Thai actor Tony Jaa performed a number of stunts for the film, suffering injuries such as a ligament injury and a sprained ankle. One scene involved fighting while his trousers were on fire, which spread upwards and burnt his eyebrows, eyelashes and nose during filming. Despite this, he did several more takes after that. Tony Jaa’s legs must be infused with industrial strength elastic. There’s no other explanation I can offer up as to how on earth he’s able to vault over the roof of moving cars (or split sliding under them for that matter), as well as back and front flipping his way through hordes of enemies and jumping through hoops of barbed wire.
An amazing thought, is that up to this time in martial arts films, it was common to use wires for the stunts and CGI to cover the wires or to enhance the danger and make the stunt look especially difficult. This film did not use wires or CGI to enhance the stunts. It is funny to note however, that all the funky hairstyles in the film is due to the extensive use of padding on the head. The wigs are hiding the padding, because Tony Jaa doesn’t hold back when he elbows someone in the head.
Jaa is a stuntman-turned-actor who spent his youth as an elephant herder. He watched martial arts movies and decided to follow in the footsteps of heroes Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Tony Jaa trained extensively in the ancient form of Muay Boran (the predecessor to Muay Thai) for four years in preparation for the movie.
Ong-Bak was directed by Prachya Pinkaew for Baa-Ram-Ewe.
Things to look up (go to IMDB):
Glossary of Stunt and film terms as explained by Wikipedia: Martial arts film is a film genre. A subgenre of the action film, martial arts films contain numerous martial arts fights between characters, usually as the films’ primary appeal and entertainment value, and often as a method of storytelling and character expression and development. Martial arts are frequently featured in training scenes and other sequences in addition to fights. Martial arts films commonly include other types of action, such as stuntwork, chases, and/or gunfights.
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