xXx: Return of Xander Cage is packed to the gills with talented stunt performers from all over the world. Three of those performers are English MMA fighter Michael Bisping, Chinese-Canadian actor/singer/dancer Kris Wu, and Thai action star Tony Jaa, who all play henchmen of the bad guys portrayed by Deepika Padukone and Donnie Yen,
Screen Rant sat down with the three men at the xXx press day to talk about what went into making the movie’s huge action sequences work, and Bisping shared what it was like shooting a few scenes for the ultra-secretive new season of Twin Peaks.
What attracted you guys to this project?
Michael Bisping: Well, of course, I’ve been working away a little bit here and there for a while, and of course with my background actions scenes and things like that is what I’m accustomed to and what I wanna be involved with. And when the opportunity came up to be a part of this it was a no brainer, of course. Vin Diesel is a part of the biggest franchises, I was a fan of the first two movies, as well. ANd we sat down, we spoke about it, I looked at the role, and I was like, “yeah, of course. Sign me up.”
What about you guys?
Kris Wu: Same, pretty much the same.
Tony Jaa: Yes, same, but for me, Vin Diesel, always he says, “you are a lucky charm.” He says, “you are a lucky charm,” and then we have been in contact, and share some ideas on how to make [a] movie to entertain all over the world.
There’s tons of stunts in this movie; were you guys competitive with each other, one-upping each other at all?
Michael Bisping: I don’t think so. I think everybody was just working so hard to try and make it as best as possible, you know? I mean, when we got together and we choreographed the fight scenes, we were allowed to interject with our own ideas and say, “that’s cool but I kind of like this.”
Tony Jaa: We can change it.
Michael Bisping: Yeah, they allowed us to do that, but there was no competitiveness, we all worked together to make it the best we could possibly make it.
Tony Jaa: Exactly.
What did you guys learn from each other—since you’ve got tons of great action stars, what have you guys learned from each other being on set?
Michael Bisping: I learned I can’t jump as high as Tony, and I can’t kick as high as Tony, and I can’t dance like Michael Jackson like Tony. There’s lots of things that Tony can do that I can’t do, is what I learned.
Tony Jaa: Yeah, we learned everything. I learned dance from Kris Wu.
Kris Wu: Really? Are you sure I didn’t learn that from you, the Michael Jackson?
Tony Jaa: You know, the Thai dance?
Kris Wu: Oh, yeah, I remember that.
What’s the Thai dance?
Michael Bisping: Yeah, come one guys.
Kris Wu: The Thai dance, you taught me the Thai dance.
Michael Bisping: Do it, let’s go.
Tony Jaa: [sings and waves his arms]
Michael Bisping: It’s beautiful.
Tony Jaa: Yeah, it’s beautiful.
Kris Wu: And I couldn’t do it. Yeah, that’s something I can’t do.
Michael, I just read that you did something for Twin Peaks, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
Michael Bisping: Yes.
How was that?
Michael Bisping: It was cool. It was very, very good. Very, very secretive. They wouldn’t tell me anything about the plot, whatever. Just went in, did the couple of scenes that I did. Yeah, so I have no concept of what the plot is or anything.
So you just did the scenes and you have no idea what’s—
Michael Bisping: They wouldn’t tell us anything. Even the sides, they had to tell me them over the phone and I had to write them down, they wouldn’t even email them they were so protective.
Michael Bisping: Yeah yeah yeah, so. I was a huge fan of the original, so very cool to be involved in the new one.