Mortal Kombat is the gold standard taking the genre of fighting games to another level. The same could be said about the 1995 film, which is regarded as one of the best film adaptations of a video game.
25 years later, Mortal Kombat is getting a much-needed reboot thanks to Warner Bros., and this time, the movie is sticking to its violent roots and bringing the gory martial arts action plus insane fatalities we love from the games to the big screen. The film follows the same premise for the game, a group of chosen warriors fights on behalf of the Earth realm in a tournament called Mortal Kombat that will determine the fate of the world.
Those chosen warriors will have to do battle with Outworld’s best warriors led by the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung (Chin Han), who will stop at nothing to see Lord Raiden’s (Tadanobu Asano) chosen few lose in battle and devour their souls for good measure.
Hip-Hop Wired had the chance to speak with Mehcad Brooks, who takes on the role of Major Jackson Briggs, better known as Jax in the film. In the trailer for the highly-anticipated movie, we learn that he is looking for those special fighters who bear the iconic Mortal Kombat logo as a birthmark which signifies you have been selected to compete in the tournament. We also learn that Jax encounters Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), the cryomancer ninja who showcases his ability to manipulate ice by freezing Jax’s arms turning them into bloody shredded ice.
We asked him what his initial reaction upon learning he was going to be in the film was, and he revealed to us that he got emotional and understandably so. Brooks took a leap of faith, deciding to leave the CW show Supergirl. He was a cast member on the popular show from 2015-2019. Brooks knowingly headed into a world of uncertainty because being a Black actor doesn’t guarantee there will be plenty of shows and movies lining up for your services.
“Honest to God, truth is I cried man,” Brooks opened up.”I was leaving a show that was like family to me, and it was just time for me to go. In Hollywood, you work, especially as an actor of color, a Black actor, you don’t really know what’s next. I heard a ratio that was given to me early on in my career, and they’re like, you do realize you got a 28-1 chance because 28 roles are written white as to one is written Black. So, for every 28 things that are out, there’s only one thing for you.”
Brooks revealed that following his audition for the role, he waited for months to learn if he got the role. He broke down that day when he got the part.
“I was waiting to hear back for months,” the actor states. “I’m in the gym, I’m in the middle of a set, and I got the phone call from my managers, and they told me, and I was like oh imma take this in stride, you know I got this. I literally was crying.” Brooks finished his workout and immediately began working out for the role putting on the required 45 lbs of muscle to play the special forces soldier.
Of course, we asked Brooks if he was a gamer. ” Wouldn’t say I am gamer cause I missed that boat,” he begins. “What my parents called me was a video game head. I think had I been born 10 years later. I might have been called a gamer. I was considered like a dork or a nerd or whatever the case was. This was before the term. I was playing enough video games to be considered a gamer, but it was before the term. I played a lot of video games. I got carpal tunnel syndrome for sure.”
When it comes to his favorite Mortal Kombat character, it came as no surprise that it was none other than Sub-Zero’s rival, Scorpion. Brooks even revealed that he embarrassingly dressed up as the ninja five years in a row for Halloween before eventually switching things up to become Superman after his brother called him out for wearing the same costume so many times.
We would have been remiss if we didn’t ask Brooks about Black Twitter roasting him. Following the release of first look photos from the film by Entertainment Weekly, tweets from users hilariously saying they didn’t know Steve Harvey was in the new Mortal Kombat movie began pouring in. He took his social media ribbing in stride.
“Listen, I think Black Twitter is gonna be Black Twitter,” he begins. “One thing that we are really good at in our community is transmuting all the pain and challenges that we’ve had into humor. We’re just gonna make fun of people, that’s just what we do, and if we roast you, that means we like you. If we don’t like you, we just not gonna say anything. I understand that it’s endearing. I understand that we love to laugh, but here’s the thing I love Steve Harvey. I think he’s great. I think he’s America’s dad, and he’s a great comedian, and we do have in common the fact that both of our mustaches are made out of fine silk, unicorn tears, and dreams, and if people can’t handle that, they just can’t handle that. I just might make a Twitter for the mustache.
Finally, we asked Brooks what music is on Jax’s playlist. He revealed that he was planning on dropping the playlist that he listens to during his fight scenes. He described it as a vibe of “fighting through hard times,” which features late rappers Pop Smoke and 2Pac.
Mortal Kombat jump kicks into theaters, and on HBO Max April 23, you can watch the entire fun interview with Mehcad Brooks above.
Photo: Warner Bros. / Mortal Kombat