Tony Jaa at the Internet Movie Database
Tatchakorn Yeerum (Thai: ทัชชกร ยีรัมย์), formerly Panom Yeerum (Thai: พนม ยีรัมย์ [pʰanom jiːram]; born February 5, 1976 in Surin province, Isaan, Thailand), better known in the West as Tony Jaa, in Thailand as Jaa Panom, is a Thai martial artist, physical educator, actor, choreographer, stuntman, director, and spent time as a Buddhist monk. His films include Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, Tom-Yum-Goong (also called Warrior King or The Protector) Ong-Bak 2: The Beginning, and Ong Bak 3.
Tony initially worked as a stuntman on Panna’s team, Muay Thai Stunt, appearing in many of Panna’s films. He doubled for Sammo Hung when the martial-arts actor made a commercial for an energy drink that required him to grasp an elephant’s tusks and somersault onto the elephant’s back. He was also a stunt double in the Thai television series Insee Daeng (Red Eagle).
ogether, Panna and Jaa developed an interest in Muay Boran, an ancient style of Muay Thai and worked and trained for one year at the art with the intention of developing a film around it. Eventually they were able to put together a short film showing what Jaa could do with the help of instructor Grandmaster Mark Harris. One of the people they showed it to was producer-director Prachya Pinkaew, who was duly impressed.
Tony Jaa demonstrates martial arts at the American Museum of the Moving Image on August 20, 2006, during a
This led to Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior in 2003, Jaa’s break-out role as a leading man. Jaa did all the stunts without mechanical assistance and computer-generated effects and it showcased his style of extreme acrobatics and speedy, dance-like moves. Injuries suffered in the filming included a ligament injury and a sprained ankle. One scene in the film involved fighting with another actor while his own trousers were on fire. “I actually got burned,” he said in a 2005 interview. “I really had to concentrate because once my pants were on fire the flames spread upwards very fast and burnt my eyebrows, my eyelashes and my nose. Then we had to do a couple more takes to get it right.”.
His second major movie was Tom-Yum-Goong (“The Protector” in the US), named after a type of Thai soup and including a style of Muay Thai that imitates elephants.
In August 2006, he was in New York to promote the US release of The Protector, including an appearance at the Museum of the Moving Image