You probably don’t know much about musclebound, action-movie actor Scott Adkins, but one thing you can be sure of is that he can probably kick your head in.
The martial arts master has appeared in some of the most explosive Hollywood action hits of recent years, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis and Arnie. But in spite of his action accolades, Adkins is never really in the spotlight.
So, what’s he all about?
The 41-year-old real-life Action Man was born in Sutton Coldfield, England, in 1976 and he got his first taste of martial arts when he visited a Judo club with his father and brother at the age of 10.
“My brother and my dad did judo,” Adkins explained in an interview for Moviehole.
“I was 10 years old and I just went along because they did it, I suppose. I didn’t even want to go – I used to complain about going – but they made me go. Then we all stopped judo, although my brother still practises to this day, but we stopped for a bit and then I moved into taekwondo, did that for a long time, then kickboxing and then various other martial arts.”
Credit: 20th Century Fox
However, the actor/stuntman said that it was watching Jean Claude Van Damme on screen that made him want to turn his interest in martial arts into a career.
“As a kid definitely I was very interested in your action stars like Stallone and Schwarzenegger and Bruce Lee, and then of course Van Damme came along when I was 12 and I was massively impressed by Jean Claude Van Damme,” he said.
“I remember watching Bloodsport and saying to my mother, “Mum, I want to do what that guy does.” I remember that vividly.
From then on, Adkins had his sights set on just one thing – becoming an action movie star.
The young Adkins focused all of his energy on breaking into the industry and didn’t leave himself any room for failure. Before long he’d found a role that he believed could help to catapult him to stardom.
“It hasn’t been an overnight success for me,” he said “It has definitely been a slow upward climb, but it has always been an upward climb.
“I said to myself, ‘Look, this is what I want to do and I’m going to do it, and maybe I am not going to be earning millions, maybe I won’t have a pot to piss in but this is what I want to do and I’m going to do it and I’m not going to listen to anyone telling me that I can’t.’ So I made my mind up.”
Despite his determination to break into action films, some of Adkins’ first roles were distinctly less explosive – most notably on EastEnders and Holby City – but Adkins thinks that having experience both fighting and acting has helped him in the long run.
“Certainly in the beginning of the career I had more confidence filming kicks and punches in front of the camera than talking, doing the dialogue,” he explained to Moviehole. “I was definitely further ahead in that area than the dramatic area, and if I could do some of it again I would probably do it differently.
“But with experience comes confidence so the more I did the more confident I got, the better I got. And now it’s an equal thing: I can find myself on set with somebody like Gary Oldman and feel completely confident that I can hold my own with him as a dramatic actor as part of the ensemble cast.”
Adkins’ hard-earned and varied experience finally began landing him the roles he had always dreamt of and he’s since featured in The Expandables movies, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the Undisputed films, performing alongside some of the biggest names in the game.
So, could Scott Adkins be one of the big Hollywood action stars of the future? Well, if he has anything to do with it, it looks like that’s more or less guaranteed.