Ottawa Action Star Brings Hollywood Home
Would you ever want to fight Georges St-Pierre, David Bautista, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mike Tyson or Hafthor Bjornsson (The Mountain from Game of Thrones)? Probably not. But Ottawa martial artist, stuntman and actor Alain Moussi has faced off against all of them on-screen as the star of the Kickboxer film franchise.
Growing up during the golden age of action films in the 1980s, Moussi dreamed of becoming an action star. Kickboxer, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, was Moussi’s favourite. Fast forward to 2016 and Moussi’s dream became a reality as the star of the Kickboxer reboot. To make the experience even sweeter, Van Damme is his on-screen mentor and trainer.
On January 11th, Ottawa’s Alain Moussi is bringing Hollywood to Ottawa with the world premiere of Kickboxer 2: Retaliation. In this film, Moussi takes on former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and Halfthor Bjornsson who plays The Mountain on HBO’s Game of Thrones. This unique event offers a red carpet experience, a sneak peek of the film and a chance to mingle with some of the cast and crew. Tickets for the first theatre sold out in just two days, with over 500 expected guests. Click here to get your tickets and get in on the action.
The premiere is a one-of-a-kind event for Ottawa, with a red-carpet entrance, an exclusive screening and an after-party at Craft Beer Market with Alain, Director Dimitri Logothetis and others from the film. It’s a night that Alain hopes will bring the glitz of a Hollywood premiere to Lansdowne:
“Everyone can expect a Hollywood experience. After I shot the first film I wanted to bring some Hollywood magic to Ottawa because it’s never been done. I want to bring Hollywood home so everyone can enjoy it. That’s what everyone can expect on Thursday January 11th – the full Hollywood experience – red carpet, photo opportunities, exciting movie and a great, fun night!”
Kickboxer star Alain Moussi is one of Ottawa’s own. It was his passion for the sport, not the screen, that led him to a successful career in film:
“I started training in martial arts because I was a huge Jean-Claude Van Damme fan. As a kid I saw Bloodsport and that kind of sparked the whole thing. Growing up I was obsessed with kicking and doing the splits.
Getting into the film industry from Ottawa is very hard because there’s not a lot going on. I kind of gave up on it for a while because I just didn’t know how. So I started exploring other opportunities like becoming an engineer, which is what my dad wanted me to do. But throughout all this I was teaching martial arts in Ottawa.
As I was teaching martial arts, one of the instructors learned how to edit and do film. He asked me to choreograph some fight scenes for him. That was the first time I ever did something for the screen – helping a buddy for a school project. This project reignited my interest in film.
Later on, a friend of mine from Montreal, Jean-Francois Lachappelle, got into stunt work when they shot 300 in Montreal. As soon JF got into stunt work I asked him how I could get in. He told me that it wasn’t easy and the right opportunity needed to present itself. There weren’t any projects coming up so there wasn’t a point in introducing me to anyone just yet.
Meanwhile, I opened my own martial arts studio in Orleans, NX Martial Arts, and kept on doing independent work with my friends. We created a web series called NX Files where we were ninjas fighting bad guys. It was a great video series for kids who saw their martial arts instructors as heroes. We put it online and it got quite a few hits so we continued for about 20 episodes, which was pretty cool.
5 years later, JF called me and let me know about an opportunity in Montreal. They were filming The Immortals and the fight coordination was Jean Frenette. It’s crazy because I grew up training at Therien Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing in Ottawa and there was a poster on the wall of Jean Frenette doing a vertical sidekick. I remember seeing that poster and I couldn’t believe how cool it was.
Anyways, JF introduced me to him in Montreal. He invited me to train with the team, but there was no guarantee of a spot in the film. They were shooting some early concept fights and asked me to play the hero, Henry Cavill’s character, because we were similar in size. When he showed it to the director and stunt coordinator they asked if I could be the stunt double for Henry. Jean thought I’d be great and that’s how I got my start!
You have to understand that doubling the lead in your first role is unheard of. Usually you start as “bad guy # 3” and you get shot and fall down. To double as Henry Cavill was unbelievable. On my first job I was the double for the hero and played the role for 6 months. I learned so much from that cast and crew and it was an amazing opportunity.”
Since then, Alain’s career has seen him share screens with Channing Tatum, Mike Tyson, and performing stunts on X-Men, Immortals, Suicide Squad, and World of Warcraft.
Tickets and information on this exciting event are still available here.