah. If you saw, I think, we did so many blurs, did so many for that. So they did the first "KotOR," then you had the second, the third, then a fourth. I started from the second. So the cinematic, the commercials that they showed or I think they were in the opening of the games. I was the Darth Maul-like, but the Jedi [points to head, indicating Maul-like horns], who had the double-sided green lightsaber. I did the mo-cap for that. That was years ago. That was my first experience working in the "Star Wars" universe. On YouTube, it's still up there. You can check that out. That was very fun. Anytime you're working on a "Star Wars" property, you get nervous because it's "Star Wars," but I'm glad that was my first experience. It was nothing but great.

What's it like holding a lightsaber?

After a while it just becomes kind of second nature. It becomes almost like a tennis racket, let's be honest. [Laughs] But yes, the funny thing is even now, no matter how many times you do a lightsaber fight, no matter how many times you rehearse, you always do the sounds subconsciously with your mouth. You always start with [mouthing lighstsaber noises].

I may have mentioned this as well. I trained Adam Driver a little bit for his role in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the first movie. That was incredible, but we did the same thing, man. He straight up, the first day we were rocking with the lightsabers and he would just be [mouthing lighstsaber noises]. Me, too. And I had to remind him, "Hey man, we've got to stop. Because when they film, you're going to start doing that. And then they're going to catch you. And it's going to be strange. You don't want to get into the habit." [Laughs] So that's another pro tip: Don't make the lightsaber noises when you're doing lightsaber fights.

Tell me about Adam Driver. I'm fascinated by this man.

I am too, man! Again, only good stories about Adam. And I'm not just saying that to be politically correct. It's actually very reassuring when you can work with an A-lister who's actually nice, professional and just cool, somebody you'd want to get a beer with or something. But you know he's a Marine and we talked about that. 

He's just like a normal dude. Sometimes I'm like, how did this even ... Where did you come from? But he's just a normal dude. He was a Marine. And then he went to Julliard. He got a scholarship. And I think from there, he took the acting world by storm on the East coast. But he's always remained humble and hardworking, which is something that, again, another pro tip, if you're trying to get in this business, no matter how big you get, got to stay humble, got to stay hardworking, because people will talk trash about you! Look, I could have talked so much trash, but I didn't! I only said good things. See? You want people to say good things about you, then you'll work more.

Favorite fight scene and playing Mr. Negative

What is the favorite fight scene you have personally ever been in?

Favorite fight scene I have personally ever been in ... I'm trying to think of a fight scene where I didn't die. You know what I mean? I'm trying to think of a fight scene where I won. I guess I would just say "Jupiter's Legacy," it's just off the top of my head, and it's the last one that I did, but "Jupiter's Legacy" was great because that was the first time I got to mix martial arts and superpowers together. And as a good guy. I've done Mr. Negative. I've done fights...

You know what? Time out. Let me take it back. I was Mr. Negative, man! Fighting Spider-Man! What was I even thinking? Yes. Look, "Jupiter's Legacy" is great because I got to be an earthbender, but fighting Spider-Man — I think that was my first fight scene for that video game. And they let me pretty much choreograph it. We all choreographed together. And the first fight, first day they said, "All right, you're in the subway station and you are fighting Spider-Man." And I'm like, this is surreal, because I grew up reading his comics and now I'm punching his face in. I'm like, "Yes!" If I can't be Spider-Man, at least I can punch Spider-Man. That's my favorite fight so far. Hopefully there'll be more.

Now I have to ask about that before you go. Tell me about Spider-Man, what it's like working on that.

Insomniac, they're the nicest people. Sony, they're the nicest people as well. It's such a collaborative environment. They have the script, but they don't just force you to do what's on the page. They talk about it. It's amazing. Bryan Intihar, the creative directors, everybody, Bobby, the cinematics director, Jacinda, the art director. It's a real conversation. It really felt like summer camp every day that we were working. I can't say enough good things about it.

And they took a chance on me too, because I had been doing stunts and I had been doing a few small acting roles here and there, but when I auditioned, they took a chance. They could have hired a big name. They could have hired Daniel Dae Kim or something. They hired me, so I'll always be grateful to that team and whatever they put out and whatever they're working on. And they put a lot of love into it, too. They don't just do a crunch and they don't just say, "Ah, it's good enough." They take their time with these properties and they really think about every little detail.