Mehcad Brooks on Eating 12,000 Calories a Day for ‘Mortal Kombat’

Sarah Knowel

Mehcad Brooks was now in the fitness center becoming the Earthrealm supersoldier Jax just before he was even officially given the function in Warner Bros’ forthcoming reboot of Mortal Kombat. The actor was a extensive-time fan of the classic preventing video game becoming adapted in Simon McQuoid’s movie, and as a believer of visualization, he would only take one achievable final result. Son of an NFL broad receiver, and a previous All-State basketball participant himself, he’s no stranger to putting the additional energy to get a task performed.

Those people endeavours had been not in vain: He nabbed the part, and the momentum ongoing. Brooks worked with trainer Andrew Scutch to put on 35 pounds of muscle on his hulking body with significant lifting and voracious having. That physicality mixed with extreme boxing drills gave him the applications essential to portray a human able of guarding Earth from Outworld monsters. Men’s Journal spoke with the actor about grueling workout routines, feeding on like a caveman, and acquiring Jax at Burning Man.

Men’s Journal: How did you truly feel when you had a shot at actively playing Jax in a new film adaption of Mortal Kombat?

Mehcad Brooks: The reality I was up for the part was surreal, simply because I have been actively playing this recreation given that I was a child. I was leaving Supergirl and understood that I preferred to do something totally diverse. So when I heard about this option I dropped every little thing that I was executing, and went into the fitness center. I knew that I had to be this male. I know that appears nuts. I didn’t want to give them a single excuse not to give me the section, and I felt like it was meant to be. That was not vanity, but my whole heart was invested in acquiring the outcome I desired. I know people are most likely scratching their heads at the concept that another person would set on 20 lbs . of muscle for a job they might not get, but yeah, which is what I did.

After you got the job, how did you get started to create the character?

I’m a Burner. I’ve been to Burning Gentleman 5 occasions, and it lined up as I was preparing for the motion picture, so I utilised that Burning Male working experience to find Jax on a deeper amount. I know what it does for my psyche, consciousness, and target. I started out by shifting my playa identify to Jax when I was there. I’d currently acquired 20 pounds at the time. I took off my gas mask that people today have on to protect from the dust, for the reason that I assumed Jax does not dress in any mask. I used a large amount of time out in the desert by myself. What greater way to hook up with a dude who’s performed numerous tours in the desert than go out into the desert, stripping on your own down to the bare bones.

He’s the baddest dude the army has to offer—the form of person they’d ship to chase down monsters and intergalactic ninjas. He’s not particularly a very good dude we’re fortunate he picked Earthrealm to battle for. For the duration of that time, the visualizations I made about staying Jax ended up coming to fruition. I would be on set playing him in a make any difference of weeks at that issue, which was a bit of an out-of-entire body practical experience.

How did you start out to develop the physicality for Jax?

I uncovered an picture of Jax on the web I assumed I’d be in a position to reach. I woke up each day and visualized this one scene the place I’m fighting Sub-Zero from the audition for 15 minutes. Even when my physique was weary, I did not give into exhaustion, I just pushed more challenging. I noticed my best probable. I observed the optimized variation of myself in my head, and I worked tough every single solitary day to get there. I have a trainer I work with out of Los Angeles named Andrew Schuth. This guy is a beast. I believe my 1st time doing work with him I almost vomited. I experienced to put ice on my wrists and on my neck. Which is who we’re working with here. I worked out at just about every health club I could. For this function, he made a bespoke training wherever we did weighty body weight and a ton of reps. I’d follow that with quickly-twitch movements and plyometrics.

What would you say was the most grueling?

I would not desire these exercise sessions on my worst enemy. I was stumbling out of the fitness center, from time to time crawling. He’d make me run full pace on the treadmill when accomplishing jabs with 25-pound dumbbells, then place the weights down and run entire pace with the incline up, adopted by yet another moment with the incline back again down. And that’s just a person established. Which is when you believe about killing him. But you commence observing outcomes in times. That is what can make you post to it.

Did you educate while you had been filming as properly?

There were being days exactly where I’d have a 12-hour shoot, then box for two hours, hitting the health and fitness center for two hrs, then stunt rehearsal for an hour. There had been weeks at a time where by I was only obtaining about four several hours of slumber, but I was even now moving. I was performing anything. If I was having on a aircraft, I’d be curling my suitcase.

Boxing is a big portion of Jax’s combating fashion in the video game. How did you like coaching in the ring?

I uncovered I was seriously gradual mainly because I’d set on so considerably excess weight, and moving all of that torso normally takes a ton more electrical power. I started out viewing previous movies of Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier every single night time. I took their designs and blended that in with how Jax moved in the online video games. He bounces a whole lot, then practically does a tiny shimmy when he’s coming in. I’d take videos of myself to examine on my development. I relished obtaining to enjoy legends for perform, and using that in what I brought to the character.

What did your diet seem like even though you have been prepping for this purpose?

I was feeding on vegan prior to I started training for the job, and went to probably eating the equal of 50 percent a cow a working day. I assume as a nation we undoubtedly overeat meat. We normally never take pleasure in animals, and are not replenishing the world in the locations we’re having from. I’m all for men and women earning what ever choices they want with diet plan, having said that our ancestors were being hunters, gathers, and scavengers.

That indicates they ate a good deal of fruits, veggies, and nuts, but also each and every now and then they’d gorge themselves on meat. So that’s the food plan I went with—where I’d eat one animal protein for a 7 days. That could necessarily mean I’d be consuming a whole lot of lamb, or any where from 12 to 16 chickens in excess of the course of the next week.

What did a sample working day of ingesting search like for you?

I was performing vegan protein shakes all working day, suitable from the begin. Before in the day I’d do somewhere between 12 and 18 eggs. If I was consuming rooster that 7 days, I’d do four to six breasts, always with greens. I’d cut the carbs somewhere all-around 5 p.m. in the evening. I didn’t have a drop of liquor in the course of the whole approach.

How did you experience even though you had been feeding on like that?

I felt like a caveman. It was kind of like the most hardcore paleo diet program you at any time read of, and I ended up with a caveman overall body. I felt good and received remarkable results when merged with the work I was carrying out. It’s not a thing I’d maintain, for the reason that it’s high-priced and I was having someplace close to 12,000 energy a working day.

Did just take health supplement your diet regime with anything else?

I was getting these elixirs called Black Root Tonic, that are created-to-buy. They’re amazing. They have all these excess factors and minerals you need to have. I have continued with them considering that.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Jax has a incredibly unforgettable search in the video game, starting off with his bionic arms. What was it like getting on established and remaining in the costuming?

The to start with time you get in costume is the 1st time you absolutely embody the character. Jax’s costume wasn’t all that sophisticated. It’s utilitarian and military services. He has to be capable to go in it. If shit hits the enthusiast, he has to seize the sawed-off shotgun and be in a position to roll immediately. I just can’t get much too deep into how the bionic arms arrived collectively, but it’s a lot of do the job. I test to locate the exciting in everything, even if it indicates I want to be at established 3 hrs in advance of I commonly would. I have witnessed the film. It is incredible—and my arms appear outstanding.

Did any of the beat power arrive by means of in the way absolutely everyone carried on their own on established?

The only facial area-off I can communicate about is with Sub-Zero, who’s performed by an amazing actor, Joe Taslim. In Hollywood there are only two actors the digicam section asks to sluggish their actions down mainly because it’s also quickly for the lens to capture: Bruce Lee and Joe Taslim. I’m personally not fucking around with Joe Taslim. You know what I’m declaring? I’ve hardly ever witnessed any individual shift that rapid. It is like seeing Michael Jackson dance up near. That is what it’s like to view Joe do combat choreography. Undertaking struggle sequences with him designed me elevate my have individual sport. Did I walk onto established pondering I could choose on Joe Taslim? No. Did I leave established thinking I could choose down Joe Taslim? No. Would I put on money on everyone else but Joe Taslim? No.

How did you feel about the incredible response to the pink-band trailer?

It’s almost everything I could want. I felt if a person of the trailers was heading to do superior, then it was heading to be the pink-band trailer simply because of the nature of the fandom within Mortal Kombat. No person who performs Mortal Kombat just would like to knock someone out. They want to rip their hearts out. That is what the film provides them. People may possibly be skeptical, but I actually consider this is the best movie adaptation of a video clip sport ever. I noticed what I observed in that motion picture theater. This will be the new benchmark.

Provided the movie is a achievement at the box workplace, which seems probably, would you be down to set on the arms again to participate in Jax?

I truly feel like I am Jax. There is a ton of adore for these characters, and for lots of individuals this will be the to start with time they see these characters be autonomous. We labored till we bled. We pushed by way of our own fears and imposter syndromes. We love these characters. We desired to provide it dwelling, for the fandom and for ourselves. I’ll have him with me forever.

Mortal Kombat premieres in theaters and on HBOMax on April 23rd.

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