STAN “THE MAN” LONGINIDIS: STRONGER THAN A PACK OF TROJANS

It’s not a necessarily a natural progression to move from kickboxing to movies… How did this come about for you?
Years ago when I was in America for my sport, I was exposed to movies through my trainer who was choreographing fight scenes. He was involved with a lot of celebrities, training them; he’s really well known, his name is Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. I was one of his main fighting students. He had talent from all over the world. We were called The Jet Team and I was the heavyweight representative. We used to come out to the Elton John song “Benny and the Jets”. So in between fights I got the opportunity to do cameos in low budget films; Roger Corman films. I did about six or seven cameos in his films. Corman one time saw the rushes of some of the stuff that I’d done and he said, “You know, Stan, if you decide to finish this kickboxing crap then I think the industry might have something for you”. So that for me back then was the hardest obstacle to overcome when I wanted to focus on winning the World Heavyweight Title. I felt like I could do the roles better than the actual lead but it wasn’t my time, I thought I just have to focus on what I was doing. I have this theory with young people when I talk to them to motivate them which is if you can dream it, you can achieve it. I felt I could do it, I could see myself doing it. But I had to put it behind me. So one thing lead to another and sometimes you think… well so much for that opportunity. I could have done a lot of things, I shook a lot of peoples’ hands but I was pretty much naïve to everything else. All I wanted to do was win Australia’s first ever heavyweight championship in kickboxing. And some three years ago, these guys here (Salik Silverstein and the producers of “Trojan Warrior”) got a hold of me and said, “Look, we’re working on a script, we’ve got you in mind, could you do a screen test”, that type of thing. So we did all that and apparently they were happy with what I did and now we’ve been involved with this project for the last two and a half years.

Why do you think you’ve been so successful?
I’ve been involved in the sport for 20 years now. I’ve always invested in myself, I’ve worked hard, and I’ve got this formula of principles to succeed and I teach it to young people now. In the last four months I’ve spoken to about 27,000 students, free of charge because it’s very rewarding if I can inspire in some young person that dreams do come true. And hopefully I’m developing an army of fans too who will see my films sometime down the track. I’d like to think that after 20 years in a potentially dangerous sport having had 100 fights and won eight world titles which people say is a pretty illustrious career, I’m very lucky now to have the opportunity to be starring in a film. I don’t carry the kind of persona people expect from a heavyweight champion. Back in America when I was living there – I lived there for a total of almost four years – I met a lady there; her name was Mildred and she was about 88 years old. She used to be a former teacher, and she used to teach me and help me with elocution lessons. I said, one day I’m going to make it in this sport. She said there are many good fighters but only few are remembered, and I asked how am I going to be special? What else can I do? Winning is my main priority but winning in style, winning in class, winning with charisma… I’d throw koalas into the audience because I’d sell myself as the Thunder From Down Under… “Crocodile Dundee” was out at the time so I was flavor of the month. I said to Mildred, “One day I’m gonna make it”. I wanted to come across as different to all the other fighters and I think it’s now paid off long term, if you know what I mean.

Get the rest of the interview in STAN “THE MAN” LONGINIDIS: STRONGER THAN A PACK OF TROJANS>>>




Posted on June 1, 2004 in Interviews by

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