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Thread: Donnie Yen: Uber Awesome !!

  1. #76
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    Golden Empire

    Jul 7, 2020 12:10pm PT
    Donnie Yen Lauds Hong Kong’s Return to China as He Starts New Films ‘Sleeping Dogs,’ ‘Golden Empire’
    By Rebecca Davis


    Courtesy of Disney

    Hong Kong “Mulan” star Donnie Yen this week reiterated his political loyalty to mainland China as he teased work on the upcoming theatrical adaptation of popular video game “Sleeping Dogs” and announced “Golden Empire,” a new China-backed crime thriller.

    His hometown is currently roiling under the impact of a controversial new national security law imposed by Beijing that strips Hong Kong of many of its former freedoms, which came into effect July 1 — the anniversary of Britain’s handover of the territory to China. Ten people protesting its stipulations were arrested within 24 hours of its enactment, including a 15-year-old girl.

    The same day, however, the “Ip Man” star feted by posting a celebratory message complete with champagne bottle emoji to his Chinese and western social media accounts. Under a video montage of himself tickling the ivories and shaking hands with Chinese president Xi Jinping, he reminisced: “Recalling such memorable night [sic] in 2017 where I had the privilege to performed [sic] with piano Mastro [sic] Lang Lang for Chairman Xi and wife along with several hundred guests who came to watch the show and celebrated the night!”

    Comments on his Instagram version of the post have been “limited,” and show only positive feedback. But on his official Facebook account, the post was met with more teeth by fans baffled by his “celebration” of what many have deemed a devastating occasion.

    “He probably has 100 million reasons. But indeed tragic seeing such [a] talented person like Donnie fighting for the people on set but unable to do the same in real life,” wrote one commenter.

    Yen himself responded directly, writing in English: “I am fighting for the Chinese people, which indeed for the longest time, [have] been undermined and disrespected, but worst abused.”

    Yen is best known in the west for his turn in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” and plays Mulan’s mentor Commander Tung in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of “Mulan.”

    But staying in Beijing’s good books is likely key for Yen, 56, who these days is one of Asia’s most bankable stars thanks to the China market.

    Last December’s “Ip Man 4” grossed $165 million in China, but just $3.7 million in Hong Kong (and $4 million stateside), making the mainland far and away Yen’s most lucrative fanbase.

    He also recently starred in “Enter the Fat Dragon,” a comedy backed by China’s Bona Film Group that cancelled its planned Feb. 16 theatrical release because of the coronavirus and moved directly to streaming.

    His next project appears to be “Sleeping Dog,” an action movie adaptation of the popular 2012 video game of the same name developed by United Front Games and published by Square Enix.

    Yen confirmed his participation in the film over the weekend, posting a video of himself busting a few warm-up moves at the gym and writing that he is “aiming to make another breakthrough movie.” He will star as main character Wei Shen, an undercover police officer who infiltrates the Hong Kong triads. “I am excited to start preparing for the next challenge,” he said.

    First announced in 2017, the project will be produced by Neal Moritz’s Original Film (“Fast and Furious”) and DJ2 Entertainment and is listed as currently in pre-production, though neither company replied to Variety’s request for comment by press time.

    Yen will also star in and co-produce a new crime thriller called “Golden Empire,” about a drug lord wanted by authorities in both the U.S. and Mexico. It will be backed by China’s Starlight Media and SA Inc., with Starlight’s CEO Peter Luo also producing.
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  2. #77
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    Our newest web article

    Gene Ching
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  3. #78
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    Donnie at SIFF on IM3

    Shanghai: Donnie Yen Describes Shooting Fight Scenes with Mike Tyson as a Near-Death Experience
    The Hong Kong action star spoke about the full sweep of his career at a Shanghai International Film Festival masterclass, while also discussing his current mission to defy Chinese stereotypes on screen.


    BY KAREN CHU

    JUNE 16, 2021 8:15PM

    Donnie Yen at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Shanghai Film Festival. YVES DEAN/GETTY IMAGES
    Speaking at a Shanghai International Film Festival masterclass this week, Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen recounted how one of Mike Tyson’s hooks almost knocked him out with the force of “a head-on truck” during the shooting of Ip Man 3 (2015). The actor has taken on triple duties at this year’s SIFF. In addition to sharing the highlights of his career in the masterclass, he has also premiered his latest cop thriller Raging Fire and is the ambassador for the festival’s “Belt and Road Film Week” sidebar.

    Yen recalled that, as a boxing fan of Tyson’s, he relished the chance to spar with the former world heavyweight champion on-screen. But Yen also had no illusion about Tyson being a real boxer, not an actor, and knew that Tyson’s boxing moves were not only for show. “When I was in a scene with him, I had to remind myself that I have to be very cautious. I daren’t allow myself to think I was shooting a scene for a film,” Yen told the masterclass. “I had to treat it as a real fight in a boxing ring with him and it was a matter of life and death. I couldn’t afford to be distracted in any way, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a K.O., it would have cost me my life.”

    In a shot when Tyson threw a hook, Yen was supposed to duck, but for the sake of the cameras, he could only duck at the last possible moment. “That was so dangerous! I literally felt the air move with his punch, which was like a truck coming towards me head-on. I felt that wind — woah, that’s still so clear in my mind, so dangerous! His fist was so huge, and it touched my hair,” Yen reminisced, still shaken. “I had to wait until the last moment to crouch down and at the same time not let myself be hurt. For me, that was the biggest pressure.”

    Yen, who is set to appear in the fourth installment of Keanu Reeves’s John Wick franchise, also talked in-depth about his start in the film industry under the tutelage of acclaimed action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping, who, incidentally, designed the action sequences and trained Reeves for The Matrix trilogy.

    Yen came from a martial arts lineage, having learned since a young age from his mother, a famed tai chi master, and later went to Beijing to train further in martial arts. His mother counted among her pupils the sister of Yuen Woo-ping. In the mid-1980s, when Yuen was prepping Drunken Tai Chi, his follow-up to Drunken Master and Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (both 1978), which made Jackie Chan a star, Yuen’s sister recommended the 18-year-old Yen to him, and the film became Yen’s screen debut.

    Yen and Yuen went on to make contemporary actioner Tiger Cage in 1988, where Yen first suggested to his film industry mentor “a personal stamp”, inspired by Yen’s hero, Bruce Lee. “Generally, in a fight scene, the last shot would stay on the defeated,” Yen said. “But that shot was always reserved for Bruce Lee in a Bruce Lee film. You get the full blast of his charisma in that shot. The way he pulled a punch, how he retracted his fist – that is completely his personal charm.”

    His latest outing, Raging Fire, was also the posthumous work of Hong Kong director Benny Chan, who fell ill and was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer during the film’s production and passed away last August at the age of 58. Yen disclosed that it was the mutual admiration he shared with the helmer of Hong Kong classic A Moment of Romance (1990) and later The White Storm (2013) that led to his signing up for Raging Fire. Chan completed filming but was not able to take charge of the post-production due to declining health.

    As one of the Asian stars making a mark in Hollywood films such as Rogue One and the live-action Mulan, Yen considered these jobs an important chance, a mission even, for positive Chinese representation. “I’d always ask the producer whether the role I’m supposed to take and the content of the film as a whole is respectful of Chinese people and Chinese culture,” said Yen, a self-proclaimed patriot. “That’s something I’ve always done. Now that I have more influence, I must speak up for my country and speak out when I think something is not right. I also have a very important mission, which is to use my influence to show the audience that Chinese are not a stereotype. Whatever you can do, we can do it, too.”
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