Alain Moussi Talks Charlie Nash in Street Fighter: Resurrection | EXCLUSIVE
Back in 2010, Joey Ansah and Christian Howard came together to write and star in a fan film that brought some of the most beloved characters in the popular Street Fighter video game series to life. That film, Street Fighter: Legacy, became a viral sensation, amassing over 5 million hits on YouTube, which lead to these martial artists coming back to make Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist in 2014, a 12-episode web series for Machinima. The same team behind that series is back with an all-new miniseries, Street Fighter: Resurrection, debuting on Machinima's new go90 channel today, March 15. While most of your favorites are back, a big part of the new series is Alain Moussi, who plays the iconic Charlie Nash.
In Street Fighter lore, Charlie Nash was in the Marine Corps with his longtime friend Guile. He was first introduced in Street Fighter II as the deceased friend of Guile, but he was introduced as a playable character in the Street Fighter Alpha series, which takes place between the first two games. It's actually Nash who taught Guile how to fight, and showed him how to produce the iconic "sonic boom." He also returns as a playable character in the brand new game Street Fighter V, which debuted last month. Street Fighter: Resurrection, a miniseries which spans four episodes, helps set the stage for this video game.
Set a decade after the events in Assassin's Fist, Street Fighter: Resurrection reunites producers Jacqueline Quella and Mark Wooding, director and writer Joey Ansah and series originals Mike Moh and Christian Howard, who reprise their roles as 'Ryu' and 'Ken'. In Resurrection, heroes Ken and Ryu are reunited to face an ominous new threat, in the form of Charlie Nash (Alain Moussi), who was long thought to be dead.
Charlie Nash is back, and targeting legendary Street Fighter champions in a mysterious mission. After a violent confrontation with Nash, Ryu and Ken must uncover his lethal plan and find out if he is friend or foe. As events speed toward a showdown in London with the resurgent Shadaloo cartel, covert forces battle for global supremacy with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Bringing Nash to life is Alain Moussi, an accomplished stuntman (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Brick Mansions, X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad) whose acting career will get a big boost not only from this series, but also from the upcoming Kickboxer: Vengeance, where he plays Kurt Sloane.
I recently had the chance to speak with Alain Moussi over the phone about Street Fighter: Resurrection, his research into playing Charlie Nash, his most exciting fights in the series and much more. We also discuss Kickboxer: Vengeance, and when we may see the first footage from that action-packed remake. Take a look at our conversation below.
What were your thoughts on the first series? I know it was widely beloved and a lot of people were excited to see these characters come to life?
Alain Moussi: Well, you know what, I remember seeing it, even before I knew it was an entire series, I just saw it on YouTube, and I was just surprised at how good it was. I thought the cinematography was really good. I think that surprised me a lot. Knowing that it wasn't necessarily a big-budget series, and I loved the fact that it was really true to the story. It really displayed the Japanese culture, they really displayed it nicely. I really loved it, and the action was great too. The action was true to the characters in the game, and I really loved that. That was really cool.
Street Fighter II was one of my favorite games growing up, and I still play it today.
Alain Moussi: Oh, do you? Nice, that's cool. I played it when I was a kid at the arcade, but I haven't played it in a long time. Actually, I can't wait to get my copy of Street Fighter V. I want to start playing that again.
As much as I loved the games, though, I wasn't that familiar with all of the iterations and all of the stories. Was there a lot to go through with Charlie, as far as back story? I wasn't that familiar with how he was connected to Guile, so was there a level of research that went into this, when you took on the role?
Alain Moussi: Absolutely. So, when Joey (Ansah) contacted me about the role, he said, 'Listen, I think you'd be perfect for this, and here's this source material for you to look at.' There's a Street Fighter wiki that's online, and if you go on that, you can see the history of every character of every game. So, I started going through who Nash was, which I didn't even know. I had seen him before, but it had been such a long time, I didn't really know the history. So, I was able to go and research the history for Charlie Nash, and he's a really cool character. I thought he was great. But then, I also found on YouTube, there was something called, I think it's based on the graphic novel, The Life and Death of Charlie Nash. I started watching that and it really goes through his history before death, and how he became who he is in Street Fighter: Resurrection, which was really cool for me to know, especially playing the character. So yeah, there was definitely a level of research. I wanted to know who I was getting into, before we started.
From what I understand, he was actually the one who invented the "sonic boom" and taught Guile the "sonic boom."
Alain Moussi: Exactly. He was Guile's mentor, he taught Guile the "sonic boom," and later on, when he dies in the story, he dies saving Guile and Chun-Li. That's how he dies. He's got a very interesting history, a very interesting personality.
This series serves as a prologue to the new game. Was there a level of collaboration with Capcom, as far as tying in the story of the game to this?
Alain Moussi: I believe so. That would be a Joey question more than me. He was the one writing the story, but from what I got from him, yeah there was definitely a collaboration between Capcom and himself, especially going into the script. There were many iterations of the script, and it really was a work in progress, in getting closer to the shoot. It was definitely a collaborative work.
You obviously have an extensive background with stunts and fighting, so were you doing all of your own stunts and consulting on choreography of certain movies, and things of that nature?
Alain Moussi: Yeah, when I came in we started doing all of the action training. They would show us the choreography, and we could definitely tailor some of the moves to us, if we wanted to add something. I really researched the way Charlie Nash moved, his key moves, so I wanted to make sure that the choreography reflected that. It already did, but I put some of my own stuff in there as well. You had creative freedom to add to what was already there. It was fun. It was really fun to work with the entire team on the action. Mike and Chris played the same characters in the first series, so they had that already dialed in. It was so much fun to work with them and to put all of this together.
We saw in the trailer that there are definitely some fights between Charlie, Ken and Ryu. There is definitely this confrontation between those three, but can you tease anything about where the story goes from there?
Alain Moussi: Well, there's definitely a complication there because Charlie is kind of like The Terminator. He's on a mission, and whoever gets in the way, is in the way. Whether they're good, bad, it doesn't matter. He just needs to complete his mission. Obviously, he comes in to find a way to work with Ryu and Ken, but does that work out? Does it not work out? We'll see. It's a very complex relationship (laughs).
As far as the fights go, you probably can't go into too much detail, but do you have a favorite fight throughout this four-episode run?
Alain Moussi: Listen, what's cool about Resurrection is it's not just fight action, your typical martial arts fight action from beginning to end. There are fights, gunplay, a lot of military style action, and fight action. I would have to say that there is a really cool sequence between Nash, Ryu and Ken that is really going to get people's attention. That was really fun to shoot with Mike and Chris, because went all out. Everybody got a lick in. It was really cool. It was fun. I think everyone is going to appreciate that scene.
I was wondering if there's anything you can say about Kickboxer: Vengeance? I know a lot of people are looking forward to that, and it has such a fantastic cast. First of all, do you know when we might see the first trailer, or do you know if there are any plans for the release yet?
Alain Moussi: I know there are plans for the release, but I can't say yet anything until it's announced. The announcements are coming really soon. I don't actually have a date myself, I'm still waiting for it too. I actually can't wait until it has a date. I know the distributors have lined up a date, and they're going to announce it very soon. The trailer, it's the same thing. There's going to be a long-form trailer that's coming out closer to when they start promoting the release itself, so it is coming. You know what, when I get on my Facebook page and post something Kickboxer-related, everyone's like, 'Where's the trailer? I need it!' I'm like, you and me both. I wish I had something to say. I wish it came out two months ago, you know (laughs). But, you know, you've got to be patient.
I saw they even announced the sequel (Kickboxer Retaliation) already. I don't know if you've started shooting that or not...
Alain Moussi: We're in pre-production right now. We start shooting in May. It's literally official. I'm in full prep for Kickboxer 2, we start shooting in May. The first one was done, in post-production, and somebody wanted to do the second one. Nobody expected it to come before the first one was released, but everything lined up for it, and all of the sudden, we're like, yeah, we're doing Kickboxer 2 right away. It couldn't be better. I'm really happy about it, and you know what? The cast is awesome. We already have Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, The Mountain in Game of Thrones. This dude is... I don't know if you've seen him on YouTube, but oh my God.
The Strongman stuff? It's insane. I was a huge fan of those Strongman shows when they used to run them on ESPN all the time, and I didn't realize that it was The Mountain in Game of Thrones.
Alain Moussi: I know, it's so cool. They're still working on the casting for the second one, and a lot of things are going to be announced in the next month, so we're really excited about that. But, going back to Kickboxer: Vengeance, it was such a moving experience for me. I grew up on Kickboxer. I started training in martial arts because of Jean-Claude (Van Damme)'s films, and just to be involved as my first leading role in Kickboxer, with Van Damme in it, it couldn't be better. The cast is so cool. We've got GSP (Georges St. Pierre), Dave Bautista and Gina Carano, Darren Shahlavi, rest in peace. He was one of my very good friends, an amazing martial arts performer and an awesome actor. He looks great in the film, so I can't wait to see him on the big screen in this film. We've got Sara Malakul Lane, Sam Medina, all great people. I think it's going to be a fun movie, and the producers, everyone involved, made it for the fans. This is not your typical Hollywood remake, where you just put in a Hollywood formula and that's it. No, this was made for Kickboxer fans, guaranteed. I'm really excited about it.
Alain Moussi: (Laughs) Yeah, oh man, the battle between Kurt and Tong-Po, it's really, really exciting. Like I said, if it came out two months ago, I'd be even happier.
What would you like to say to fans of the game series about why they should be excited for Charlie Nash coming back to life in Street Fighter: Resurrection?
Alain Moussi: Well, you should be excited about Charlie Nash because it's made by Joey Ansah. Joey is the Street Fighter king. He knows how to make it look good, he knows how to cast it, he knows how to direct it. We're going to see Charlie Nash being very very bad-ass, like a major Terminator, and I think the fans are really going to enjoy watching him. I had a total blast creating him. I've already seen the fan reactions through the pictures that have come out and the trailers, so I really can't wait until they see Nash going at it with the guys. It's going to be awesome.
That's my time. Thanks so much. It was a real pleasure talking to you.
Alain Moussi: Thank you very much.
The first episode of Machinima's Street Fighter: Resurrection debuts exclusively on the new go90 YouTube channel today, March 15. Be sure to stay tuned for these new episodes, and for more on both Kickboxer: Vengeance and Kickboxer Retaliation. Are you looking forward to seeing what Alain Moussi can do as Charlie Nash? Let us know what you think below.