Press conference for True Legend was held on October 19 afternoon with the trailer being screened and the director Yuen Wo Ping and cast Zhao Wen Zhuo, Andy On and Guo Xiao Dong showing up. Zhou Xun was unable to attend but recorded her speech in advance. Also in the film are Jiang Lu Xia, Michelle Yeoh, Cung Le, Gordon Liu, etc.
Zhao Wen Zhuo, dressed very smartly, oozes great confidence and charm as he speaks eloquently about the film. He introduces that Yuen Wo Ping spent around 4 years on True Legend, from pre-production, through filming, to post-production. Yuen Wo Ping remarks that the film is still in post-production, but is almost complete.
Yuen Wo Ping also declares Zhao Wen Zhuo as his first choice for the eponymous character Su Qi Er. Having seen his previous works, Yuen Wo Ping was certain of his acting. And as a professional martial artist, action scenes won’t faze him. Yuen Wo Ping also applauds Guo Xiao Dong and in particular, Andy On, who was given more complex stunts, for their action performances despite not being professionals in the field.
Zhao Wen Zhuo continues that he met Yuen Wo Ping in Los Angeles who decided to cast him. It was when he talked about details in Hong Kong did he realise how solid True Legend’s script was. He was moved immensely by the script that was drama-oriented rather than action-driven. The action serves only to advance the plot as opposed to most action films where the action comes first, while the story is an afterthought, meant to support the action.
Zhao Wen Zhuo, who was told by Yuen Wo Ping to shed weight for the film to look more like a martial arts practitioner, actually found the martial arts sequences, which are a blend of modern and traditional implementations, to be more difficult than drama scenes due to the extremely high standards set by Yuen Wo Ping.
To achieve realism, Zhao Wen Zhuo suffered from bruises whenever Yuen Wo Ping called for slow mo shots, requiring the blows to land squarely on, say, his face and the skin depressed to show the impact, as opposed to regular shots where the opponent could pull back without actually hitting the other party. It’s worse when he had to take kicks and knee strikes. Thankfully, he didn’t sustain any serious injuries on the set.
Zhao Wen Zhuo also congratulates Zhou Xun on winning Golden Rooster’s Best Actress award for her role in Equation of Love and Death, praising her histrionics and saying that they had great rapport. “Before each take, it seemed as if she would first regulate the chi, before bringing out some divine acting powers.”
True Legend is due for release in around Lunar New Year 2010. Sina