Tony Jaa, the martial arts master best known for his powerhouse performance in Ong Bak and Ong Bak 2,reportedly rode off on an elephant Friday, May 28th and went to a Buddist temple in Surrin, Thailand. According to reports that came in over the weekend, Jaa was seen shaving his head and taking vows before being ordained as a Buddist monk.
If you’ve followed Jaa over the last several years, you already know that the man is quite commonly caught up in one controversy or another. After the initial success of Ong Bak, Jaa was destined to become the ‘next big thing’ in terms of martial artists turned actors. Jaa disappointed both fans and director Brett Ratner when he declined a major role in Rush Hour 3. Jaa went on to both direct and star in Ong Bak 2, where he walked off of the set and disappeared into the jungle for two months. When Jaa resurfaced, he claimed the film was actually put on hold due to financial reasons and not his disappearance.
Based on his history, it’s safe to say that Jaa is a private individual and this clearly isn’t the first time he’s turned his back to the industry. Whether or not he plans on returning to acting or directing remains to be seen. Jaa’s latest effort, Ong Bak 3, hasn’t been quite as successful at the Thai box office as the previous Ong Bak films. Whatever his reasons may be, his latest disappearance has fans wishing him the best while eagerly hoping for his return.
Article written by Matt Wehner on GotchaMovies.com. Reposted with permission.