Published On: Mon, May 29th, 2017

MegaCon 2017: Ray Park talks martial arts, George Lucas on Maul’s expressions, original death

Ray Park has been a big fan favorite at conventions, bringing Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace), Snake Eyes (G.I. Joe films) and Toad (X-Men) to life on the big screen. Similar to other conventions, Park began with a selfie video, dropped on Instragram (watch HERE) and then started at the beginning, answering “Who brought you into martial arts?”

“My dad,” Park said, opening up about his roots. “I had young parents who loved Bruce Lee. He wanted to do Kung Fu, but there wasn’t any in Scotland at the time. I would always and kick and punch my bag in my room.”

He continued: “When I was six to eight-years-old, I started getting bullied and felt that Kung Fu was the way to go. About thirteen, I started studying Wushu and became the European champion. My teacher also studied Tae Kwon Do, so I learned a mixed art, but I didn’t stop in the classroom. I would often go to the park and practice and that’s where a lot of my best moments were…in the park.”

The former Heroes co-star reflected on the challenges of training, “like finger push ups…I actually did those,” working hard on Kung Fu and was “able to box flips” at age eighteen. “I started working on my flexibility and I would do splits and stretches…two hours a day actually.”

Ray Park Instagram

Fans asked about which role he considered the most challenging and at first he said “The most challenging role is being me” before confessing that “Toad was fun” enjoying the travel, he had time to run on production as Snake Eyes and Phantom Menace was never boring: “…I was training, rehearsing or filming at all times…”

During the last Tampa Comic-Con, Park revealed that he’d love to return in a future Star Wars film and talked about the make-up and transformation into Darth Maul.

“I was happy to-do the make-up each day. I liked being in there each morning, because I had inspiration…George (Lucas) wanted the grimace looks…I wanted to be like gentle fighters that don’t even give eye contact….”

Even better than playing Maul is the life afterwards: “…traveling the world the last 15 years to go to conventions” is the best part of that role. “When I signed on for the role, I didn’t know I was going to be where I am, but it keeps me going each day…” and then he joked that “the reason I was so mean as Maul was because everyone else was eating donuts and cakes.”

Later, Park revealed more about developing the lightsaber scenes and his original planned death: ”

“Originally I was supposed to get my head cut off, but George thought it was too gruesome and not PG,” he said, addressing his thoughts of gettting “cut in half” as an “option to coming back.”

Park admitted that he’d not only love to come back for a standalone film, another prequel of sorts, but he’d be “upset” if it was someone else. “I want my own inspiration and give a back story…train to do it because when you are training for a reason it enhances the training.”

While he does NOT have them, he said we wishes he had the Maul contact lens to “glare” at angry drivers and could swap spots and play Storm Shadow.

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