Elias Theodorou is a man of many talents. UFC fighter? Check. North American brand ambassador for Pert Plus shampoo? Check. Ring Boy (of which he owns the trademark)? Check. Actor? He’s working on it.
“The Spartan” recently shared on Twitter that he will be the star of an independent movie project. “Last Hit” is the working title. I caught up with Theodorou to discuss the movie, which is targeted to come out in 2019, and how he’ll use his experience as a mixed martial artist to help him launch his acting career.
The film is slated to feature competitive gamers Marie-Laure Norindr aka “Kayane,” Justin Wong aka “Echo Fox,” and “Zhieeep.” Without further ado, let’s hear from Theodorou himself.
MD: For readers who are unfamiliar with Last Hit, what’s a brief overview of the plot?
ET: “Last Hit will be a story about athletics and what happens with one’s identity when they’re forced to potentially change it. I play an MMA fighter, huge stretch, and I get injured. It’s a comedy, so it will actually be a nearly fatal kick to the taint, potentially, that robs me of my ability to be a fighter. Athletes in general have to deal with the idea that being a fighter means that the shelf life is a set amount of time. So I lose it, in a way that comes suddenly. As a fighter, I reinvent myself. I do so through competitive video gaming.”
This isn’t your first role in a movie, but this is your first time starring in one. How do you feel about making the jump?
“I’m both the lead and the executive producer. It’s really exciting to be able to understand how an independent film is going to be built and all the underpinnings. Intellectual Property, trademarking, and all the fun stuff that goes into putting the film together. I’m excited to both be part of the film on both ends and really get out of my comfort zone and try to be the best I can be in the film.
“Basically, I am a professional fighter fighting at the highest caliber in my sport. In acting, I am a white belt. How do you become a black belt? You get the right coach to help you. I’m going to be essentially going from white belt to black belt in acting. I have an acting coach to really show me the chops.”
How did this opportunity come together for you?
“I met Brian Carver, who is the lead producer, and the writer, Kyle Francis. They both approached me. I was their first choice. They developed the script kind of around me. I was very instrumental in that part where I was the executive producer too, because I worked on the script to help put it together and kind of knowing myself. Not just the idea of shaping me as a character, but more importantly the story we’re trying to tell.
“It is a comedy, but it’s a larger conversation. You need to reinvent yourself if and when you can no longer perform as an athlete. And my character gets injured and has to reinvent himself, but there will be hilarity along the way.”
How has being a pro fighter impacted your mindset going into your indie film project?
“I want this to be a success, and in order to do that, much like in fighting, you have to be the best version of yourself on game day. Although game day is not specifically one day in putting a film together, it’s being the best every single time that you’re up and trying to perform. Both things kind of have parallels in the idea of performance.
“Most importantly, I’m going to have fun! It’s an exciting new thing that I’m going to be doing and it’s another way to build myself as a fighter and beyond.”
What are your thoughts on the cast and producers you already have on board? What are some next steps that the film will take?
“I’m really excited with the team that’s already jumped on it. I’m REALLY excited about the director we have attached to it. His name is Gary Hawes. He’s worked as the assistant director for many big films that you’re probably familiar with. “Juno,” “Interstellar,” the new X-Men moves, all the new Planet of the Apes movies. He was our first choice as well. We looked at many other directors and we really liked his style in his other films that he’s worked on. Most importantly, he’s really excited about the script itself. When he read it, he right away said to us he was down and wanted to make a great film.
“All the chips are kind of falling in line. We have a couple of the top fight game competitors in the world that have already jumped on. They’re going to have different roles across the board. We have a really fun team already on board.”
What excites you most about this project?
“The opportunity to start a new craft. I get to get out of my comfort zone and be the best I can be with something else. I really want to do it justice and I’m really excited about the potential team that I might be working with, and create something really funny.”
When will filming take place?
Is there anything you wanted to hint at?
“I can hint to this. The name of the film is a working title. We’re essentially working with a pretty well-known game that I think a lot of people will know. Once we have the trademark and IP in place as well, I think that will be a huge selling point.”
Where will viewers be able to catch it once it’s out?
“Work in progress. There are options for potential movie theaters, but more importantly, there’s an opportunity for it to be bought by a large streaming service.”
You’re a pretty active guy. What other projects or deals have you been working on?
“I launched my YouTube channel, the Mane Event ™. Launching my YouTube channel, I stepped out of my comfort zone in a different way. At a regional show in Montreal, I was their Ring Boy ™. It was a really fun experience. I used it as my first attempt at it and showed the video to all women’s MMA promotion Invicta FC and talked to their president, Shannon Knapp. She loved it. I’ll be making my Ring Boy debut March 24 at Invicta FC 28 in Salt Lake City, Utah.”
“Furthermore, I plan on creating a calendar, because I own the trademark for Ring Boy. So I’m going to basically talk to a bunch of other MMA fighters and see if they want to do ‘Ring Boys of the Cage.’ It’s mixed martial arts, there are weight classes. So we can get some big, beautiful heavyweights in there. I’d love to get Derrick Lewis for July, the ‘Black Beast’ himself! I don’t want to create the calendar just yet. I’m thinking a back to school calendar!”
As far as your MMA career goes, do you have any idea of when UFC fans may next see you inside of the Octagon?
“April/May. There’s nothing set on my end. I’m going to talk to my management. They’re in talks with the UFC. I’m going to try and find an opportunity to get in the cage and I’m going to take it. Then I’ll fight again. I plan on fighting three times this year.”
You can follow updates on the Elias Theodorou movie project here.
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