“Hitman: Agent 47” stars praise Pinoy martial artists behind film’s fight scenes

New York – “Hitman: Agent 47” is a video-game inspired flick that tells the story of an elite assassin whose latest target is a corporation that plans to create an army of killers — even more powerful than Agent 47.

Played by English actor Rupert Friend, 47 is a genetically engineered killing machine.

With the help of Katia Van Dees, played by English model and actress Hannah Ware, the origins of 47 were revealed as he battles his deadliest foe – John Smith, played by Zachary Quinto.

So when this Hollywood movie needed great fight and stunt scenes, the production turned to a premiere stunt team that includes three Filipino American kali martial artists.

Jonathan Eusebio is the stunt coordinator while Jon Valera and Jeremy Marinas are the fight coordinators for Agent 47.

“They are wonderful — Valera, Eusebio, Jeremy,” Friend said. “They’re just lovely, lovely guys. They’re complete bad asses, but you’d never know it. They’re very happy smiley dudes.”

Using his newly acquired Filipino martial arts skills, Friend says for several times in the movie he had to fight and kill the Filipino American actors who played various roles as assassins.

“They taught me a lot of just straight Filipino street fighting that I found very useful and a little bit terrifying,” Friend said.

Jon Valera said, “What would agent 47 use in the room beside his hand and his feet and his elbows, you know? He’s gonna pick up a book, pick up a glass bottle, he’s gonna use a pen, lamp — that’s how smart he is.”

Jonathan Eusebio said that sometimes what works for reality does not work for film.

“We have a pretty good idea in terms of performance on camera like what looks better, sometimes realistic doesn’t necessarily cinematically translate better,” he said. “Jon goes in and kinda sees the movement. If it doesn’t look sharp or wide enough, he knows how to change it according to the camera angle.”

Zachary Quinto, known for his roles as Sylar in “Heroes” and Spock in “Star Trek”, learned a thing or two from these Filipino martial artists on how to become a brawler.

“Those guys were awesome and really took care of us. They really made us feel safe and really taught us the techniques that we needed,” Quinto said.

Hannah Ware said, “It was challenging, but I actually really enjoyed it and I wanna do more of it.”

Ware also mentioned that her best friend happened to be Filipina.

“Yeah, my best friend is Joyce Sitterly and she’s half Filipino. And I also have James, Filipino, as well,” said Ware. “James was telling me about the cuisine and I really wanna try some Filipino food.”

The video game inspired movie, “Hitman: Agent 47” will screen in Philippine theaters beginning Aug. 19 and on Aug. 21 in the US.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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