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

historical drama Schedule HBO Animation Musicals Freeform OWN GoT thriller 2017 Logo Awards 2015 Sundance politics BET Music Nominations Pop APB Comedy Central WGN Action Hulu PaleyFest Summer CBS Nat Geo TV Land Masterpiece Year in Review Spring TV ABC Family Fox News biography TIFF psycho Trivia 2016 NBC RT History discovery The CW comiccon Cosplay Star Wars ITV cinemax GLAAD Food Network Marvel CNN Polls and Games Superheroes Premiere Dates SDCC Pirates Infographic DirecTV Country Rom-Com Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Crackle zombie LGBTQ Martial Arts Rocky docudrama El Rey Photos TLC AMC Rock Valentine's Day sitcom Fall TV CBS All Access crime drama Mary Tyler Moore Esquire Reality boxoffice sports Extras Disney composers BBC TBS Toys ABC Teen History SundanceTV travel Sneak Peek science fiction PBS MSNBC Set visit MTV TCA Election FOX Nickelodeon Calendar Netflix Universal E! Winners Thanksgiving Ghostbusters Tomatazos The Arrangement Character Guide TruTV supernatural aliens Dark Horse Comics TCA 2017 Comedy Certified Fresh BBC America American Society of Cinematographers vampires FX Grammys period drama TCM VH1 Comic Book crime thriller social media Disney Channel DC Comics Holidays Starz Musical serial killer YA Best and Worst Oscars Opinion Tumblr Watching Series Drama harry potter Trailer Red Carpet Fantasy X-Men Podcast Mystery Syfy diversity singing competition Box Office Bravo cops CMT Video Games Writers Guild of America Reality Competition Mindy Kaling VICE 24 frames 007 Biopics technology cooking NYCC dramedy Marathons First Look Amazon Interview war Super Bowl TNT Kids & Family Lifetime Cartoon Network Ellie Kemper Showtime ESPN Star Trek adventure Horror Countdown President crime based on movie Winter TV USA Lionsgate IFC FXX Sci-Fi police drama A&E TV Emmys Adult Swim GIFs