BY: JUSTIN BATES | NOVEMBER 24, 2020
THE CAPOEIRA KING!
The game always needs something that it doesn’t already have and Lateef Crowder Dos Santos is what the industry has always needed. There have been other notable Capoeira based actors like Marc Dacascos, but nothing to the degree of Lateef. Everything from his chiseled warrior physique, the way he wears his hair in long Locs down to the very thing that makes him stand out which is his flawless Capoeira movements with a mix of slick acrobatic ability. He’s worked on just about every blockbuster action film known to man and has fought against every relevant action star on the planet. When you watch this man move you can’t help but to want more!
Lateef was born on November 23, 1977 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil where he learned the ancient Afro - Brazilian art of Capoeira at the age of 6. He and his family eventually migrated to San Jose, California were he continued to train in Capoeira and gymna- stics. Throughout his college years he was a champion gymnast winning numerous competitions including an event in the 1997 Winter Cup Challenge.
Lateef had his first introduction to the film world when he joined a local stunt team called Zero Gravity led by Tony Chu and Kerry Wong. They released multiple training “mixtapes” and did live performances, but when Zero Gravity started dabbling into short films that’s when things took to new heights. Their action based short films picked up major steam on the internet during it’s infancy stages. It picked up so much steam that it landed Lateef his first feature in a major foreign film called, The Protector starring the Thai superstar, Tony Jaa. This was the first time an audience outside of his internet fame noticed Lateef. His presence on the big screen was breathtaking as he removed his hood preparing to fight Jaa in a fiery temple filled with water. If you didn’t know what Capoeira was before then you knew what it was after that film. Lateef single handedly brought Capoeira back to the forefront. But what many didn’t know was that Lateef injured his achilles tendon during that fight after performing 12 takes of what he calls a “backflip punch, front flip”. He had to call in Aaron Toney a member from his stunt team back in the United States to complete his fight. This explains why the fight in the movie was cut short even though he was supposed to have two fights with Jaa. It was nearly two years before anyone would see Lateef on the big screen again. Was it over for him?… Of course not!
After the release of the The Protector, film directors were on the lookout for Lateef. He went full on landing stunt roles in multiple television shows and movies including CSI: NY, Avatar, The Expendables, The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington, Batman v Superman, Furious 7 and in 2010 he landed co-starring roles in not one, but two video game based films. One of them was Mortal Kombat: Rebirth alongside Michael Jai White and Matt Mullins where he took the role of Baraka.
Then he played a role he was BORN for in the film, Tekken. There is a character in the game called, Eddy Gordo that specializes in Capoeira and ironically wears his hair in Locs. Nobody in the world could have embodied that role other than Lateef. (We wouldn’t be surprised if the character was designed after him). Once word was out that that film was being produced fans started an online campaign just to secure Lateef’s involvement in the movie as Eddy Gordo. The fans got what they asked for. Lateef landed the role and he did a phenomenal job.
Another notable role he landed was in Undisputed III: Redemption fighting alongside global action star, Scott Adkins. He performed at the highest capacity in a classic "Lateef Crowder fashion". The movie has gone on to be a mega cult classic. But his latest and one of the biggest highlights of Lateef’s career is being one of the main stunt doubles for Pedro Pascal alongside Brendan Wayne for Disney's, The Mandalorian. When it’s time to get down and dirty Lateef suits up as the Star Wars bounty hunter and wrecks havoc on outer space troublemakers and Stormtroopers. When asked about his secret to becoming the intergalactic bounty hunter Lateef says, “The secret is to always be ready. I’m always training. Whether it’s martial arts, whether it’s stunt training, whether it’s weight training. Just physical fitness. Always got to stay ready and be ready to adapt.” The show is now streaming on Disney+ and is in it’s second season with no signs of going off the air. If you check out Lateef’s stories on his instagram you can get a sneak peek of him making his way to fight space invaders. You can tell from the smiles that he bears in his videos while on his way to set that he really enjoys what he does.
“The secret is to always be ready. I’m always training. Whether it’s martial arts, whether it’s stunt training, whether it’s weight training. Just physical fitness. Always got to stay ready and be ready to adapt.”
- LATEEF CROWDER DOS SANTOS
So what’s next for Lateef? According to his IMDB page he is occupied with Disney at the moment, but one thing for sure is that his fans and BAS wants to see Lateef in his OWN movie. For the longest many fans and myself thought Lateef didn’t even speak english as we have never really seen him speak in his film's, but after scanning through a few rare interviews that he has done we’ve come to find out that he speaks perfect english and actually posses what is required to become a leading man… Charisma. Since Hollywood is into remakes we have suggested a leading role in a remake of the Capoeira based film, Only The Strong. If not a remake then definitely something original and hot.
From afar it appears to have been nothing but an upward momentum for Lateef Crowder Dos Santos so anything is possible and when it does happen we will be waiting.