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Scott Adkins Talks 'American Assassin' Stunts and What It Was Like to Co-write 'Accident Man'

The martial arts expert spoke with ‘Film School Rejects’ about working on the ‘Expendables,’ and working behind the camera on a film he co-wrote.

Scott Adkins, Martial Arts Actor
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Scott Adkins is as badass as they come in Hollywood.

The martial arts expert and actor is a veteran of dozens of kung-fu flicks, and he's contributed to quite a few big-budget action flicks like The Expendables, Doctor Strange, American Assassin, and Zero Dark Thirty.

In American Assassin, Adkins had one of his biggest roles yet—playing a black-ops team member alongside star Dylan O’Brien. And while 2017 was a big year for Adkins, the actor has plenty more to come. Adkins is starring alongside his buddy Michael Jai White in Triple Threat, in which they’ll go up against martial arts badasses like Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa. He’s also starring in Accident Man, a comic book adaptation he co-wrote about a high-class hitman.

Yes: co-wrote.

“I’m insanely proud of the film," Adkins told Film School Rejects in an interview. "It’s the quintessential Scott Adkins film. It’s very British. It’s full of martial arts, obviously, but it’s very quirky and different. It’s a book I discovered when I was 15, I always believed it’d make a great movie. I optioned to write it with my own money, and I wrote the script with my best friend from school.”

Here’s a rundown of some of Adkins’ best quotes from the interview:

On working with O’Brien and working on American Assassin:

“Dylan, he’s not known for being an action star, but when we got there to rehearse the fight scenes, we had quite a few days set out for us to rehearse this fight sequence together and he nailed it within two meetings, two training sessions. By the end of the second training session, the stunt coordinator, Buster Reeves, was like, 'Well, I guess you can do it then, so we’ll just go home,' because he picked it up really easily. Dylan’s really good. Dylan’s got control. Dylan didn’t hit me.

“I got the call, I did a quick audition, they offered me the part. I didn’t really know much about the book, but I felt this is a character that I can play. And who doesn’t want to go and work with Michael Keaton, and of course Dylan and Taylor? So you jump on and you try and play the part, and you try and get the director what he needs. Then you move onto the next. I’d love to be starring in bigger-budget movies.”

On working with big-name stars:

“I started off as the whipping boy for action stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li so I’m used to [getting hit],” Adkins said. “Well, they would employ me so that they could trust that I wasn’t going to hit the main actor. They put me with Hugh Jackman, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Van Damme. Part of the reason why I got the job is that I was a good stunt fighter and they could trust me to do that part of the job, so yeah, that’s what I do.”

On doing most of his own stunts:

“To be honest, I’ve never been asked to do a stunt that I’ve said, ‘No, I’m not going to do that,’ because I’m an actor. The producers aren’t going to put me in that position. I’ll do as much as I can until somebody says, ‘No, no. We can’t let you do that.’ Of course, if you get hurt, look at what happened to Tom Cruise on Mission: Impossible recently. He broke his foot, so they have to shut down the production now. He’s the producer, and they can’t possibly move forward to do that. I have hurt myself on other films, and I’ve just had to suffer through it. Once the train leaves the station, there’s no stopping it...It’s part of the fun, you know. I like putting myself in harm’s way. You get a good adrenaline rush.”

Read more from Adkins at Film School Rejects.

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