UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will turn his hand to acting soon in a big-screen debut alongside Steven Seagal. But he wants to reassure his fans that fighting remains his first focus - he won’t be trying to earn any Academy Awards just yet.
Having become a major celebrity in Brazil thanks to the PR agency 9ine, Silva is currently enjoying a holiday in Dubai before returning to his native Curitiba, Brazil, to take care of family issues. He will then head to the US to start work on filming with Seagal.
Anderson trained Wing Chun as a child, as did Bruce Lee, and he says that the Chinese martial arts actor is one of his biggest inspirations both inside and outside of the ring. “His philosophy, how he conducted his life was so cool”, he says.
Silva reveals he received the first script draft this week and that the production with Seagal is a police story packed with a lot of action. “I will make a lot of fight scenes and this is also the first time I will act”, he tells Estadão. “I received a long plot and I will have the opportunity of putting in practice what I have been studying for some time”.
The Muay Thai specialist got into the cinema business with the inducement of director and friend Johnny Araujo. “Actually, he found out this side of me. I can say that he was my mentor in the acting art. He has been helping me so much with it and I will prepare myself each time more in order to make it well done”, he promises.
“I don’t want to be seen as somebody who caught the role because I am on the media and to be a fighter. Of course it is difficult, I am not Lorenzo Lamas, but I want to do it well done to the people see that I am a good actor.”
Anderson explains he is persistent in everything he does and that his whole life was dedicated to discipline. The best middleweight for some time being guarantees he is a better master than fighter.
“I never imagined me being a MMA or UFC champion, even so because when I began there was nothing like this. I wanted to be as good as my masters, who were the people who taught me to have the discipline I got and the martial principles that I acquired.”
The 37 years-old athlete also explains that he managed to get away from the stereotype that a fighter has to be arrogant. “I never had this thing of being an asshole - and not just because my voice doesn’t allow it!” he jokes. (No coincidence that The Spider likes to wear pink clothing and when he was a child used to play dolls with his sisters. “I am very tranquil. It is easier to put a image of an average guy on me than a fighter.”)
His only issue with filming in the USA in December? Perhaps he won’t be able to follow his Corinthians soccer team at the World Soccer Championship in Japan.