NOT many can say they have gone toe-to-toe with action star Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson but for one Cowley martial artist it was all in a day's work.

Stunt man Dr Jon Xue Zhang has the honour of being the 'first baddie taken out' by the A-Lister in his new movie Hobbs and Shaw, which hit UK cinema screens on Friday.

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The 31-year-old, who has previously appeared in Marvel film Doctor Strange, as well as looked for love on ITV dating show Take Me Out, described the role as a ‘career highlight’ adding: “This is easily one the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had to date.”

Oxford Mail:

Behind the scenes on Hobbs and Shaw. Picture: Dr Jon Xue Zhang

A spin-off of the popular Fast and Furious franchise, the film’s cast also boasts Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby and Helen Mirren.

Dr Zhang, who works at the SAE Institute in Littlemore and also has a Phd in metaphysics, said he was approached about auditioning last summer, initially having no idea what for.

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He said: “It was only when I got to the studio and saw all the Fast and the Furious posters that I found out.”

After getting the part following a 'physically challenging' audition there were more surprises in store when he got to the set in November and discovered he would be launched across a table by 'The Rock' during his action scene in a tattoo parlour.

Oxford Mail:

He said: “It has always been a dream to work on a Fast and Furious film, though I was not expecting to have a short fight sequence with Dwayne Johnson himself."

He added it was a difficult stunt as he had to jump backwards as he was sent over the table without looking behind him to avoid ruining the shot.

Dr Zhang said: “I was nervous until after the first take. I knew what was expected then.”

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He said the Hollywood star also helped put him at ease, explaining: “He was very friendly and very professional.

"It was the last scene of the day and he said to me 'we can take all the time you want' but I said 'let's do it'."

He added: "We got two really good takes and a round of applause."

Oxford Mail:

Though the entire sequence is only around seven seconds in the final film Dr Zhang said he felt 'very proud' when he saw himself on the big screen at a midnight screening last week, explaining: "It came out of nowhere and I get to be a part of one of the biggest movie franchises."

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Dr Zhang, who has been doing martial arts since he was five, was also immortalised in 2017 as the star of a graphic novel by Brooklyn-based artist Pete Hernandez III.

Oxford Mail:

He has upcoming stunt roles in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen and an unnamed Marvel film.

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Dr Zhang's fight sequence follows Oxford-actress Florence Pugh's own starring role with Dwayne Johnson earlier this year in Stephen Merchant's wrestling movie Fighting With My Family.