Panom Yeerum (read: Pa-nom Yee-rum, Thai: พนม ยีรัมย์) (born on February 5, 1976), better known in the West as Tony Jaa and in Thailand as Jaa Panom, is a Thai martial arts actor and choreographer. His films include Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior and Tom-Yum-Goong.
VDO Clip of Tony Jaa moves in his Tom Yum Goong movie
He initially worked as a stuntman, appearing in many of Panna's films. He doubled for Sammo Hung when the martial-arts actor made a commercial for an energy drink that required him to grasp an elephant's tusks and somersault onto the pachyderm's back. He also was in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, as a stunt double for Robin Shou.
Together, Panna and Jaa developed an interest in muay Boran, an ancient style of muay Thai and worked and trained for six years at the art with the intention of developing a film around it. Eventually they were able to put together a short film showing what Jaa could do. One of the people they showed it to was producer-director Prachya Pinkaew, who was duly impressed.
This led to Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (องค์บาก) in 2003, Jaa's break-out role as a leading man. Jaa did all the stunts without mechanical assistance or computer-generated effects and it showcased his style of extreme acrobatics and speedy, dance-like, moves. With the film, he was hailed as Asia's next martial-arts film superstar.
His second major movie was Tom-Yum-Goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง; also the name of a spicy sweet-and-sour soup, Tom yum kung (ต้มยำกุ้ง)). This movie enjoyed even greater success in Thailand and Hong Kong than Ong-Bak when released.
Since the release of Ong-Bak, Jaa has been busy touring the world to promote his films.
-Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior aka "Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior" (2003)
-The Bodyguard (2004) (as Panom Yeerum)
-Ong-Bak 2 (2007) (in development)
-Sword (2007) (in development)
-Hanuman (in development)
Tony Jaa gallery
(source: Tony Jaa. (2006, June 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:57, June 28, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tony_Jaa&oldid=60779414.)