Shane Warren Jones is playing Cyrax and Hydro in the new web series “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Shane about working on the series and find out what else he has planned upcoming.
Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved working with “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”?
Shane Warren Jones: (laughs) This is always an awkward question to be asked, but I guess I would have to say my agent Danielle at Kirk Talent sent me an email one Friday saying…”Hey, how about this project?” I looked at the title, it said Mortal Kombat and I said “I’m down.” The following Monday she had an audition for me that had to be in by the end of the day [laughs].
MG: Are you a fan of the game series?
SWJ: Absolutely, I remember playing the game in the arcade. Back when arcades were the only thing keeping me from going insane in a mall where I couldn’t buy anything. I was a kid and it didn’t cost that much to play a few rounds.
MG: Did you do any research on your character Cyrax/Hydro before working on the series?
SWJ: Yes, I did. Luckily I already knew quite a bit of Cyrax’s background story from his introduction in MK3 but it was nice to dive back into the history and get a refresher as well as see how the character evolved since I had stopped playing the game all those years ago. It was like visiting an old friend…a very, very, violent, old friend. Playing Hyrdo was a bit tougher because he’s a character that only exists in the comic book mythology. So there wasn’t much info on him.
MG: How was it playing both characters in the show?
SWJ: I had a blast playing both characters in the show. I got to spend two weeks in Vancouver pretending to be a ninja. Which is pretty much what I do in my regular life anyway except it’s not just in my head this time (laughs). It was like being a kid on Halloween again, minus the cheap grocery store bought costume. After I read the script and then went back to do the research on Cyrax’s character I got really excited because Kevin had incorporated an emotional component that runs through Cyrax’s story line from his introduction in MK3 right to MK9. I got to play both the light and dark side of things relatively. As far as good and evil go, Cyrax is actually a very grey character and I hope that is evident through my performance.
Do you think we will be seeing Cyrax in full armor for the series?
SWJ: (Laughs) Did you not see the trailer? I think fans would wage war on Kevin if we didn’t’ show up in full armor at some point. So to answer your question, “Yes.”
MG: Since you have a background in martial arts and gymnastics, was the series difficult to shoot?
SWJ: I think shooting action, regardless of how much training you have is always a challenge. When you practice or train you’re hardly ever training in full costume. As an actor, when you perform in a costume it makes you feel different. Your walk changes. your posture changes, your attitude and the way you feel changes. The same thing goes for when you are doing a physically demanding roll. Depending on how restricting or loose the costume is, you may not be able to move as smoothly and precise as you originally had hoped or rehearsed for that matter.
MG: How was it working with Kevin Tancharoen?
SWJ: Working with Kevin was a pleasure. He’s kind of quiet and unsuspecting when you meet him. Not because he’s shy but because the gears in his head are turning, it took a little getting used to at first but you have a few beers with him and you can tell he’s a genuinely cool cat. The dude is just on his grind like the rest of us. In regards to how he was on set? He gave Peter and I plenty of room to play during our coverage but he wasn’t afraid to pull us back whenever either of us got a little too far on the “campy” side with the dialogue, because he knew exactly what kind of feel he was going for.
MG: What do you have planned next?
SWJ: I just finished doing a little work on an MTV series called “Death Valley” that comes out later this year and I plan on being back in Vancouver to work in the very, very near future.