While watching some of this year’s biggest movies like X-Men: Apocalypse, Warcraft and Suicide Squad, you might have seen actor and stuntman Alain Moussi and not even known it.
Stunt doubling the likes of Hugh Jackman, Travis Fimmel and Jai Courtney, Moussi has had a great year so far, but now he’s getting a chance to take a leading role as the star of the reboot Kickboxer: Vengeance, taking over for series originator Jean-Claude Van Damme as Kurt Sloane.
Moussi discussed stepping into the role of Sloane, working with Van Damme, and what it was like helping UFC champions transition from real fighting to screen fighting for the movie.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Alain, what were your thoughts of getting a chance to star in the leading role of Kurt Sloane in the upcoming reboot of the Kickboxer franchise with the upcoming Vengeance movie?
Alain Moussi: (The original Kickboxer) was one of my favorite films growing up. Definitely getting into this, I felt the same way other fans would feel when they remake one of my favorite films. This was a great opportunity for me to do what I always wanted to do – star in an action film – and honor one of my favorite films growing up.
The fact that the producers had such a great vision for the film; they really wanted it to be an authentic martial arts film, and bring an 80’s film into the modern martial arts day, with no wires, no CGI, all action, real action; to me that was exciting. So as scared as I was, I was really up to the challenge.
The icing on the cake was when they told me that Jean-Claude was coming in as the mentor (Master Durand). I think that was incredible. As hesitant as I was in a way, I was very excited about the opportunity to launch martial arts films to a new generation.
MMAWeekly.com: What was it like getting to work with Jean-Claude on the film and reprise one of the roles that helped make him a star?
Alain Moussi: To get his input on the script, the story and the character was really cool. It added more to what I was able to bring to the screen. He was nothing but collaborative and helpful to me. I thought that was great. After that I felt responsible to perform and bring the best I could to the new Kurt Sloane, and I hope that’s what people will see.
MMAWeekly.com: For Vengeance, Dave Bautista takes over the lead villain role of Tong Po. What was it like working with him, especially in the climactic final fight at the end?
Alain Moussi: I’ve been a fan of Dave’s since the WWE. I remember watching him as a kid growing up, so getting to work with Dave was awesome. Dave is a beast of a man – he’s huge – but he’s so nice, so well-spoken and soft-spoken. He brings a lot of charisma and such presence. So to be on screen with him was special.
We work really well together. Shooting that end fight was really cool. It’s brutal. That end fight, he’s hitting me, I’m hitting him, when you see him push me into the air and falling on the ground, it’s all done for real. He was so controlled and gracious about it. He was so nice about doing everything and being safe and having the best quality fights possible. Working with Dave was an incredible experience.
MMAWeekly.com: Numerous UFC champions like Georges St-Pierre, Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez also appear in Vengeance. What was it like working with them and helping them transition from the real fight game to the film fight game?
Alain Moussi: They were all amazing. Georges is a great guy. He’s very humble, very cordial and makes the transition to screen fighting with no problem at all. He just goes for it. He understands choreography, so doing fight scenes with him was awesome.
We did quite a few dialog scenes together, and it was really fun to work with him. I looked up to Georges a lot growing up. He was in the UFC when I was training, becoming the champ, so he’s one of the guys I looked up to.
What’s cool about Fabricio and Cain, and all UFC guys I’ve worked with, they’re used to being coached. There are no egos about it. They come in and they all tell me the same thing, “We’ve never done screen fighting. You’ve done screen fighting, so tell us what you want so we do the best job possible.” We got it done so well and we had such a good time working together. All these guys are so nice and great to work with. I’d do it again anytime, absolutely.
MMAWeekly.com: Thanks for taking time out for us Alain. Is there anything you want to say to our readers in closing?
Alain Moussi: I’m very excited. Every moment that I go through this journey is incredible for me. I’m trying to take in every one of these moments. This is all very exciting.
I have to say all the fighters who have seen the film have enjoyed it and found it very fun and entertaining, and I hope the audience feels the same. In the future, I just want to keep making action films. I enjoy doing it. It’s the audience who is going to decide at the end – it’s not me – on if they enjoy it. I hope they do, and I’ll get to keep making action films going forward.