Joe Taslim on portraying Mortal Kombat’s Sub-Zero: I was born to do this

Credit: Warner Bros.

Joe Taslim felt like he was born to play Sub-Zero, a fan-favorite assassin in the Mortal Kombat franchise. The 39-year-old actor is no stranger to action, making a name for himself in The Raid, an Indonesian film that raised the bar on action films. He would later appear in big blockbusters like Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Beyond and series like Cinemax’s Warrior. He recounts his time transforming himself into the cold “kombatant.”

“Huge fan of Sub-Zero since I was a kid,” Taslim said. “When you read the script to play this character, you create all the imaginations, how it’s going to look, how you’re going to walk and everything. But the first time I was in that costume and looking at myself in the mirror, I was like, ‘Okay! Oh, yeah! This is it!’ Like I was born to do this and I am Sub-Zero. The energy is great. It just helped me a lot through the process and to get into the shoes, like embodying this character. The costume is very important, I gotta say.”

Anyone who has watched or played as Sub-Zero knows that he’s capable of all types of deadly and cold attacks. Being a gamer has made things easier for Taslim with the fight choreography, and having crazy fantasies inside his head.

“I used to be a daydreamer when I was a kid,” Taslim explained. “So in my dream, I just can picture everything. Before I go to sleep, I picture everything. There’s probably something pretty weird for me. On the set, they were like, ‘You have to create a sword. You got to fight with this. You’re going to freeze the blood.’ Somehow, I had so much fun with it. I got into the character and then put that illusion inside a bubble where I’m in it and seeing everything. It was so much fun to do. I know a lot of people probably think I’m crazy, but I’m crazy.”

Sub-Zero is also a favorite character of Jessica McNamee, who plays Sonya Blade, a warrior with a military background on the hunt for the mysterious Mortal Kombat tournament.

“I like Sub-Zero,” McNamee said. “He’s just so iconic.”

In the video game franchise, Sonya Blade and Kano are old rivals. In the film, Sonya reluctantly enlists the aid of Kano, who’s played by Josh Lawson. He shares his favorite character.

“Look, I love Goro,” Lawson said. “I do. I mean, call me old-fashioned. I think he’s a gentle giant. I think we’d get along. I just feel like he’s the kind of guy I’d like at a dinner party.”

The actors did get a chance to play some Mortal Kombat during their time on set, and it’s not surprising to know that Joe was a good player.

“While we were filming, Joe had, I think, PlayStation with the game and had a bunch of the crew and cast over to play with him, which was funny,” McNamee said.

“But he’s so good,” Lawson added. “I think he did that because he knew that he would beat up everyone. He’s really good at it.”

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