When you think of the Expendables franchise, you think of incredible over-the-top action stunts and fighting sequences. With Expend4bles, director Scott Waugh brought in stunt coordinator Alan Ng. Alan is no stranger to incredible fighting stunts, having worked on several films, including various Jackie Chan films like The Karate Kid and his latest Hidden Strike. Oh and did I mention he’s an 8th-generation Chan stunt team member? He knows his stuff.
We sat down with Alan and talked about working with such a large ensemble of actors and bringing that Hong Kong style into a big action film.
THS: Alan, it’s such a pleasure to meet you. You have an incredible body of work that you’ve worked on. How was your experience working on a film like Expend4bles?
Alan Ng: “Thank you for having me, it was fantastic being able to work with so many legendary action stars and create some great action scenes for them.”
THS: Was there an actor on set that was a natural when it came to stunts?
Alan: “It would definitely be Jason. His memory for fight choreography is great, he picks it up straight away, his timing and rhythm works perfectly with Iko. Jason did the fights, the falls, and hits all himself. He would be a great stuntman if he wasn’t an actor. Tony Jaa and Iko are also so talented. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to work with all of them together.”
THS: How was it working with Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais?
Alan :”It was great, Tony and Iko are so talented and so professional. They gave me the trust and freedom to create their fight scene. It was a pleasure working with them. They have so much experience and knowledge of their art.”
THS: It seemed like you incorporated familiar moves with certain actors. Iko still had the essence from his work in The Raid films. Did you already have an idea how you wanted everyone to look?
Alan: “I wanted to incorporate each actor’s own style into their fight. For instance, Iko Uwais’s choice of weapons is very unique so we used that and Tony Jaa’s fighting style from his previous films like Ong Bak. We tried some new and fresh moves with Jason Statham’s fighting style, so it is different to the previous expendables and we played to the fact that Megan has a strong dance background, her style is very agile, flexible, and fast. We were given a lot of freedom from Scott to create something very different and unique.”
THS: With 70% of the film taking place on a ship, did you have any restraints on what types of stunts you wanted to take place?
Alan: “Yes, the space and location were very limited, we had to come with different props on location to create the fights and make them different.”
THS: Was there a stunt in particular in the film that you were the most proud of?
Alan: “It very hard to say as a lot the cast did their own stunts from Jason’s knife fights and falls to Iko 360 kick to kick up to Tony Jaa’s front flip kick and signature move. Levy Tran had never used a 9 section whip before but learn it and performed it perfectly. All the stunts are different and have their own difficulties in their own way.”
THS: How would your long-time friend and collaborator Jackie Chan do against The Expendables?
Alan: “He would be great, but as you know Jackie prefers not to fight and would prefer to be friends than enemies.”
THS: Would you like to be stunt coordinator on more and more big action American films?
Alan: “Yes, I would love to. Its been great merging HK action into American action.”
THS: Last question, you’ve worked with action stars like Stallone, Statham, Chan, Li and Lau. Is there someone that you haven’t worked with that would be top of your list?
Alan: “Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves, and Chris Hemsworth.”
Watch all of Alan’s stunts in action when Expend4bles hits theaters September 22nd.
For more on Movie News, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.