It's all very well taking a faux beating on celluloid if you're the leading man. To be hurled against brick walls, kicked through glass windows, wrestled off tall buildings and blown up - and to remain anonymous at the end of it all, however, takes sheer dedication. Jude Poyer, one of the few Western 'fall guys' working in the Hong Kong movie industry, has it in spades. It shows as he wearily introduces himself after arriving half an hour late. 'My body clock's a bit screwed at the moment,' he sighs apologetically, his eyes tired and baggy, and his skin displaying an immaculate moontan from many a long night's shoot in which he usually dies for a living. As we settle down to talk in an old cha chaan teng in Causeway Bay, Poyer, 25, says his love for martial arts started during his early childhood in Sri Lanka, where he moved because of his father's career. He consolidated it when he moved back to London as an eight-year-old, attending karate classes and watching countless kung fu movies. 'My reasons for doing this are based more than anything on a love of martial arts,' he admits. 'I'm not at all concerned with being famous.' After completing his A-levels at London's elite Emmanuel School, Poyer found himself courted by various universities. 'One of the teachers at school never liked me, thought I was a bit of a loose cannon. Suddenly he's like 'You've done very well. Let's talk about Oxbridge.' I was like: 'No way. I'm going to Hong Kong tomorrow to make action movies.' Seven years later and I'm still here.' Such a devil-may-care attitude seems typical for a stunt performer, although Poyer, who speaks fluent Cantonese, is keen to stress otherwise. 'A lot of people think we're all nutcase characters. You know, very crash and burn, all wearing cowboy boots. It gives us a bit of mystique, yes - but I'm no Burt Reynolds.' Poyer's varied martial arts experience quickly got him noticed by directors looking for flexible performers. 'I arrived here, sent my CV out and over time got to know people.' His first role materialised within a few months. 'It was a small part in a movie called Downtown Torpedoes. I played a MI6 guy. I had no dialogue and got kicked into a wall.' He has since worked on countless TV shows and 19 movies, including Gen Y Cops, last year's Shu Qi showcase So Close and the troubled Jackie Chan Highbinders project. It all looks promising for him, although Poyer remains pragmatic. 'I've had some leading parts in Hong Kong movies. Some of the most fun and most interesting jobs, however, have been on low budget ones that play for a week before going out on VCD. On the bigger movies there are more rules and I tend to get stereotyped - you know, grow a beard and play the bad gweilo.' It sounds as if there's an actor inside him trying to karate kick his way out. 'I could achieve both by starring in a kung fu flick, but there's only so far a white face can go in Hong Kong. Right now I'm having a great time making a living while learning from the best. Even though the film industry on the whole is a little bit down in the dumps, the best action people in the world are here.'