Don't let Jiu Jitsu star Alain Moussi's rough exterior and intensity fool you; the actor/martial artist is receptive and humble as they come. He definitely sounds like someone you'd want to have a beer with while working on a project. I spoke to the Kickboxer franchise star about his latest martial arts science fiction action film. When reading the script, knowing that his frequent collaborator and friend Dimitri Logothetis was directing, he jumped at the opportunity.
"I love working with Dimitri," Moussi said. "I've been working with him for years. Anything he does, I want in because he's a visionary filmmaker. Number one, we're friends. Our relationship has grown over 10 years, and I also understand he's a great director. He understands the martial arts and action genre. So I know anything he does will be done the right way. He likes cool characters, and as soon as I saw the script, I was like, 'Oh my God! This is awesome! I was so happy to be working with him on this." Logothetis wrote the screenplay for Kickboxer films Vengeance (2016) and Retaliation (2018). He also directed the star in the 2018 film.
When it came to his Jiu Jitsu co-stars, Moussi sounded like he made the best of friends with all of them. "What's great is that we have chemistry off-screen," he said. "We became friends. I met Nicolas Cage, and we hit it off right away. Nic was so cool to work with, and he was so approachable. He just loves his craft, and he's so passionate. He wants to do a great job. It's so inspiring to see someone with such an illustrious career to have as much passion as he does. I love that. Moussi called Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) "a funny dude" and dreamt of working with Tony Jaa. He also complimented the film's female leads in JuJu Chan and Marie Avgeropoulos. "JuJu is so talented physically in the martial arts and such a cool actress," he said. "She brings so much to the table. I'm excited to work with Marie from The 100. I knew she was great in action, and she's my favorite actress from the show. I'm with her for the first 37 minutes of the movie. She brings so much to the film. It was so much fun."
The action star calls the film's martial arts a mix that complements everyone's styles under the umbrella of jiu-jitsu so as not to be limited to one variation. Of his own performance, Moussi said he drew some inspiration from the Bourne franchise and star Matt Damon given the character's initial bout with amnesia. Co-written by Jim McGrath, the Paramount and The Avenue Entertainment film comes to theatres on November 20.
Every six years, an ancient order of jiu-jitsu fighters joins forces to battle a vicious race of alien invaders. But when a celebrated war hero goes down in defeat, the fate of the planet and mankind hangs in the balance.