Mortal Kombat: Kano Actor Josh Lawson Talks Playing the Bad Guy

In the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot film, set to release on HBO Max and in theaters on April 23rd, Josh Lawson plays Kano, a character historically known for being a villain of sorts in the franchise. Based on trailers and promotional material released thus far, it seems like he still is -- but one that works with the good guys to defend Earth. had the opportunity to attend a set visit back when the movie was filming where Lawson opened up about playing the bad guy.

"I think a lot of people will say it's fun to play the bad guy," Lawson said when asked about how much fun it was to play one of the Mortal Kombat franchise's most mouthy and narcissistic characters. "Right? Why is that? Why is it fun to be villainous? I think it's permission to say and do the things we can't in civil society. Kano does not have that filter. He is self-serving, he is greedy, he's opportunistic, and there's something fun about getting permission to do that. Yeah, we never do it in life, nor should we."

"I think we all have that capability," Lawson continued. "We all have the potential to be awful and hopefully we suffocate that for the most part. Being the villain, you don't have to, and it's fun to push the boundaries in that direction. So yeah, to answer your question, it's a lot of fun."

Here is the official synopsis for the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie:

"MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld's Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family's safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth's greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?"


The Mortal Kombat reboot film is now scheduled to release on April 23rd on both HBO Max and in theaters. The cast includes Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Mehcad Brooks as Jax, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, and Lewis Tan as new character Cole Young. It wrapped filming in late 2019. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the film right here.

What do you think about what we have seen of the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie so far? Are you excited to see Lawson as Kano in action? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!