Profile: Scott Adkins

Posted in Profiles by - May 17, 2015
Profile: Scott Adkins

Date of birth: June 17, 1976 (Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, UK)

Full name: Scott Edward Adkins

Occupation: Actor, stuntman, martial arts instructor

Style: Judo, kickboxing, Taekwondo

Biography: Scott Edward Adkins is a British martial artist and actor who was born in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, UK, to parents John and Janet Adkins. He has an older brother, Craig. Scott attended Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield and as a child he idolised Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jean-Claude Van Damme. He learnt Judo at the age of 10 with his brother and father, and later turned the family garage into a dojo where he would train as a teenager. Scott studied Taekwondo from the age of 14 with Ron Sergiew at the Taekwondo Association of Great Britain and kickboxing from Anthony Jones, achieving a black belt in both disciplines and becoming a fully-qualified kickboxing instructor for the PKA.

For generations, the Adkins family were renowned locally as butchers. Instead of following in the family business, Scott studied drama at Sutton Coldfield College. At 21, he was offered a place at the prestigious Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, but without a grant to support him during his studies, Scott was forced to leave the course before completion. He found acting work on UK television shows including the BBC’s Dangerfield, City Central and Doctors. Scott has featured in episodes of EastEnders, and in the lead role for the Sky One comedy drama Mile High. He has also appeared on the BBC’s Holby City in which he played Bradley Hume, the assistant general manager of Holby General.

He enjoyed his first success as an action star in Hong Kong after he was spotted by Hong Kong movie expert Bey Logan, director Stephen Tung Wei and the Hong Kong Stuntman Association. He was offered a role in the Hong Kong action film Extreme Challenge and would go on to work with some of the biggest names in the Hong Kong film world. He worked with Jackie Chan on The Accidental Spy (2001) and The Medallion (2003), Tsui Hark and Yuen Woo-ping for Black Mask 2: City of Masks (2002), and Jet Li and Corey Yuen in Unleashed (2005).

More substantial roles in US productions helped to launch him as an action star in the west, including the role of Talbot in Special Forces (2003) – which marked his first collaboration with director Isaac Florentine – and the Russian MMA fighter Yuri Boyka in Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006). The sequel combined the talents of Michael Jai White in the lead role, fight coordinator JJ Perry and director Isaac Florentine, and was a huge underground hit. Scott went on to appear in bigger-budget films including work on The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Tournament (2009), and a role fighting Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).

Scott has worked on a number of films with his childhood hero, Jean-Claude Van Damme. They first worked together under the direction of Isaac Florentine in The Shepherd: Border Patrol (2008), and have worked together on three more titles: Assassination Games (2011), Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012) and as part of Sylvester Stallone’s action ensemble in The Expendables 2 (2012). Scott’s first leading role was in the Isaac Florentine film Ninja (2009), followed by a more prominent central role for Boyka in Undisputed III: Redemption (2010), for which he won Breakout Action Star at the 2010 Action on Film Awards. In 2016, Scott had a supporting role as a villain in the Marvel Studios origins story, Doctor Strange. In 2017, Jackie Chan presented Scott Adkins with two awards at the Shanghai International Film Festival, as part of Jackie Chan Action Week, for the 2016 film Boyka: Undisputed. The film, which won awards in the categories of Best Fight Scene and Best Stunt Actor, saw Adkins reprise the role of Boyka for a third time. His first film as a producer was the 2017 UK action film, Accident Man, based on a British comic book. As well as starring in the film, Adkins also co-wrote the script and acts as producer.

Scott Adkins has a daughter, Carmel Adkins, with his wife Lisa Adkins.

Speech! “I was a very shy kid, very shy, which didn’t go well with being a performer. It was something I worked very hard to overcome… The first play I ever did I made sure I had the smallest part and stood at the back. I wanted to do it badly but I was so scared to do it. But I’m over that now, and I think I’m in a good place. [I was] a slow starter.” In conversation with the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast, 2017.

Click here to listen to KFMG Podcast S02 Episode 18 with Scott Adkins.

Filmography (as actor): 1998 Dangerfield (TV); 1999 City Central (TV); 2000 Doctors (TV); 2001 Extreme Challenge; The Accidental Spy; Pure Vengeance; 2002 Black Mask 2: City of Masks; 2003 Eastenders (TV); Special Forces; The Medallion; 2005 Mile High (TV); Hollyoaks: Let Loose (TV); Unleashed; Pit Fighter; 2006 Holby City (TV); The Pink Panther; Undisputed II: Last Man Standing; 2007 The Bourne Ultimatum; 2008 The Shepherd: Border Patrol; Stag Night; 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine; The Tournament; Ninja; 2010 Undisputed III: Redemption; 2011 Assassination Games; Re-Kill; 2012 Metal Hurlant Chronicles (TV); Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; El Gringo; The Expendables 2; Zero Dark Thirty; 2013 Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon; Green Street 3: Never Back Down; Ninja: Shadow of a Tear; 2014 Metal Hurlant Chronicles (TV); The Legend of Hercules; 2015 Wolf Warrior; Close Range; 2 Guns: Zero Tolerance; 2016 Home Invasion; Jarhead 3: The Siege; Grimsby; Criminal; Hard Target 2; Boyka: Undisputed; Doctor Strange; Eliminators; 2017 American Assassin; Savage Dog; Accident Man (+ pro, scr.2018 Triple Threat; The Pay-Up.

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