Above Pic: Larnell from his FB page
Larnell Stovall is a man of action, on the eve of the release of the new Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2, I am honored to have a short chat with the accomplished martial artist and stunt coordinator. Sit back in your easy chair crack open a large can of whoop-ass and check out another exclusive interview from Dan's Movie Report!
Greetings Larnell, thanks for taking the time to do this short interview for Dan's Movie report, what is your martial arts background, how did you transition for martial arts to stunt work?
I have studied Shotokan, Aikido, Capoeira and Ninjitsu... now I just do Hollywood-Do.
The transition started with friends who funny enough auditioned for Mortal Kombat Conquest. I wanted to audition for it but was injured at the time although I was able to meet the Stunt Coordinator of it. After I saw the episodes it was a good feeling seeing friends names in the credits and spotting their signature moves in fight scenes etc so i knew I wanted to do stunt work there after.
What do you consider your first break in the film business, how did you begin in Hollywood?
I began like most people, riding around L.A. looking for sets to drop a headshot off, sometimes driving for hours to meet/talk to a stunt coordinator for less than 5 min and hope you are given a chance to work on that show or movie. Eventually over time you might be given that chance whether it was shows like Buffy, Martial Law, Angel, V.I.P., She Spies, Alias etc. Funny enough I never got on any of them, those are the breaks, but you have to keep trying and never give up. So I got an agent and started booking small acting roles on many t.v. shows "The Shield", "C.S.I.", "Touched by an Angel", "R.H.D. LA", etc. but my passion was stunts/fight scenes.
You have had a long career, is there a particular project that stands out in your mind, that is career defining?
I hope I haven't had a long career due to I feel like I have yet to begin, which is a good thing.. keeps me hungry and wanting to do better work. I still say a defining moment was a good friend of mine J.J. Perry recommending me to Isaac Florentine to choreograph Undisputed 3. At the time i was not working and I knew this was a big opportunity for me due to Undisputed 2 was probably one of the best fight movies I had seen in years, so the pressure was on. Im very grateful for that chance due to it challenged me big time and it became a calling card for me as a choreographer. Even though it was a STV film it made enough waves and gained enough respect from some industry people for me to be trusted with much bigger projects.
Go through a typical day of training, when you are working and also a day off set.
When I'm not working I try to see my family and kids as much as possible due to all my projects seem to never be where I live or in the country most of the time. When Im not working I'm trying to get/find the next project, network, train, research, play video games (yes it's research too.. ), study what new techniques are out there in the film world etc. Spend time on youtube looking at different martial arts styles, shorts, animations, old/new fight scenes etc. Im always trying to find something new to incorporate for whatever the next project may be.
Interesting insight, behind the action, Chat about 47 Ronin and Mortal Kombat Legacy, The action and your involvement.
I did not work on 47 Ronin, but it looks cool almost like a live action Ninja Scroll. I hope it does well due to it may open up doors for a real Ninja Scroll movie or other popular anime movies to get greenlit by studios. MK Legacy was different for me this time due to I was not as involved with the 2nd season as I was for the 1st. I was able to do the fight choreography and oversee some rehearsals and the 1st wk of filming but the rest was handled by Garrett Warren (Avatar, Reel Steel, Lincoln etc). he was the Stunt Coordinator and the 2nd Unit Dir. One thing I think people will find surprising is Kevin T. actually had LESS of a budget for season 2 than he did for season 1. Hopefully this goes to show his naysayers how truly talented he is and one can only imagine what he will do with a full movie budget soon. This season of MK Legacy 2 looks great, the action, fights, drama, settings etc look great and I look forward to seeing the final product myself. Yeah it makes me nervous to choreograph something and not be there for the on set performance of these fights but I was on a movie in Atlanta with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart "Ride Along".
Thanks for the cool answers, I will let you get back to work, to connect with Larnell follow him on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/larnellstovall Watch for more on your only home for action Dan's Movie Report!