G.I. Joe: Retaliation star Ray Park settled in to discuss his career with CBR TV, from his early days as a comic book fan to the time he was the leading name for a potential Iron Fist movie and more. Park also reveals his secret to making the leap from stunt man to actor, his interest in spinning the ever-popular G.I. Joe ninja off into a solo film and his track record of portraying silent characters on the big screen.
On the possibility of a Snake Eyes movie: I’d love to do it. I’d love to continue playing Snake Eyes because he is a dream character for me, growing up with him. He’s the first good guy role I’ve ever played. If they asked me to do it, I’d totally go to the woods for a while, chop some trees, hopefully a timber wolf would pass me, become my best friend, I’d stay out there for six months and just go ‘Snake Eyes’ and come back and do the movie.”
On whether he’s a pop-culture junkie: I am, I’m afraid to say. Everything I’ve done, I’ve been very lucky to do. I have thanks for everything my mom and dad and uncles have exposed me to. I grew up in the ’80s where it was ‘Thundercats’ and ‘He-Man’ cartoons and ‘The A-Team’ and ‘The Gladiators.’ We didn’t have many channels on TV, so I became very physical. My movies were action movies, kung-fu movies, Jackie Chan movies, Bruce Lee movies. Actually, Bruce Lee was the first hero that I used to worship. I had posters of Bruce Lee all over my bedroom and prayed to him that he would give me strength that one day — I used to pray that Bruce would come back from the dead and teach me. Those silly things.”
On playing silent characters like Snake Eyes: It’s fun. Even when I was on “Heroes” when I got to play Edgar and I heard they wanted me to come in and be the carney guy and the knife guy. So I want around to my garage — my garage is my gym — and I started playing around with different ideas, different character ideas. It comes first with my body. In kung-fu, there are animal styles as well. Having two kids and being goofy, I realize my bedtime reading was really boring, so I had to make it animated. I didn’t really like reading out loud when I was kid anyway, so having two kids has really helped — just to really perform for them and really entertain them. When I get to land a role, play a roll, I just have fun with it. I love doing dialogue stuff, but I love playing a character where I can just have fun.
On reading “G.I. Joe” comics: When I was a kid, it was more about playing with the toys with my brother, but we knew all about it — like, with the cartoons and if we got the comics. But when I landed the role for the first movie, I got a stack of comics. All the cons I’ve been to … they heard about me landing the role, so they’d give me a bunch of comics. I went out and bought loads. I’ve still got them to this day, done my research, even went on YouTube and tried to get the breakdancing Snake Eyes out there. Stephen Sommers wasn’t having it when I was trying to do it in the first movie.