Scottish martial artist Ray Park began his film career as a stunt double, before appearing in different action movies. He was born in Scotland on August 23, 1974. At age seven, when his family moved to London, he began to train in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu—in which he he holds a black belt and later, wushu and gymnastics. He has competed and won in many martial arts tournaments internationally, most notably his stint with the British wushu team at the 1993 World Wushu Games in Malaysia.
Ray Park’s first film appearance was as a stunt double in the 1997 action flick Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. He did the stunts for Robin Shou and James Remar, and also appeared as a monster at one point. He was Christopher Walken’s stunt actor in the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow. He also appeared in the 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, although his spoken lines were dubbed over with those from actor Peter Serafinowicz.
It was in the superhero film X-Men, released in 2000, when Ray Park had his first speaking role, as Toad, a mutant villain who uses his long tongue to attack, and also spits a slimy substance at the opponent. Park also became a superhero himself, in the adaptation of the Marvel comic Iron Fist. The film, which sees Park play a millionaire who becomes a martial artist with the ability to focus his ‘life force’ on his fist, was released in 2009.
He appeared in the universally-panned 2002 film Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, alongside Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu. He also appeared in the 2006 television movie Slayer. In 2007, he had a minor role in the film What We Do Is Secret. Park was then cast in the 2009 film G.I. Joe, as Snake-Eyes, a member of the original G.I. Joe contingent.
Most recently, Park was cast on Heroes as Edgar and in movies like Future Fighters and Jinn.
[On having to shave his head for the role of Darth Maul] "At first, I lost my confidence a little. I'm used to having my hair, but now you have this bald thing on top. Then I got into it. It was easy and free; I didn't have to wash my hair. I just took a hot towel and buffed it to make it nice and shiny."