Darren Majian Shahlavi (born August 5, 1972), sometimes credited as Shahlavi, is an Iranian-British actor and martial artist.
Born in Stockport, Cheshire, Shahlavi is known primarily for playing bad guys in martial arts films such as Bloodmoon and Yuen Woo-ping's Tai Chi Boxer along with Jacky Wu. Shahlavi has starred in the Asian film series The Techno Warriors, and American films Hostile Environment, Sometimes a Hero, Legion of the Dead and the cult classic Beyond the Limits, for German Horror master Olaf Ittenbach. Recently Shahlavi appeared opposite Eddie Murphy in Columbia pictures big screen remake of I-Spy directed by Betty Thomas, and independent features The Final Cut with Robin Williams and the notorious Uwe Boll's film BloodRayne with Kristanna Loken and Sir Ben Kingsley. The name Shahlavi is a name of Persian origin.
After moving to Hong Kong in the mid 1990s to pursue a career in action cinema Shahlavi was discovered by famed martial arts choreographer and director Yuen Woo Ping, who signed him to play the bad guy opposite Wu Jing in Tai Chi 2, at the time he was working as a nightclub bouncer and a bodyguard for visiting celebrities. After Tai Chi 2 was released in Hong Kong cinemas, Seasonal Films Corporation boss Ng See Yuen and director Tony Leung Siu-Hung saw potential in Shahlavi and signed him for their Hong Kong/US film Bloodmoon (1997), what the film lacks it more than makes up for in the action scenes with Shahlavi as the villain and stars Gary Daniels and Chuck Jeffreys, and remains a favourite with hardcore martial arts film fans.
Recently Shahlavi has moved into the horror genre working with cult German gore master and splatter filmmaker Olaf Ittenbach who's films are often banned for their extreme and graphic violence, Shahlavi stars in and choreographed fights in the films Legion of the Dead and Beyond the Limits. Unfortunately these films are hard to get in their uncut form. Occasionally Shahlavi has done stunts in studio films such as Universal Studios The Chronicles of Riddick, 20th Century Fox's Night at the Museum and Warner Bro's 300 often making an onscreen cameo as an inside joke such as the sleeping guard who can't fight in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in which he was the Stunt double for Ray Liotta for the fighting scenes with Jason Statham which were choreographed by Ching Siu-Tung. In a recent interview[dead link] with Shero Rauf Shahlavi has expressed his desire to get back to making martial arts films and just completed work on a film with action star Mark Dacascos, and also appears in the Canadian TV show Intelligence and as a guest star on the ABC Studios US Prime-time series Reaper.
In 2010, Darren landed a major role in the film Ip Man 2 starring Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Lynn Hung and Huang Xiaoming as the villain Taylor "The Twister" Milos. Although he only appeared in the latter part of the film, his boxing fights with Hung (as Hung Ga Master) and eventually defeat by Donnie (as Ip Man) form the climax of the film. Shahlavi stars in the psychological dark tale thriller film The Girl with the Red Riding Hood. Shahlavi appears in Mortal Kombat: Legacy as Kano.
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