In The Foreigner, Quan (Jackie Chan) is a humble London businessman whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love — his teenage daughter — dies in a senseless act of politically motivated terrorism. His relentless search to find the terrorists leads to a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official whose own past may hold the clues to the identities of the elusive killers.
We had a chance to interview Rory Fleck Byrne who plays bad ass Sean Morrison in the film. We asked him about his epic fight scene with Jackie Chan in the movie and much more!
Luis Lecca (Nuke The Fridge): You went toe to toe with the legend Jackie Chan. Please describe that.
Rory Fleck Byrne: Oh my God. Well, when I got that call that said I was going to be doing that I was ecstatic. Jesus, I never thought I was going to be part of that … Never dreamed it would be part of my career to be quite honest. But it was phenomenal. He is an exceptional man!
There was just this moment on set where we did some re-shoots in China, and I fly to Beijing to fight with Jackie. We’re doing a bit of the choreography and he’s telling me, you know, maybe do it this way or a bit more that way. I had to stand there pinching myself. I’m like, this is me fighting with Jackie Chan and he’s teaching me how to do martial arts. Like, I can’t believe this. It was out of this world phenomenal.
Nuke the Fridge: I was living the dream through you watching you but, you held your own. Jackie Chan is known for doing his own stunts? How long did that sequence take to film, and how does that start? Is it a choreography, how does that work?
Rory Byrne: Well, I’ll tell you, first things first. Jackie Chan’s stunt team is exceptional. I trained with them for about three weeks to a month in preparation for the fighting. At first, I thought, you know, that I would be learning exact choreography that we’d just keep repeating so I knew that on the day that I knew what I was doing. But, as it goes with filmmaking, things are always changing at the moment. So it’s about being present then. How I ended up training was just learning as much martial arts as possible and getting into my body so that when I was on set and if they needed to change the choreography to suit the camera position, you know, I could quickly learn new choreography. So it was very in the moment thinking on your feet, and just being as prepared as possible. That fight sequence only took a day to film.
Nuke the Fridge: Wow! (Only a day)
Rory Byrne: Which is quite amazing seeing as it’s such an epic fight.
Nuke the Fridge: Is the Martial Arts in your background?
Rory Byrne: I’ve never done martial arts before in my life. I was stoked and psyched for the challenge. I said to them, “Come on, let’s do this!” I just got up and trained with them every day for three weeks and got on so well with his team that. I just wanted to keep training. Now I have a guy that I train with in London to keep the martial arts thing going, ’cause it’s become a nice little hobby talent on the side, you know.
You can listen to the entire interview below!
The Foreigner opens in theaters on October 13, 2017