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Krzysztof Soszynski, Jess Brown and Nick Bateman at the Toronto Premiere of Tapped Out

This past Thursday, I attended the red carpet premiere of Hackybox Pictures Tapped Out at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto. There, a gruelling thought occurred to me: each one of the attendees on the Red Carpet could have kicked my butt.

Among those attendees that could have kicked my butt began with female lead Jess Brown, who claimed multiple times on the Red Carpet to be a real “girly-girl”, but I am sure was being coy. Next up on the carpet was associate producer and actor Nick Bateman, described as the “Ben to Cody Hackman’s Matt”. Nick possesses a Karate background, and I heard somebody on the press line describe his knock-out looks, (he is also a model), so I wanted no part of him.

Director and writer of Allan Unger followed, and though Unger claimed that he is not a fighter, he must have picked up something while filming the flashy Martial Arts sequences. Plus, Unger attended premieres and advanced screenings at the Scotiabank Theatre himself, and came home to make good. He’s hungry.

Following Unger on the Red Carpet were two men that I had the pleasure of talking to earlier that day at the Toronto Kickboxing and Muay Thai Academy. These men were star of the film, producer and the man who came up with the original storyline for Tapped Out, Cody Hackman, and former UFC star and antagonist of the film, Krzysztof Soszynski. For Hackman, one of the main difficulties that this five-time Karate champion turned Meisner technique-trained actor faced in the movie was conceivably looking bad at Karate, standing in the wrong pose, and holding his hands improperly. Though there is a line about in the movie about Hackman’s stature, needless to say, he looked coiled and Karate-ready. Soszynski went out of his way to praise the realistic action of this film, as compared to Here Comes the Boom. One of the more difficult experiences for Soszynski was saying nasty words to the actress that played Hackman’s mother in Tapped Out, (and it was really endearing that an actor as imposing as Soszynski could not bring himself to swear as he did in the film, constantly saying “the f word”). He talked about turning on and off a switch, and clearly, it showed.

Last on the carpet was the sensei of Cobra Kai, Martin Kove, famous for invoking Billy Zabka to “sweep the leg” in the Karate Kid. Kove possesses a Karate background himself, and though he made a show of hobbling down the line on his imaginary walker, at sixty-eight years old, Kove has plenty of fight left in him. Co-stars Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida were unable to attend, but play prominent roles in the film. The movie Tapped Out is a really hard-hitting film, and I was knocked out by my experience.

 

Photography Credit: Marc Levy