This is: Jason Ng
ason Ng is a stunt performer based out of New York City that has been actively involved in movement-based activities like bboying, martial arts, and tricking since he was in high school. Jason established himself as part of the absolute top class of dancers on the East Coast in the late 2000s, and became well-known for his dynamic style, which often incorporated moves like flips and kicks.
Jason started learning stunts in 2013 and eventually transitioned into full-time industry work after his first role on the live-action rendition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which featured major superstars like Megan Fox and Will Arnett). He has since been featured in a number of major productions and franchises, such as all the Marvel Netflix shows, Altered Carbon, The Greatest Showman, Blacklist, and John Wick. Most recently, Jason stunt coordinated the music video for Ed Sheran’s South of the Border, which features Cardi B, Camila Cabello, and model Alexis Ren. The video has since amassed over 100,000,000 plays on YouTube, and was Jason’s first big music video where he stunt coordinated the action sequence.
These days Jason is hoping to further his career whether it be as a performer or as a fight and stunt coordinator. Read Jason Ng's interview with Myth Magazine below for insight into his work and experiences.
Jason Ng's stunt reel featuring shows such as Iron Fist, Altered Carbon, and Daredevil
Hey Jason! Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into working with stunts? What was the defining breakthrough moment for you?
The breakthrough moment for me was when I hit a plateau in my dancing - I was battling, doing commercial work, and live performances such as backup dancing for artists like Will.i.am, Jason Derulo, Big Bang, etc. and also worked on a Broadway revival called "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman." I felt sort of stuck and wasn’t entirely sure what to do, so I was mostly trying to experience a bunch of different industries.
My brother, who was a stunt performer already, invited me to a stunt audition for TMNT. I went to the audition, and from there I met a lot of people in the stunt community and they showed me a lot of stuff on how to get into the industry. I ended up landing the role that I auditioned for and primarily learned on the job - I did encounter my first injury on the job, which was getting my eyelid split open, but eventually started getting the hang of it. That was the perfect catalyst for making me realize I needed to focus on this full time if I wanted to pursue stunts.
What job has been your favorite experience so far? Any especially crazy or unique stories?
Working on Netflix’s Altered Carbon was one of my favorite experiences. It gave me the chance to double a lead actor that I respected a lot named Will Yun Lee. I used to watch him a lot when I first started stunts because he had these motivational training videos where he's doing taekwondo kicks. He was in a lot of action series back in the day, like Witchblade and Elektra.
It was pretty challenging - not necessarily from the actual stunts, but from all the other things that come with doubling, such as diet and physique. I had to work hard and get really shredded because he was way more jacked than I was. There was a half naked fight, and for it to look realistic I had to try to get my body type more similar to his. Worked out, though, and from certain angles we definitely looked very similar by the end.
Would definitely say that this was my favorite experience. Second would be working as an assistant stunt coordinator in Cape Town, South Africa. I got to work alongside with the stunt team I’m on called Hitz International with my brothers Brett Chan and Johnny Yang, who taught and guided me along the way. What an adventure that was!
What series was that for?
That was for a series called Warrior. It’s a story by Bruce Lee that follows a martial arts prodigy that immigrated to San Francisco to find his sister.
We saw that you’ve recently worked on a music video with Ed Sheeran and Alexis Ren. What was that like? Is it different doing fight and stunt choreography for people who aren’t as used to these kinds of movements?
The Ed Sheeran music video was really fun. My agency got it for me - they wanted a stunt coordinator that could plan out and choreograph the fights, as well as train the actors (Alexis Ren being one of them). I really enjoyed working with the actors and training them to learn the choreography. Before getting started, I talked to the director and producer to get an understanding of what they had envisioned with the action scene. I taught the actress a bunch of moves to see what she was capable of doing, and in my opinion she came out pretty badass!
How much of that music video is your choreography?
The whole fight during that segment featuring Cardi B was my choreography. The only main direction I got from the director was to have Alexis Ren getting choked.
Jason Ng and his stunt team with Alexis Ren on the set of "South of the Border"
Jason Ng and the HITZ International stunt team
Speaking of another large project, you did the motorcycle fight in John Wick, right?
There were two units for that scene - the motorcycle unit and the fight unit. I did all the fight unit stuff with people, but it was in front of a green screen. They had specialists in the motorcycle unit handle those stunts.
Are there any stunts that you haven’t performed on the big screen that you’d like to do?
I’ve actually always wanted to do a fight on screen while being lit on fire. There’s a scene of me on fire in my stunt reel, but it wasn’t anything too intense. My job was mostly just playing dead while the team lit me up for about five seconds. Kudos to the fire safety team for keeping me alive!
What’s the riskiest or most painful stunt that you’ve landed? What made it difficult?
Hahaha, I have a few, but the most recent one was getting hit by a car. It was definitely one of the most painful stunts that I’ve had to do. The car was going 15-16 mph, and it was an old school 1970s Impala with a flat top that definitely wasn’t built to modern safety standards like modern cars are. This was on a show called Hunters - the show was set in the 70s and followed a group of Nazi Hunters.
Are there any worries about the future of stunt-doubling and how technology such as CGI and green screen could affect the profession?
There’s still a lot of work - everything depends on the budget of the show. Some of the best movies with the craziest action sequences (like Terminator 2) are completely authentic. I really appreciated Mad Max a lot because although it incorporated a lot of CGI, most of the stunts and driving were completely real. The best CGI is the kind you don't even realize is there.
Do you usually get to interact with the main cast or are you usually working separately? Has there been an actor or actress that has been particularly enjoyable to work with?
It depends on the production and people, but for me I usually work with just the stunts team. There are some exceptions, though - for example, I’d say that I’m great friends with Jessica Henwick, who played Colleen Wing in the Marvel show Iron Fist. I worked with her during both seasons, and she was always awesome to work with because she trained hard, was really great to be around, and picked up fight choreography incredibly well.
What do you do for fun outside of stunt doubling? I think you mentioned that you like going to concerts and festivals?
Yeah, I love going to EDM events as a hobby, and I’d say that my favorite event of the year is EDC Vegas. I’ve been to Tomorrowland twice as well and had a really good time there. Artist wise, I’m a huge fan of Virtual Self, ZHU, and i_o.
Let’s talk a bit more about your breaking career before stunts. What was your favorite crew breaking competition and your favorite solo breaking competition. What events are special to you?
One of the jams that holds dear to me was Kings of New York. When I had first started bboying, Kings of New York was the first Jam I ever watched lived at a breaking event. The energy during that time in the early 2000s was like no other in New York - it had that raw energy and atmosphere that the New York hip hop culture was known for. Years down the line, I won KONY in 2008 and 2010. Winning the one in 2010 was special to me because it was with my crew Floor Obsessions.
There was another jam in Sweden called Street Star that I entered back in 2011 with one of my crews, Universal Alchemy. The squad included myself, Frankie from Supreme Beings, Fantum from Miami, and Flaco. It was a crew battle - we only had four people and everyone else had eight or nine, and we entered together as Team Fourplay, haha. We won the whole competition despite coming from a competition from France a few days prior. That was probably one of the best international trips I’ve ever had.
So you’ve traveled a lot for dance back in the day, right? Any favorite places to visit or travel stories?
The first place that I was ever flown out to was Estonia, and I was really caught off guard by how beautiful it was. I was there for an international jam called The Battle of Estonia back in around 2011. I liked France as well. I was in a city called Nantes and really enjoyed the architecture and vibe there.
Another favorite travel story was when I attended Hip Hop Obsession, one of my favorite jams to watch as a teen. We lost in the semifinals to a crew called Total Feeling - one of the boys in that crew has a sister named Elodie Yung who plays Elektra in the Netflix Defenders and Daredevil franchise. Coincidentally, I was on the stunt team of Daredevil Season 2 and one of my best friends, Lauren Mary Kim, was her stunt double, so when I spoke to Elodie I mentioned that I had battled him in France a few years back, haha.
How did your dance crew, Floor Obsessions, get started?
We were originally known as Rhythm Impact. We had a bunch of bboys from different crews like Merlin from Foot Clan, Element from Full FX, and Oreo from Brooklyn Zoo. My brother was in it when I first joined as well. Eventually, everyone started branching back into their original crews. I stayed, and one day we won a showcase under the name Floor Obsession, so we decided to keep that. We entered Battle of the Year 2006 USA as Floor Obsession and we qualified to battle after the showcase segment. I was freaking out at the time because I only had less than three years of experience breaking and didn't feel confident in my skillset yet. Eventually, Floor Obsessions started branching out and a lot of asian bboys ended up staying in the crew. We became known as the crew with most of the dope Asian bboys in NYC..
Did you feel like you achieved what you wanted in breaking?
I think since I first started bboying in 2003 in my high school cafeteria, I felt like I've accomplished many of the things in my bboy career I had sought out for. As I got older, life started opening my eyes to other things and my priorities shifted from competitions and jams. The fire to compete was what drove me in the first place and I just felt it slowly burning out. If I lost interest in battling then I knew it was time to focus my goals onto other things. I still love breaking and it'll always be a big part of who I am, though.
Any advice for those who might feel stuck in breaking or in general?
My advice for anyone who felt like they hit a plateau in breaking and want to transition into something else is to experience and educate yourself in other things in life so that you may spark a passion. Be realistic with your goals. Work hard but also smart. Someone once told me that every 5 years things in your life change. Be okay with change.
Jason Ng battling as Bboy Chem at "The Breakoff" in 2010
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