Uwais Qorny or known by the stage name Iko Uwais (born in Jakarta, 12 February 1983; age 36 years) is a male actor, a substitute actor, and an Indonesian martial arts athlete. He began his first show in the world of film when he played Yuda, an overseas ethnic Minangkabau in the film Merantau in 2009.
Iko was raised in a Betawi neighborhood (a native of Jakarta). Since he was 10 years old, he studied Indonesian regional martial arts, pencak silat at his uncle’s college, Tiga Berantai, which is a Betawi silat. In 2003, he was ranked third in the Jakarta-level pencak silat tournament. In 2005, he became the best fighter in the demonstration category at the National Silat Championship.
In addition to martial arts, he also actively plays soccer. Iko was once a midfielder in the B-League of Indonesian soccer club, but his dream of being a stalled star after the shelter club went bankrupt. His martial arts skills have given him the opportunity to travel abroad in a number of martial arts demonstrations in Britain, Russia, Laos, Cambodia and France.
Iko Uwais married the singer Audy Item on June 25, 2012, after dating for 3 months. And now they have two children.
Meeting with Gareth Evans
In 2007, Iko’s martial arts talent was discovered by a Welsh film director, Gareth Evans who was in the process of filming a documentary about silat at the Iko silat school. Iko’s great natural charisma in front of the camera prompted Evans to make him the main actor for his first martial arts film, Merantau. After signing a five-year contract with Gareth Evans and his production company, Iko resigned from his daily job as a driver at a telecommunications company.
In his first experience acting in Merantau, Iko played the role of a young Minang from West Sumatra, where he learned the Minang Tiger Silat (Sumatran tiger style) from the Silat Master, Edwel Yusri Datuk Rajo Gampo Alam. “Merantau” was released in Indonesia on August 6, 2009. The film was shown at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in Puchon, South Korea and Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas with very positive reviews. Merantau won the Best Film award at the 2010 Action Fest.
Iko’s second collaboration with Gareth Evans was in the film titled The Raid (later released with the international title “The Raid: Redemption”), which began filming in mid-March 2011 and was released internationally, namely on 22 March 2012 in Australia and New Zealand; March 23, 2012 in Indonesia and North America and May 18, 2012 in the United Kingdom. The film has catapulted the name of Iko after being responded by critics and viewers at various festivals as one of the best martial arts films after a period of years. In this film Iko also served as a choreographer with fellow actor / fighter Yayan Ruhian.
The third film of the bloody Minang actor, which is being planned with Gareth, is temporarily titled as “Rascal” (International “The Raid: Retaliation”). The Raid sequel has begun filming in early 2013, and is planned for an early 2014 release.