This Filipino Model is the Face of Mortal Kombat 11's Scorpion

IMAGE Nicholas Millado, NetherRealm Studios

“I didn’t realize I would end up in a video game and my wildest childhood dream would come true!” says Nicholas Millado, who is the face of Scorpion in Mortal Kombat 11. 

Last month, with the release of Mortal Kombat 11, Millado revealed that he was selected as the face of Scorpion, its most prominent character.

Mortal Kombat is a video game franchise that began in 1992 and has since become one of the most successful fighting games of all time, along with Tekken and Street Fighter.

Millado grew up in the United States and is proud of his heritage. “Both of my parents are Filipino and I’m one of six kids in the family,” he says.

On Instagram, he tells the story of how he grew up in a rural part of Michigan where there is very little diversity, and how, when he was younger, it morphed his perception of standards of beautyof what is attractive and not.

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I used to play fighting games all the time as a kid-- Tekken, Rival Schools, Super Smash Bros, Mortal Kombat. You name it, I'd kick your ass at it. When I signed my model contract with @stewarttalentchicago, I thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be cool if I ended up on a billboard or in a store somewhere?" and from that moment on, that goal stuck in the back of my mind. What I didn't realize was that rather than a poster in Target or an ad in Hollister, I'd end up in a video game and my wildest childhood dream would come true! Over a year ago, @warnerbrosentertainment and NetherRealm Studios booked me to make 3D images of my face that would then be used to create Scorpion in their upcoming Mortal Kombat game. Well, now that game is finally out and I can kick ass as myself aka Scorpion ???? #FinishHim

A post shared by Nico Millado (@nicomillado) on

“I used to think people would find me more attractive if my hair was less wiry, or my skin a little lighter, or my eyes a bit wider,” he says. “In an industry where racial and aesthetic biases ultimately determine profits and sales, I can see first-hand the trends that influenced the insecurities of a younger me.”

Little did he know that these very traits would land him the role of becoming the face of Scorpion in Mortal Kombat 11.

“NetherRealm Studios sent casting notes to my agency, specifying what kinds of faces they were looking for and then my agent submitted the talent that fit the criteria. From there, the studio picked the faces they wanted and booked us for the project!” says Millado. “From what I understand, they were casting from multiple cities from across the country, as well.”


“They asked me to 3D scan my face”

NetherRealm Studios booked me to make 3D images of my face,” he says. “The recent Mortal Kombat is the 11th game in the series and Scorpion is one of the main characters in the game. He appears on the cover of the video game as well as nearly all of the promotional posters I've seen.”

“My role was to be the face of the character, which [involved] bringing me in to the studio and making digital 3D images of my face that the developers could then manipulate to build the character and make him talk, express emotion, and so on,” Millado says. “The idea of being in a video game has always excited me but I never thought that it will actually happen. This is definitely one of my favorite modeling jobs to date!”

Last week, Mortal Kombat was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of Final Fantasy VII, The Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., and World of Warcraft.

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