THE OTHER SIDE OF WUSHU

Producer Jackie Chan says: 

 

It’s an honour to work with action actors. The sense of honour, the selfless contributions, the camaraderie between martial artists mean much to me.

At the same time, nurturing wushu elites of the new generation, creating new wave kungfu are very important to me as well. And so, Wushu, which explores the story of Chinese wushu and Sanda, enlists new blood.

The experiences of the young actors remind me very much of myself in the early days. Fiendish training and monotonous life.

Liu Feng Chao and Wang Wen Jie are two young and very talented wushu actors, their acting full of explosiveness and their action very flowing.

I’m very happy to recommend Wushu the film to the audiences. I can assure you that you’d enjoy this movie as much as I do, falling in love with the film with its exciting action and drama.

Director Antony Szeto says:

After years of training in wushu, I decided to further my wushu studies at Beijing University of Sports in 1980s. There, I witnessed countless joys and sadness, and separations… of kids being forced to leave their parents, in order to fulfil their parents’ wishes of them becoming successful.

I’ve heard countless cries owing to the extremely demanding training routines, as well as hearing countless cheers to strive hard, to march forward towards realising their dreams.

20 years later, to shoot DragonBlade, I came to a wushu school in Wenchang, it’s as if I had returned to Beijing of yesteryear, the same toiling and perspirations, the same dreams.

When I was writing the script for Wushu, I was combining my personal experiences with Chinese wushu culture. Through this story, I hope to let the audiences see how rigorous Chinese wushu training is, and at the same time, spread the glories of wushu.

I hope that the audience would be able to witness what a fighter goes through the moment they’re in the arena, the union of the body and spirit, getting into the ‘shocking’ state.

Casting

While doing talent scout at Songjiang Wushu School, the production didn’t find anyone suitable for the role of Li Yi. When they were about to leave, Wang Wen Jie just returned. The production gave him an audition, and decided to cast him.

However, not having heard of the director Antony Seto, Wang Wen Jie was having doubts. He nearly declined the offer. Fortunately, he accepted the role eventually.

The production found another candidate in Beijing. However no matter how hard they tried, he couldn’t go on leave. Just a week before filming began, another cast member Wang Fei recommended Liu Feng Chao, her teammate from Hebei Wushu Team.

However, the production wasn’t especially convinced by his photo. No matter what, they went to meet him, and discovered that not only was he an exemplary wushu athlete, but also noticed a different aura with his new haircut. His drama performance is also fresh and natural.

Little Actors

After having determined the five main leads, the production began their hunt for five kids resembling them to play the childhood version of their characters. They have auditioned many child actors without success. The production conducted another audition at the wushu school they’d be doing location filming on, and unexpectedly, found their ideal child actors.

Undeterred

Liu Yong Chen, who plays Xiao Zhang, got kicked by Mao Jun Jie ,who plays Li Yi, and fainted. While shooting a Sanda fight scene, he fainted again after receiving a kick from Wang Ya Chao, who plays Li Er. He fainted for the third time after being kicked by a stunt performer.

After the three incidents, the production was questioning his physical abilities. In spite of all these, he’s still bent on becoming an action star.

Holy Moly

On the birthday of the director, rumours of Sammo Hung’s passing were spreading around like wildfire. At that time, he was filming Wushu. For the whole day, Sammo Hung received endless calls. He kept repeating that he was really Sammo Hung, he was still alive, filming in Shandong…

The Director Did It

Liu Yong Chen injured a stunt performer’s shoulder with a strike. Following that, he wounded another stunt performer in the same spot. To prevent more injuries, the director Antony Szeto – who had been a stunt performer before – decided to do the scene himself. After three times, this scene was completed. However, for the whole month, the director could barely lift his left arm. 

Wushu opens in theatres on October 23, 2008. Sina

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