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MAIN Arrow to Art & Culture Art &... Arrow to Hollywood Pop Culture Arrow to Actors Actors Arrow to Tony Jaa Tony Jaa

tony jaaHeralded by Time magazine as "the next Bruce Lee," Tony Jaa was born Panom Yeerum on February 5, 1976, and grew up with three other siblings in the town of Surin, Thailand.

By age 10, Jaa had already developed an interest in martial arts movies when he began to train at a martial arts school in his home town.

Following his ambition to star in his own martial arts film one day, Jaa later sought the help of stuntman and director, Panna Rittikrai.

The seasoned veteran first gave Jaa, then a teenager, his first start in films backstage. After hours, Jaa absorbed the lessons of film acting while training with martial arts master. By age 21, Jaa had enrolled in Thailand's University of Mahamarakam, to begin formal training in gymnastics, kick boxing, taekwondo, judo and aikido.

Upon graduation, Jaa finally had his opportunity to appear in front of the camera as a stuntman in various martial arts films. Soon, he was also while collaborating with Rittikrai and director Prachya Pinkaew on a 'new' kind of martial arts film, one that did not rely on wires or camera tricks.

The result was Ong-Bak : Thai Warrior, launching Jaa's international stardom as a genuine master in his own right. Without the use of special effects, Jaa recaptured the visceral energy and excitement of the old-fashioned genre - with actual flying leaps and death defying acts caught on camera.

Jaa's second film with Rittikrai and Pinkaew, Tom Yum Goong, was released in Asia in August 2005 and renamed The Protector for U.S. audiences the following year.

In 2007, the Asian superstar appeared in Bodyguard 2, and a year later repeated his debut success by starring in and directing Ong Bak 2 as action hero Tien, premiering later in 2009 in both the US and UK.

The following year, Ong Bak 3 was released, with Tony Jaa repeating his role as star and director, and chronicling the continuuing story of Tien's battle with the forces of evil.

Most recently the actor/director has repeated his succcess with yet another sequel, this time in the Protector 2, released in 2013 and starred with Dolph Lundgren in Skin Trade in 2014. HIs latest appearance has been in the Hollywood blockbuster Furious Seven, opposite the late actor Paul Walker, released in 2015.

More about Tony Jaa around the Web:

Tony Jaa - Biography and career highlights, with links to related sites and film clips, from Wikipedia.

Tony Jaa - IMDb - Biography, trivia, and complete filmography.


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