The new online series Mortal Kombat: Legacy debuted online last week and introduced the Mortal Kombat combatants as real world characters. In this world, Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) is a captured agent, and Jacks Briggs (Michael Jai White) is searching for her. She escapes at the end of the first episode.
This is the realization of a viral short we saw last summer. Mortal Kombat: Rebirth introduced White as a real world Jacks giving dossiers on the popular Kombatants. Sonya only pops in at the end. Back when Ryan was doing press for the TV series “Body of Proof,” she couldn’t even believe I had seen her little Mortal Kombat short.
I got to speak with Ryan again while she did an East Coast press tour. Ryan revealed that we’ll get to see Sonya fight in the second episode, premiering today on Machinima’s YouTube channel.
Q: We spoke last summer for “Body of Proof” and you were surprised I had even seen the Mortal Kombat short. At what point did you realize it was becoming something real?
Jeri Ryan: I was shooting I think in Montreal at the time and I was on Twitter walking to the set one morning. Then I came back to my dressing room and got on Twitter and it had just exploded. That’s when I realized that it had been released and completely gone viral and reall taken on a life of its own.
Q: Have you actually learned how to fight?
JR: Well, about that part… That would be the downside of doing a web series as opposed to a feature film or a network television show because there’s no lead time to get ready for anything. I think the amount of notice that I had of finding out that the project was even going to happen and then getting an offer and making a deal and getting on a plane to Vancouver and shooting the next day, was a grand total of about five days. So there was no time for training. There was no time for research. There was no time for anything. The fight scene, which will be in the next episode, was the second scene I shot on my first day on set. So thank God Larnell [Stovall], our stunt coordinator was amazing and very patient and worked with my for five minute bursts between shots of the previous scene. Michael Jai White was awesome and a big help to me. They were all right there on set with me and everybody had my back. Yeah, it was sort of trial by fire. Now I’m ready for it. We do season two, I’m ready.
Q: Will we get to see Sonya’s fatalities?
JR: See, especially these first two episodes which center around Sonya, Jacks and Kano, this is much more grounded in reality. It’s very dark and gritty and very real world. There’s no kisses and things like that in these episodes. Maybe if we go forward with the series and get to the actual tournament, which is in another sort of world, then we can get into those elements. For these, this is very much reality. This is real world based.
Q: Will there be a whole episode on Sonya’s backstory?
JR: Not this season. This season, these first two episodes are Sonya, Jacks and Kano. Then each episode revolves two or three more characters in the Mortal Kombat universe.
Q: 7 or 9 became an icon who may have had action figures of her own, but people have been playing Sonya for years before you did this. What thoughts does that give you about approaching a character?
JR: It’s always interesting stepping into something that is already iconic like that. [Director] Kevin [Tancharoen]’s version of Mortal Kombat, this world that he’s created is so different from what you’ve seen before. There is no campy element to this. There is no cartoony element to this. This is very much a gritty, dark, real world take on this. To that extent, all the characters we’re creating are new in that way.
Q: Is this the start of Jeri Ryan: Action Hero?
JR: Who knows, baby, who knows? It’s fun. But oh dear God, did I soak in the Epson salt baths after we shot it.