Star Wars I
“I've always wanted to be in films, that's why I started martial arts. Ever since I was about three, it's been a dream. You know you always want to be in movies, but I never knew how to do it. All I knew was that if I did my martial arts, maybe one day I'd get spotted and maybe do a martial art movie.” Ray Park
Prior to his career in the entertainment industry, Ray Park made a name for himself in the world of martial arts. Having been involved in the traditional Chinese Northern Shaolin Kung Fu since age 7, he won a number of championships around the globe, including the International Wu Shu/Chin Woo Championships in China, the First World Wu Shu Championship in Beijing and the European Championships in London, among others. It was in 1997 that Ray made his big screen debut as a stunt double in “Mortal Kombat 2 – Annihilation,” but he did not score major success until two years later when he was cast in the role of Darth Maul in the highly successful “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” For his effort, Park was handed two MTV Movie nominations and a Blockbuster Entertainment nomination. He gained additional blockbuster exposure with Bryan Singer's “X-Men” (2000), in which he was cast as the wicked Toad, and has since acted in such projects as “Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever” (2002, with Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu), “Potheads: The Movie” (2005) and “What We Do Is Secret” (2006, starred Shane West).
Park also appeared in the movies “Fanboys” (2008), as Snake Eyes in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra” (2009), “Hellbinders” (2009), “The King of Fighters” (2010) and in episodes of “Heroes: Slow Burn” (2009). He currently portrays Edgar in the series “Slow Burn” (2009-2010) and will star as Gabriel in the upcoming thriller “Jinn” (2010).
Martial Arts Champ
Childhood and Family:
Raymond Park was born on August 23, 1974, in Glasgow, Scotland. He was educated at Greenfield Primary School until age 7. His family then moved to London. Ray has a brother and a sister.
Ray was introduced to martial arts by his father, who was a fan of Bruce Lee. Ray began training in Chinese Northern Shaolin Kung Fu when he was seven years old. He immediately dominated the field and had added Kickboxing and Wushu to his endeavors by age 14. When he was 16, Ray won Great Britain's Martial Arts National Championship for his class and then went to Malaysia to improve his skills. He went on to compete in martial arts tournaments around the world and brought home awards before turning his attention to acting in the late 1990s.
Ray is married and has a daughter named Sienna.
Ray Park left his native land of Scotland, for London when he was seven years old. It was around that same period that he began taking classes in Northern Shoalin Kung Fu and by age 16 he had won prestigious awards. Thanks to his natural talent, Park became part of a selected group to train in Malaysia and won a number of martial arts tournaments worldwide. He collected two gold medals and a silver medal at the International Wu Shu/Chin Woo Championships in Tian Quin, China, and four gold medals at the European Championships in London. He also nabbed success at the Malaysian National Championships, the First World Wu Shu Championship in Beijing and tournaments in Moscow, Germany and Istanbul. In 1995, at age 21, Park participated in the Marital Arts World Championships.
A proficient martial artist, Park supported himself by coaching martial arts and gymnastics. While doing this, he auditioned as a stuntman and was recruited as the stunt double for James Remar's character Rayden in “Mortal Kombat: The Annihilation” (1997), a film based on the video game. Next, he auditioned for stunt work on George Lucas' “Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace” (1999), but the impressed director/writer and film producer Rick McCallum offered him a part in the highly anticipated film. As vicious Darth Maul, Park was required to wear red and black face paint and horns and had his voice dubbed. He was also offered the creative freedom to develop his own fight sequences. In addition to popularity, the role brought Park two MTV Movie nominations for Best Fight and Best Villain and a Blockbuster Entertainment nomination for Favorite Villain.
“Everyone treats me like a superstar, which I'm not. I'm a bit overwhelmed, but it's really nice. People recognize you and you just try to be yourself, but that changes things 'cause they look at you in a different way. They've seen all the advertising and Darth Maul stuff. ‘Star Wars’ has done it and put you as a sort of superstar, but I don't see it like that. I'm still the same person as I was several years ago, it's just that I've met a lot more people and I've traveled a lot this year.” Ray Park
After the coveted role, Park returned to his stunt work for Tim Burton's “Sleepy Hollow” (1999), in which he was the double for Christopher Walken. It was a year later that the good looking actor finally showed his face as Toad in the Bryan Singer hit “X-Men,” which starred Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Halle Berry and Anna Paquin. He next joined Antonio Banderas, Lucy Liu and Gregg Henry for the 2002 action thriller “Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever,” playing A.J. Ross. He did not resurface until three years later in the movie “Potheads: The Movie” (2005), which was written and directed by Michael Anton.
Park made his television movie debut as acrobatic twins in “Slayer” (2006). The following year, he appeared as Brendan Mullen in the biopic film “What We Do Is Secret,” about punk legend Darby Crash (played by Shane West) and his band. He then played Chuck Norris in the TV series “The Legend of Bruce Lee,” which premiered on China Central Television (CCTV) in April 2008. Park also appeared in the movies “Fanboys” (2008), as Snake Eyes in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra” (2009), “Hellbinders” (2009), “The King of Fighters” (2010) and in episodes of “Heroes: Slow Burn” (2009). He currently portrays Edgar in the series “Slow Burn” (2009-2010) and will star as Gabriel in the upcoming thriller “Jinn” (2010).
Great Britain's Martial Arts National Championship: 1990
International Wu Shu/Chin Woo Championships: 2 gold medals, silver medal
European Championships: 4 gold medals