Falkirk karate champ wants to make impact on screen

Karate champion Paul Lapsley in a scene from one of his forthcoming films
Karate champion Paul Lapsley in a scene from one of his forthcoming films

A karate champion wants to follow in the high-kicking footsteps of action heroes Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme.

Those actors used their martial arts skills to help propel them to success on the big screen. And now Paul Lapsley wants to one day be mentioned alongside them.

The 41-year-old, who lives in Grangemouth, has been involved in martial arts since he was seven and trained and fought hard to win the Kobe Osaka International World Championship back in 2011.

A full-time Kobe Osaka instructor, Paul is now focusing his talent and determination on becoming the best actor he can be.

He said: “I still enjoy competing, but I’ve done what I set out to do. I enjoy teaching martial arts and helping my students get their black belts, but I also enjoy acting - playing the character, having creative input into fight scenes, everything.”

Paul’s favourite action heroes had prestigious martial arts and acting chops.

“I’ve always liked Bruce Lee and his son Brandon Lee was just starting to show how good an actor he was when he died. I also like Liam Neeson and what he’s been doing recently.”

Paul’s own acting career began in 1996 when he played a suspect in BBC’s ‘Crimewatch’. He then joined the Scottish Theatre and Music School, performing on stage and the big and small screen, appearing in the Charlie Sheen 1998 thriller ‘Postmortem’ and Ewan McGregor’s 2003 canal bank romp ‘Young Adam’.

A few years ago Paul was asked to do a screen test with Jackie Chan’s fight team for a film the kung fu comedy master was making at that time.

“Six months down the line I found out they had the wrong contact details down for me. They had been trying to get in contact and I also found out I missed out on chances to work on ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘Blade 2’.

“It was a bit of a kick in the gut, but it gave me a push. I realised I want to do more of this.”

Paul has been linked with plans to bring Pat Mills’ violent graphic novel ‘The Accident Man’ to the big screen and is in the running to play assassin Mike Fallon.

“I can do the action stuff, the fight scenes and the choreography, but I’m just as happy with the acting and hopefully people will see that.”

Paul is now working his way to gaining Equity status and also trying his hand at scriptwriting.

Visit www.kobeosakascotland.com or www.imdb.com/name/nm6608432 for more.