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Archive for August, 2006

Tony Jaa

by Martin Cleary

Born Panom Worawit on 5 January 1976 in the Surin Province, North-East Thailand near the Cambodian border, Tony Jaa had humble beginnings. His parents were rice farmers and elephant herders. His father changed his sons name from Worawit to Yeerum after having a ‘premonition’ in his dreams. As a young boy, Jaa enjoyed watching the Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films which were occasionally shown in his village on a make-shift cinema screen. These two screen icons were to become major influences on his work. Jaa recognised the way the actors represented not only themselves and their amazing martial arts abilities on the screen, but also the way in the actors represented their cultural backgrounds and traditions.

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