Kiwi kickboxing king's a movie star
AdvertisementKiwi kickboxing legend-turned budding Hollywood action star Ray Sefo is set to become a movie tycoon.
Sefo - signed to play lead roles in four adventure blockbusters, alongside such stars as Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Denzel Washington, is also making a hit with his own movie production company, Parteneri.
"We have six titles already, with one of them a remake of The Wizard of Oz and a film that's got Jack Nicholson tied to it and another one with Danny Glover," Sefo told Sunday News from his Las Vegas home.
"We have another film with Johnny Depp."
But the west Auckland-raised fighter known as "Sugarfoot" is poised to make an even sweeter deal, with a possible merger between Parteneri (which he owns with one other business partner) and another, larger movie company.
"We're talking about a major, major deal," Sefo said of the proposed new production house.
Sefo, 36, is due to take on giant Scandinavian kickboxer and karate champion Bjorn Bregy later today in Vegas.
But his film commitments could spell an end to his K1 career.
"K1 is definitely part of what I do and so I always want to keep them in the loop but ... they don't really know how successful I have been.
"It's going to blow their minds ... we're talking about millions and millions of dollars," Sefo said.
While his career earnings were estimated at $16m by 2004, Sefo has since earned much more in K1 contracts, TV adverts and modelling deals.
He has starred in PlayStation 2 games and even has his own soft toy range.
He will get $3.2m, plus a share of the takings, to play The Rock's brother in the first of the four action films deal.
The movie, Antar, will be an 18th Century Middle-Eastern based adventure due to start production in October.
He has started taking horse riding lessons for the role.
In the second movie, due to start in February, he will play a police officer opposite Washington.
The six-times world kickboxing champion is hanging out with Hollywood tough guys in real life as well.
"Mickey Rourke is a good friend. We've been friends for the last three years, and sometimes we hang out with Bruce Willis and have dinner and catch up," Sefo said.
"Mickey wanted Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) to have me in a film which Bruce and he would star in."
The guest list for his fight against the 208cm, 127kg Bregy includes Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx and rapper Akon. But Sefo - who doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs - has kept his feet on the ground.
"I manage (fellow Kiwi K1 fighter) Doug Viney now," he said. "It's his first time in Vegas and we said, as kids growing up, not in your wildest dreams would you be going to Vegas, let alone live here, have a home here. It's a dream come true but it doesn't change the fact we're good old boys from Auckland."
Viney will fight Israeli-born kickboxer Ariel Mastov before today's Sefo-Bregy main event.