Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Ong Bak 2's Tony Jaa

The Thai martial arts star tells us about his favorite movies.

by | October 8, 2009 | Comments

Sienna Miller

Tony Jaa began his career as a stuntman for other actors, much like one of his martial arts inspirations, Jackie Chan. Working under his master and mentor, Thai director Panna Rittikrai, Jaa took hits and tumbles in equal measure before getting his first starring role in 2005’s (American debut) Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior. Ong Bak found immediate success, both with critics and audiences, as a showcase for Jaa’s acrobatic prowess and impressive organic stuntwork (again, like Jackie Chan, Jaa performed all of his own stunts) during a time when wire-based action was a staple in martial arts films. Two years later, Jaa followed with his second film, The Protector, which was less well reviewed Stateside but continued to highlight Jaa’s talents.

With audiences looking for more of the same, Ong Bak 2, Jaa’s first directorial effort, began production in 2006, but encountered some setbacks that delayed the release of the film. Now, the much anticipated sequel (whose story, interestingly, does not tie in with either Ong Bak 1 or The Protector), finally opens this month in limited release, and it looks to be much grittier than his previous two films. We decided to ask Tony what his Five Favorite Films were, and the choices he offered reflect the various influences that have shaped his career.


Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior (2005,
85% Tomatometer)

Ong Bak

Ong Bak 1 is a very important and personal movie for me. It combined many types of martial arts and it’s the movie that introduced the world to Tony Jaa and Muay Thai. I’m extremely proud of this movie.

The Dark Knight (2008,
94% Tomatometer)

The Dark Knight

I loved Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. His performance was thrilling and the plot was remarkable. The editing is also amazing. I believe quality editing is an important tool in properly displaying such a heroic tale.

Return of the Dragon (1973,
100% Tomatometer)

Return of the Dragon

Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris are the main characters and you can find perfect kung fu fighting in this movie. They are my two favorite kung fu actors.

Drunken Master (1979,
73% Tomatometer)

Drunken Master

Jackie Chan is legendary in this film. I used to watch it all the time when I was a young boy. It served as my inspiration to learn how to fight (under the guidance of Master Panna Rittikrai).

Forrest Gump (1994,
72% Tomatometer)

Forrest Gump

Tom Hanks is an excellent actor, especially in this film. It is a beautiful film and has such a deep meaning. It is an amazing film and each of the characters is truly outstanding.

Ong Bak 2 opens in limited release on October 23rd.

For more Five Favorite Films, check our archive.

Tag Cloud

Freeform golden globes diversity Kids & Family cats YouTube Red USA Network comiccon MSNBC Comic Book Nickelodeon ABC Family Columbia Pictures 24 frames SDCC technology CBS All Access Countdown DC Comics President binge Christmas CNN Masterpiece Netflix Calendar Sneak Peek Tomatazos 2015 harry potter Cartoon Network HBO A&E El Rey Reality Competition ABC Walt Disney Pictures streaming Universal Winter TV Nat Geo National Geographic Podcast vampires transformers RT History 2016 DirecTV Western Marathons crime drama Teen cooking zombies TV Land Ovation Tumblr Certified Fresh PBS Comedy Central MTV Sundance blaxploitation docudrama Adult Swim unscripted Oscars Spike GIFs adventure BET crossover Reality Sony Pictures Valentine's Day Martial Arts X-Men Mary Tyler Moore Logo Animation Hulu Polls and Games mutant YA CMT crime thriller The Arrangement aliens 20th Century Fox politics science fiction zombie Spring TV Fantasy IFC political drama Extras Biopics biography justice league Food Network The CW Super Bowl ITV police drama Superheroes Creative Arts Emmys cinemax Summer Disney Winners Crackle Rock Pirates Lionsgate Awards Trailer NBC Pop discovery Opinion Esquire Country dceu NYCC Musical History OWN GoT American Society of Cinematographers IFC Films serial killer dramedy TV Emmys psycho Star Wars Premiere Dates Year in Review Sci-Fi Writers Guild of America Comedy boxoffice FXX dc Trivia festivals spy thriller Amazon composers First Look based on movie Warner Bros. FOX finale TCM Interview TBS TNT travel Best and Worst social media Ellie Kemper ratings hist Cosplay LGBTQ FX Star Trek Nominations 2017 war Video Games TCA Lucasfilm Lifetime GLAAD VH1 Thanksgiving TLC ESPN TIFF Mystery Acorn TV Pixar APB Fall TV Photos talk show E! SundanceTV Shondaland historical drama Grammys SXSW Schedule Paramount Holidays Dark Horse Comics Ghostbusters DC Universe CW Seed Rom-Com Starz cops See It Skip It Bravo Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt singing competition AMC Fox News 21st Century Fox Election Watching Series 007 Toys Showtime medical drama Sundance Now Action YouTube Premium PaleyFest BBC America Set visit BBC sports Paramount Network period drama TCA 2017 Britbox thriller romance Red Carpet DC streaming service supernatural Song of Ice and Fire Syfy Character Guide Drama Rocky USA cults robots Musicals CBS Disney Channel TruTV E3 45 Horror Box Office Infographic Music Apple what to watch WGN VICE crime Superheroe Marvel Mindy Kaling sitcom