Darren Shahlavi

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Darren Shahlavi
Born Darren Majian Shahlavi
(1972-08-05)5 August 1972
Stockport, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom
Died 14 January 2015(2015-01-14) (aged 42)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Nationality British
Occupation Actor, martial arts, stuntman
Years active 1991-2015
Spouse(s) Luriana Undershute (m. 2000-2003)
Relatives Elisabeth "Lis" Shahlavi

Darren Majian Shahlavi (5 August 1972 – 14 January 2015), sometimes credited as Shahlavi, was an English actor, martial artist and stuntman. His surname is of Persian origin. Shahlavi is perhaps best known for his role as Taylor "The Twister" Milos in the 2010 film Ip Man 2.

Shahlavi was known primarily for playing bad guys in martial arts films such as Gary Daniels' Bloodmoon and Yuen Woo-ping's Tai Chi Boxer alongside Jacky Wu. Shahlavi had starred in the Asian film series The Techno Warriors, and American films Hostile Environment, Sometimes a Hero, Legion of the Dead and the cult classic Beyond the Limits, for German Horror master Olaf Ittenbach. Recently Shahlavi appeared opposite Eddie Murphy in Columbia Pictures big screen remake of I Spy directed by Betty Thomas, and independent features The Final Cut with Robin Williams and the notorious Uwe Boll's film BloodRayne with Kristanna Loken and Ben Kingsley.

Early life

Shahlavi was born to Iranian immigrant parents at Stockport, Cheshire, England on 5 August 1972. At the age of 7, Shahlavi started studying Judo in a rented acting theatre, and would arrive early to peek at the actors performing, after discovering Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films he dreamed of being in action films and continued to train in Shotokan Karate at the age of 14 under Sensei Dave Morris and Horace Harvey, and later boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai at Master Toddy's gym in Manchester. At the age of 16, Shahlavi started to pursue a career in film and got the attention Hong Kong action cinema expert Bey Logan in the early 1990s, and according to Bey Logan's commentary on the Tai Chi Boxer DVD,[1] Shahlavi would spend time at Logan's home watching and studying and copying martial art films from Logan's personal collection. In an interview with the Persian Mirror,[2] Shahlavi mentions Logan wrote a script for him to star in and off he went to Malaysia but upon arrival it became apparent there was no money in place, and Logan's partner British Hung Gar Kung Fu expert and film star Mark Houghton put Shahlavi to work as a stuntman, he later moved to Hong Kong to pursue his acting career.

Film career

After moving to Hong Kong in the mid-1990s to pursue a career in action cinema Shahlavi was discovered by famed martial arts choreographer and director Yuen Woo-ping, who signed him to play the bad guy opposite Jacky Wu in Tai Chi Boxer, at the time he was working as a nightclub bouncer and a bodyguard for visiting celebrities. After Tai Chi Boxer was released in Hong Kong cinemas, Seasonal Films Corporation boss Ng See-yuen and director Tony Leung Siu-hung saw potential in Shahlavi and signed him for their Hong Kong and United States film Bloodmoon (1997), what the film lacks it more than makes up for in the action scenes with Shahlavi as the villain and stars Gary Daniels and Chuck Jeffreys, and remains a favourite with hardcore martial arts film fans.

Towards the end of his career, Shahlavi has moved into the horror genre working with cult German gore master and splatter filmmaker Olaf Ittenbach whose films are often banned for their extreme and graphic violence, Shahlavi starred in and choreographed fights in the films Legion of the Dead and Beyond the Limits. Unfortunately these films are hard to get in their uncut form. Occasionally Shahlavi had done stunts in studio films such as Universal Studios The Chronicles of Riddick, 20th Century Fox's Night at the Museum and Warner Bros' 300 often making an on-screen cameo as an inside joke such as the sleeping guard who can't fight in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in which he was the stunt double for Ray Liotta for the fighting scenes with Jason Statham which were choreographed by Ching Siu-tung. In a recent interview with Shero Rauf Shahlavi had expressed his desire to get back to making martial arts films and just completed work on a film with action star Mark Dacascos, and also appears in the Canadian TV show Intelligence and as a guest star on the ABC Studios U.S. Prime Time series Reaper.

In 2010, Shahlavi landed a major role in the film Ip Man 2 starring Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Lynn Hung, and Huang Xiaoming as the villain Taylor "The Twister" Milos. Although he only appeared in the latter part of the film, his boxing fights with Hung (as Hung Ga Master) and eventually defeat by Donnie (as Ip Man) form the climax of the film and eventually serves as the film's main antagonist. Shahlavi appeared in the psychological dark tale thriller film Red Riding Hood. Shahlavi appears in Mortal Kombat: Legacy as Kano. Shahlavi played Devon in the 2013 film The Package alongside Dolph Lundgren and former WWE superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin. Shahlavi played Cazel in the 2013 film The Marine 3: Homefront, along with Neal McDonough and WWE superstar Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. Shahlavi appears in his final film in the 2015 film Kickboxer as Eric Sloane, remake of the 1989 film of the same name, along with MMA fighter Alain Moussi, former WWE superstar Dave Bautista and original Kickboxer film star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Personal life

Shahlavi has a sibling, a younger sister named Elisabeth Shahlavi (born 15 October 1986). Shahlavi married Canadian Kickboxer Luraina Undershute (born August 20, 1978) on 28 February 2000. They have no children. They divorced in 2003.

Death

On January 14, 2015, Shahlavi died in his sleep at the age of 42.[3] The cause of death has not been revealed.

Filmography

Movies

Television

Video games

Stunt work

Miscellaneous crew

References

  1. ^ "DVD Outsider". Dvdoutsider.co.uk. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Darren Shahlavi Interviews". http://allindinfo.blogspot.in. 
  3. ^ "Darren Shahlavi, Martial Artist in ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Arrow,’ Dies at 42". Variety. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 

External links