Peter Davis has tried his hands at lots of things.
In his early 20s, Davis worked in the financial sector for three to four years in Britain. Tired of corporate life, the then 26-year-old decided to take a six-month break in Malaysia in 2006.
While on holiday, he discovered modelling and realised it could be a rather lucrative career option. Davis, who is of British and Malaysian descent, stayed on and modelled full-time.
In 2008, critically-acclaimed Malaysian director Yeo Joon Han spotted him while he was fixing his car and offered Davies his first movie role, Sell Out!, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. He also had a lead role in Mamat Khalid’s Apokalips X besides numerous supporting roles in TV dramas.
In 2012, Davis, who picked up kung fu in Britain, decided to be a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
It’s been a while since his last fight, as Davis concentrates on expanding his acting portfolio further. His latest film, The Spiral, is an ambitious science fiction thriller. Next year, he has roles in the highly-anticipated MMA-set action flick, Sangkar, starring Zul Ariffin and Remy Ishak, and romantic comedy 7 Hari.
He hopes to get into the restaurant business next year, proving the 37-year-old isn’t done trying new things.
1. Tell us about your character in The Spiral. Did you incorporate your martial arts experience in the fight scenes?
The Spiral opens with my character, Jon, who has killed three people. My co-star Siti Saleha plays a criminal psychologist who is trying to find out why I did what I did. And as the movie progresses, viewers will realise that there’s a link between Jon and the psychologist. There’s a sci-fi element to the movie, centring on inter-dimensional travel.
2. You’re more active in acting now. Does that mean you’re dialling back from MMA?
I’m at the peak of my physical fitness right now. My martial arts skills, especially with striking, is much higher, and so is my level of commitment.
Retirement (from MMA) is not on the cards. I’m putting it on ice for a while because I have other things lined up. I still want to fight because I’m passionate about it, not because it’s a job. That’s how I’ve always done it.
3. What was the scariest injury you got from MMA?
About three years ago, I got knocked five times on my face in the same place. When I went to the hospital, I realised I couldn’t feel my face at all. Like I couldn’t feel my lips so I couldn’t talk properly. Then the next day, I started feeling half of my face again.
It took me a few days before things returned to normal. But until today, there’s a small part of my face where I can’t feel anything because some nerves were damaged.
I also had four fractures in the skull and had metal plates put in. Another time, I burst my eardrum and my equilibrium was off.
4. You’ve done modelling, acting, hosting and MMA. Is there anything else you want to do?
I plan to open a vegetarian restaurant next year. I’m trying to develop a menu. I think people have the perception that vegetarian food doesn’t taste good. Also, the problem with vegetarian food is often, they’re not very cheap. So I’m trying to make them affordable.
5. What do you usually do for Christmas and the New Year?
I go back to Britain every year for Christmas to spend time with my parents. And I help fix things in the house for them. One of our Christmas traditions is which my mum – who’s Malaysian Chinese – cooks turkey fried rice and turkey soup, which is like a fusion of the East and the West. My dad also likes to put together a curry made up of different sorts of meats.
But this will be the first time I’ve gone home to celebrate Christmas as a pesca-tarian, so we’ll be looking at using meat substitutes.
The Spiral is currently playing in GSC cinemas nationwide.