In the new Netflix drama, Wu Assassins, Indonesian actor and pugilist star Iko Uwais plays a Kai, an Indonesian-Chinese chef embroiled in a triad feud in San Francisco’s Chinatown as well as an ancient mystical battle between Good and Evil.
Uwais, 36, a one-time champion of Pencak Silat, a traditional Indonesian martial arts, is also on the big screen: as a bleach blonde villain giving hell to Dave Bautista and Kumal Nanjiani’s buddy comedy Stuber.
“In Stuber, I was more of an actor, not so much a martial artist,” Uwais, 36, tells 8 DAYS via Google Hangouts from a café in Jakarta. “In Wu Assassins, I got to do more martial arts and show more of its stylish side.”
Not only that, he also got the chance to flex his acting muscles in his meatiest role outside Indonesia since his breakout in 2011’s The Raid. Before Wu Assassins, he had a cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a supporting part in last year’s Mile 22.
Between the Hollywood gigs, Uwais managed to squeeze in the nasty Indonesian thriller The Night Comes For Us, and Triple Threat, a Thailand-China production where he got to blow s*** up with Tony Jaa and Man of Tai Chi’s Tiger Chen.
As you can see, Uwais is busy, Jason Statham-busy. So imagine our surprise when we're told that he could spare 15 minutes with us. He did the interview in Bahasa Indonesia through an interpreter, but would occasionally reply in English.