Interview with Eric Jacobus, AKA Stryker from Mortal Kombat: Legacy Season 2

Eric Jacobus feature

All is quiet for the premiere of Mortal Kombat: Legacy Season 2, but Nerd Reactor is digging deep to bring you some cool interviews. So far we’ve interviewed Brian Tee, who’s playing Liu Kang, and Dan Southworth, who’s playing Kenshi. Next up on the list is Eric Jacobus, who’s playing Stryker.

If you haven’t yet, you can check out some of Jacobus’ Stunt People videos featuring Darth Vader, video game parodies, and more.

eric jacobus star wars

Nerd Reactor: You’ve been doing a lot of these cool short videos. Is this something you like to do in the foreseeable future, or let’s say, would you like to branch off and do something else?

Eric Jacobus: We’ve been doing shorts for twelve years and we’ve been doing feature films sporadically throughout that time period. In the future we are hoping to do more of the short films, but we’re moving towards more feature films as well. Needless to say, we’re going to be doing a lot more content in the future. We definitely want to stick with the YouTube model. In the future, going the route of doing fan films on YouTube is definitely an option. And we love doing Star Wars movies. We want to do some stuff with Machinima for example, doing a video game fan film. There’s a huge market of people on YouTube that love seeing their video game characters in action movies, especially when it comes to martial arts.

Nerd Reactor: A lot of the video game stuff has martial arts action in it anyway. So it goes hand in hand.

Eric Jacobus: Yeah, it’s interesting that martial arts has really come a long way since the last decade. Back when I started making movies, back in 2001, martial arts was still kind of foreign in the US. You could still see B action films with Chuck Norris and all those guys, but the average person didn’t quite understand martial arts the way a person would understand playing football. But now that’s definitely different because you’ve got MMA in every bar in every city, be it a rural community or a major metropolitan area. They play mixed martial arts now so every single person knows what a triangle choke is.

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Nerd Reactor: Have you competed in MMA?

Eric Jacobus: I’ve never really competed. I’ve sparred but when I get injured, if I tweak my shoulder, it’s like I can’t do a movie for another month. So I stick to the basic stuff. I do like to spar light. I like sparring with people that I fight because it helps me get into their timing. I haven’t done much sparring, or competitive fighting, either. That’s actually why I got into martial arts in the first place. Not to defend myself – I was a body builder, so that’s how I defended myself. But when it came to making movies, I thought, “I kinda want to look like I know what I’m doing.” And then I got into martial arts sparring.

Nerd Reactor: You were involved in Bruce Willis’ A Good Day to Die Hard.

Eric Jacobus: I helped choreograph a fight scene for that movie. We went to a gym and filmed the fight scene. Unfortunately that fight never made it into the movie. I was really disappointed, but, whatever. We did get a video out of it. It’s on our YouTube channel.

Nerd Reactor: I’ll have to check that one out. So what was the fight scene about?

Eric Jacobus: It was supposed to be Bruce Willis versus the villain, Alik. They were going to have a fight on the rooftops. I was playing the part of Bruce Willis, and I was fighting left-handed. I got to change up my fighting style too, so I fought a little bit more like a fifty-year old cop would fight. Advanced martial arts, watch how you hit, more big punches and just being smart about things. That’s kind of what we went for with the fight. McClane has to outsmart this guy and that’s essentially what he does.

Nerd Reactor: So you actually got to spar with Bruce Willis then, right?

Eric Jacobus: No, I never actually got to meet Bruce Willis. I wish I had.

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Nerd Reactor: You have another big project coming up with Mortal Kombat: Legacy Season 2.

Eric Jacobus: Yeah. That’s not just a stunt role for me because I’ve been trying to move away from doing some stuff and into acting. That’s really been my passion the whole time. And so I managed to snag the role of Stryker. I got to act, and I got to fight. It was pretty cool.

Nerd Reactor: How did that start out?

Eric Jacobus: I met the choreographer, Larnell Stovall. I met him back at Comic-Con years ago. He came by the booth one time and I recognized him. “I know who you are!” It was awesome. We kept talking throughout the years and then eventually he called me up and said that there was a part in Mortal Kombat Legacy that might be just right for you. I had just released a feature film called Death Grip that I had just finished where I play this gruff underdog, yet human character – that’s what the Stryker character was. He uses a gun where everyone else has fireballs. He’s definitely a fish out of water. That’s what I ended up playing when I work on projects. Larnell called me up and told me I should send in a video for the role.

Nerd Reactor: For the role of Stryker, do you know if he’s really accurate to the video game, or did you guys take some liberty with the character?

Eric Jacobus: Well the character is accurate in the sense that he’s still a cop. He’s a little bit more modernized as a cop. He doesn’t look like an LAPD donut-eating cop like from Mortal Kombat 3. He looks more like the Mortal Kombat 9 Stryker. Kevin took a lot of the characters a little bit further into the realistic realm, and he didn’t want Mortal Kombat Legacy to just feel like a game. He wanted it to actually feel like a movie. I respect him a lot for that. I think the fans really like that about the first season, based on the feedback that I’ve seen. I think they’ll really going to like the second season as well because he really does that again, in my opinion.

Nerd Reactor: For this season, do you know how many episodes you’ll be in?

Eric Jacobus: I’m thinking two or three. I believe I’m in the first episode where everybody gets an introduction, then from what I understand, I’ve got one more fight. I’ve got at least one more episode after that, so two at least, maybe three if I’m lucky.

Nerd Reactor: I was wondering if you know when the premier will debut?

Eric Jacobus: I believe it will will be premiering around the same time as Comic-Con, which is mid-July. Yeah. It’s been quiet for everybody, even us cast members. You know, cast members for any project, they don’t really know when the next one drops. Right now it’s probably in the editing stages, I assume. But I’m actually going to go and check it out; I’m going to a screening pretty soon.

Nerd Reactor: Oh, that’s cool. And for the characters, who do you fight? Good guys? Bad guys? Can you reveal anything?

Eric Jacobus: I can reveal what you saw in the trailer, which is that I fight Liu Kang. Yeah. You can kind of see in the trailer what Liu Kang is going to become in this season. I really like what Kevin has done with him. It’s crazy.

Nerd Reactor: Is there a difference between training with an actor versus someone that has a big stunt background, like for example, Brian Tee?

Eric Jacobus:  Mhm. I mean it tends to be. Brian really wanted to do the fight scene on his own and we ended up shooting the fight with Brian anyway. A lot of the time, it’s just a matter of knowing who you’re working with. I had worked with some stunt men on the show a few times before. So it’s just really easy to get up and throw together a fight scene with the stunt men. It’s often as simple as that, stuntmen just know how to work together. But Brian totally managed that fight on his own.

Nerd Reactor: Are you a big fan of Mortal Kombat?

Eric Jacobus: I wanted the arcade cabinet. They had it at a local arcade and I would go in there all the time and play it. That was also the game where they put in a big monitor up above it so everybody in the mall could see who was playing who. I played pretty regularly up through Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. And then I played some of the newer ones too. I think anything after MK3 kind of spoiled my taste for Mortal Kombat for a while, but the newer ones are great. Especially the latest ones with the X-Rays and stuff like that. It’s cool.

Nerd Reactor: Who’s your favorite character?

Eric Jacobus: I actually play as Smoke a lot, back when Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 came out.

Nerd Reactor: Who’s your favorite character in the web series?

Eric Jacobus: Oh, well, Stryker, of course. He’s the human, you know? He’s personally the one I love following. I love following the human character.

Nerd Reactor: Do the episodes follow each other?

Eric Jacobus: I think I can safely say that the new season is going to be less segmented than the first season. It’s gonna feel much more like a movie this time, which is going to lend itself to being a higher quality production when you look at it, I think. It’s going to feel like one season this time.

Nerd Reactor: Do you have any hopes or plans of this becoming bigger, so you can be Stryker in the feature film?

Eric Jacobus: I would love to be Stryker in the feature film. I don’t know far along they are in casting that, but I would love to do that. This is definitely a good thing for me. This is my big gig, and I just hope people enjoy the performances. I hope they enjoy my performance. It’s my breakout gig. I was really excited to be a part of it. I got to work with Casper Van Dien from Starship Troopers, and Mark Dacascos, who is one of my idols. Those things alone made it worthwhile for me, but if I could get some fame off the side, that’s even better. Just meeting the people behind Mortal Kombat Legacy and meeting those actors were fabulous for me.

Nerd Reactor: Do you have any tips for people who perform martial arts, stunts and things like that who are trying to get into the business?

Eric Jacobus: Mhm. I remember somebody posted a comment about my being in Mortal Kombat Legacy and the guy said, “Put me in Mortal Kombat Legacy,” and I replied kind of snarkily. But this is how I feel. “If you want to go and do it, go make films for twelve years.” Now that YouTube is so huge now, there are many people doing stuff that you really have no excuse except apathy to stop now. You have to go out and make your own films. That’s how I started. I knew that the only way for me to get anywhere would be if I picked up a camera and just started doing stuff. So this is a business that does reward talent, but it rewards hard work even more. Believe it or not. The more you work at it, the more content you put out, the more you make videos, the more you network with people and events, the better you are. And then you won’t need to knock on people’s doors. They’ll be knocking on yours. Make yourself into a commodity, be productive.

End of Interview

Check out some of his videos below.

Website links:
Eric Jacobus’ Blog:
Stunt People Website:
YouTube Channel:
Vader Strikes Kickstarter

Also check out our other interviews with the MK Legacy II cast and crew.

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