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Darren Shahlavi
Darren Shahlavi
Character Genie Hunter
Season(s) S1 - S2 - S3 - OW - S4 - S5 - S6 - S7
 
Date of Birth August 5, 1972
 
Origin Stockport, Cheshire, England, UK
 
IMDb profile

Darren Majian Shahlavi is an episodic actor on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, portraying the role of the Genie Hunter in "Home".

Biography

Early Life

Darren Shahlavi was born to Iranian immigrant parents at Stockport, Cheshire, England in August 5. 1972. At the age of 7 Shahlavi started studying Judo in a rented acting theatre, and would arrive early to peek at the actors performing, after discovering Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films he dreamed of being in action films and continued to train in Shotokan Karate at age of 14 under Sensei Dave Morris and Horace Harvey, and later boxing, kick boxing and Muay Thai at Master Toddy's gym in Manchester. When he was 16 Shahlavi started to pursue a career in film and got the attention Hong Kong action cinema expert Bey Logan in the early 1990s, and according to Bey Logan's commentary on the Tai Chi Boxer DVD, Shahlavi would spend time at Logan's home watching and studying and copying martial art films from Logan's personal collection. In an interview with the Persian mirror, Shahlavi mentions Logan wrote a script for him to star in and off he went to Malaysia but upon arrival it became apparent there was no money in place, and Logan's partner British Hung Gar Kung Fu expert and film star Mark Houghton put Shahlavi to work as a stuntman, he later moved to Hong Kong to pursue his career.

Film Career

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 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 and eventually serves as the film's main antagonist. Shahlavi appeared in the psychological dark tale thriller film Red Riding Hood. Shahlavi appears in Mortal Kombat: Legacy as Kano.

In 2013, Shahlavi was cast as a Genie Hunter in the winter finale of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

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