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411 Talks w/Sage Croft About the Upcoming Sequel The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback

May 3, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The 411 Interview: Sage Croft


Sage Croft is about as busy and accomplished as a young man can get. He’s a 16 year old martial arts expert and mixed martial artist who has won multiple major tournaments and championships, a top high school wrestler in the state of Florida, a top notch student, a brand ambassador for Affliction Clothing, a National Ambassador for the health lobbyist group PHIT America, and an actor. Is accomplished a good enough word to describe all of that? Croft was recently cast for a part in the upcoming sequel The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback. In this interview, Croft talks with this writer about The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback, how he got into acting, how he finds the time to do everything, and more.



Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you get involved with The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback?

Sage Croft: It was two fold, actually. Three years ago, I was an extra with no screen time in the first The Martial Arts Kid movie. We heard about a casting call in Cocoa Beach, went to it, and it seemed amazing. And then, last year my Dad and I ran into the director of that film, Michael Baumgarten, at the Sunscreen Film Festival, and struck up a great conversation with him. He in turn stayed in touch, and ended up connecting me with Oliver Robins from Poltergeist, who cast me in his film Celebrity Crush. And then it just took off from there.

BK: How would you describe your character in The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback?

SC: It’s the classical bully. A trained hot-head, who makes the life of the protagonist miserable. There have been so many great bullies in martial arts and teen films, and I hope to channel a few of those for my character in this movie.

BK: Have you seen the first The Martial Arts Kid? What did you think of it?

SC: I have seen it numerous times and loved it. My family just watched it again the other night, and really enjoyed it. I love classic story lines when I want to feel inspired, so love to watch this one.


BK: How did you get involved in acting? Is it something that you always wanted to do or was an interest that came later?

SC: Well, it began with the casting call for the first movie. I thought to myself, “Wow, this is pretty neat”. But I was training mixed martial arts so heavily at that point I wasn’t thinking about a way to get into it. Then my brother (who is an amazing actor by the way) got very involved in theater, so I jumped in with him. That got my attention as to combining the two – acting and martial arts. So I went to a stunt fighting school in which a director was there watching. I laughed when I heard him ask someone to the side, “Why is this kid better than the instructors?” I don’t say that to be arrogant in the slightest, but I have trained for so long that it all comes very naturally to me at this point. He asked me if I would be interested in joining a small budget film he was about to do, and I said “absolutely!” And I just sort of jumped in without having any idea what I was doing. And I loved it.

BK: How has your martial arts training and background prepared you for making movies?

SC: Most people don’t understand what I have put myself thru to get where I am in martial arts. I train with, literally, some of the best MMA fighters in the world all of the time. These are fighters in the UFC. And the punishment, risk, and the absolute agony of losing has prepared me for almost anything. I laugh to myself when people say they are nervous at an audition (and my own brother is the worst). I always think “You should lock yourself in a cage with a man who is trained to, and wants to, kill you to see what nervous feels like”.

BK: According to your bio you are an expert/highly proficient in several martial arts and in wrestling while also being an accomplished student. How do you manage your time? How long did it take to sort of get your life routine down?

SC: Honestly, I am maxed on time at this point. Between school, training, acting, working out, and studying, I have worked over 100 hours a week since I was in the sixth grade. There is not really any more time, so I am focusing on what’s important only. I don’t sleep as much as most people. Someone may be more talented than me, but they cannot outwork me. My Dad has never let up on that idea, and has instilled it in all of us, all the way down to my youngest brother who is 10 years old. He’s also an amazing actor and is almost a scratch golfer in the fourth grade. It’s crazy.

BK: What’s your favorite movie? Who is your favorite actor?

SC: I think I am going to have to say The Matrix. I love the action, the creativity, and the meaning behind the film we are left to interpret. And I absolutely love Keanu Reeves.

BK: Outside of the martial arts and your developing acting career, do you have any other interests or hobbies?

SC: Directing is my next adventure. I directed my first student film and it won a national award out of thousands of entries. I love to be behind the camera as much as in front of it to be honest. And my hope is to go to UCLA or USC film school (although I am training with the Stanford University wrestling team this summer).

BK: What do you hope to achieve as an actor?

SC: Honestly, it’s hard to say. Everyone lays awake and dreams about the future. I just do the work to put me in the best position to be successful, and there is just no way to know what that level of success might be. This film should be the first big opened door for me.

BK: Outside of The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback, any other projects that you can tell us about?

SC: As I mentioned, I worked with Oliver Robins on Celebrity Crush. That was actually the first movie poster with my name on it, so I am very proud of that. I have worked on a couple of small films here in Florida, but I am just getting started. I have been reached out to recently regarding joining a television series, but nothing has been finalized with that.

BK: How did you get involved in tap dancing?

SC: Simply from musical theater. And the funny part was, as a fighter footwork is very important, so tap was actually easy for me to learn. I just had my first big tap solo in a school theater production last week. And tap has made me a better fighter for the same reason – footwork. Sort of strange, I guess.


BK: Where do you keep your championship belts?

SC: They’re actually in my Dad’s office for two reasons: the first is my family congregates in there quite a bit, and we keep family memorabilia in there. Second, my Dad has put so much time alongside me over the years sitting in those hot, smelly gyms. There’s just no way I could have accomplished half of what I have accomplished if not for him, and also my Mom. They are both amazing and support all three of us through thick and thin.


A very special thanks to Sage Croft for agreeing to participate in this interview and david j. moore for helping set it up.

Check out The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback Kickstarter page here.

Check out The Martial Arts Kid Facebook page here and Instagram page here.

Check out Sage Croft’s Facebook page here and Instagram page here.