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Darren Shahlavi

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Darren Shahlavi
Darren Shahlavi.jpg
Born Darren Majian Shahlavi
(1972-08-05)5 August 1972
Stockport, Cheshire, England, UK
Died 14 January 2015(2015-01-14) (aged 42)
Los Angeles
Cause of death Heart attack due to atherosclerosis
Nationality British
Occupation Actor, martial arts, stuntman
Years active 1991–2015
Spouse(s) Luriana Undershute (m. 2000–2003)

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. He may be 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 Bloodmoon and Tai Chi Boxer. He 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.[1]

In recent years, Shahlavi appeared in big budget films such as 300 and Watchmen, independent features such as The Final Cut with Robin Williams, and as an actor & stuntman in several of Uwe Boll's films (including BloodRayne and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale).[1]

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.[citation needed]

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, 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, he mentioned that Logan wrote a script for him to star in, and off he went to Malaysia. However, upon arrival it became apparent there was no money in place, and Logan's partner Mark Houghton put Shahlavi to work as a stuntman. Shahlavi later moved to Hong Kong to pursue his acting career.[1]

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.[1]

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. These films are difficult to get in uncut form.[citation needed]

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 an interview, Shahlavi had expressed a desire to get back to making martial arts films after completing work on a film with action star Mark Dacascos, and also appeared on Intelligence, and as a guest star on the American series Reaper.[1]

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 and eventually defeat by Yen 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.[1]

Shahlavi played Devon in the 2013 film The Package alongside Dolph Lundgren and WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin. Shahlavi played Cazel in the 2013 film The Marine 3: Homefront, along with Neal McDonough and WWE star Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. Shahlavi appears in his final film in the 2016 film Kickboxer: Vengeance as Eric Sloane, remake of the 1989 film Kickboxer (1989 film), along with Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista and original Kickboxer film star Jean-Claude Van Damme.[1]

Personal life

Shahlavi has two siblings, a younger sister named Elisabeth Shahlavi (born 15 October 1986) and a brother, Robert Shahlavi. Shahlavi married Canadian kickboxer Luraina Undershute (born 20 August 1978) on 28 February 2000. The couple had no children and divorced in 2003.[1]


On 14 January 2015, Shahlavi died in his sleep at the age of 42.[2] The cause of death was a fatal heart attack caused by atherosclerosis.[3]




Video games

Stunt work

Miscellaneous crew

  • Guns & Roses (1993) as an assistant to producer
  • Hostile Environment (1999) as a fight choreographer in his own scenes
  • Le6ion of the Dead (2001) as a fight choreographer
  • Beyond the Limits (2003) as a stunt co-ordinator
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) as a motion capture actor
  • Dragon Age: Origins (2009) as a motion capture actor
  • EA Sports MMA (2010) as a motion capture actor


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Darren Shahlavi on IMDb
  2. ^ "Darren Shahlavi, Martial Artist in 'Mortal Kombat' and 'Arrow', Dies at 42". Variety. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Coroner's report: Ip Man 2 actor Darren Shahlavi died of heart attack". 28 April 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 

External links