Home » A ‘white belt’ in acting, UFC legend Anderson Silva talks ‘completely different world’ of movies

A ‘white belt’ in acting, UFC legend Anderson Silva talks ‘completely different world’ of movies

by Stewart Cole

Anderson Silva is living the dream.

A former UFC middleweight champion, “The Spider” finally got his chance to fight in boxing. After years of expressing his desire to compete in the squared circle, he parted ways with the company to set up matches with legends and celebrities. However, his life’s goal was always action.

Silva earned roles in Brazilian films during his tenure as UFC champion before securing one of his first gigs in the US, working on an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles in 2014.

A few years have passed and now ‘The Spider’ is fully focused on making it as an actor.

“It’s two different worlds, fighting and acting,” Silva said on a recent episode of the MMA Fighting podcast Trocaçao Franca. “To do a fight scene, people will say, ‘But this guy fights, it’s easier for him,’ but it’s not. It’s actually more difficult, because you have to do the right movement, the right angle, you can’t pass the camera, all these different technical details. But it is very nice. It’s a challenge for someone who loves cinema and action movies like me.”

Silva’s most recent film, “Murder City,” premiered earlier this year on Tubi. he was playing the role of a bodyguard. His previous work on Lord of the Streets (2022) also featured former MMA champions AJ McKee and Quinton Jackson.

“There are new things every day that goes by,” Silva said. “I’m working on two projects at the same time now, and it’s crazy. Two completely different characters, so you have to study and play a lot, because you have to switch from one character to another. It is very good. It has always been my dream to be an actor in action films, so this opportunity I have is thanks to my hard work and dedication. It’s not easy, man. I usually say I’m a white belt – I’m still walking.”

Silva made a name for himself in the MMA world as one of the greatest fighters of all time with epic wins in the UFC, finishing off tough opponent Chael Sonnen twice and stopping fellow fighters Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin. But he doesn’t believe his illustrious MMA career is the reason he’s getting such movie opportunities.

“Fighting has given me many things,” said Silva, “It’s given me incredible and fantastic things, like the opportunity to travel and see the whole world. But I think my determination – giving things up – gave me this opportunity to show my work as an actor. They are two different worlds. Fighting doesn’t help me at all in acting. Sometimes I get on set and people are like, “Okay, forget it, it’s not going to work. You won’t be able to do that, because that’s the way it has to be done’, so the battle doesn’t have much to do with it.’

“Acting is a whole different world,” he continued. “When you go to an audition, it’s not about fighting. Struggle helps with discipline, but your name and the history you bring with you is getting to a point where it doesn’t fit into this new world I’m entering. Everyone knows me for my racing career, of course. Most directors are big fans and everything, but it’s totally different when you’re on set. You either act right, as you should, or you’re out. They find another actor.

“You have to be good and dedicated, pay attention to everything that happens around you. You’ll probably think you’re already fine, but you’re still not fine. You have to get the scenes right, you have to play along with everyone else on the set, the actors and show the truth on stage. You can’t just show up, do your scenes and say your lines, but not show truth to your character. This is kind of crazy. It is too difficult.”

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