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Thread: Donnie Yen: Uber Awesome !!

  1. #46
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    Still haven't seen Aftershock...

    * ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
    * DECEMBER 30, 2010, 1:19 A.M. ET
    The top five films in Asia this year
    By DEAN NAPOLITANO

    There has been more than one "breakout year" for Asia's movie industry in the recent past. But 2010 was certainly a good 12 months for directors, actors and writers in Asia.

    Among the most significant achievements was Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's "Aftershock," a tear-jerker about a family torn apart by the 1976 Tangshan earthquake and reunited years later in the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The movie was the first Chinese film to earn more than $100 million at the domestic box office and cemented Mr. Feng's position as China's most commercially successful director.

    The most notable actor of the year was, arguably, Donnie Yen, who starred in not one but three blockbusters -- "14 Blades," "Ip Man 2" and "Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen." Mr. Yen is easily the world's leading kung-fu star. At 47 years old, he shows no sign of easing his multiple-movies-a-year pace, with a string of films lined up for 2011.

    When it comes to picking the most important Asian movies of the year, there are many from which to choose. Among those worth a mention are the chilling Japanese thriller "Confessions"; "I Wish I Knew" from Chinese director Jia Zhangke; Hong Kong's rollicking kung-fu homage "Gallants"; the romantic comedy "Au Revoir Taipei" from Taiwan; "HaHaHa" from South Korea; and "Sandcastle," the debut movie from Singaporean director Boo Junfeng. In addition to all those films, here are my picks as the five most notable Asian films of 2010:

    "Caterpillar"

    Japan

    Director Koji Wakamatsu directed this anti-war drama about a sadistic Japanese soldier who returns home from the Second Sino-Japanese War after having lost his arms and legs in battle and continues to inflict abuse on his wife, who is repulsed by his horrific condition. The filmmaker reveals in stark imagery his fierce distaste of war under any circumstances.

    "Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame"

    Hong Kong-China

    There likely isn't another filmmaker besides Tsui Hark who could successfully pull off a Tang Dynasty-era martial-arts whodunit. After more than 30 years in the business, Mr. Tsui still demonstrates a flair for the sort of movie excitement that he showed with "Once Upon a Time in China" and other classics from Hong Kong's golden age.

    "Echoes of the Rainbow"

    Hong Kong

    Director Alex Law's autobiographical Valentine to 1960s Hong Kong rekindled nostalgic memories and became an unexpected box-office hit. At a time when Cantonese-language movies often struggle to find an audience, this story of a working-class family striving to make ends meet was a sentimental reminder that there was a simpler day -- before the city's current obsession with materialism.

    "Norwegian Wood"

    Japan

    It took 23 years to adapt for film Haruki Murakami's influential novel about a university student in 1960s Japan who finds himself drawn to two women -- one shy and emotionally unstable, the other lively and independent. The Japanese author rejected several offers for a film version over the years before finally agreeing to this adaptation by award-winning Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung.

    "Under the Hawthorn Tree"

    China

    After years of big-budget movies and costume period pieces, director Zhang Yimou reminded audiences why he remains China's most-famous cinematic export. This story of youthful love set against the Cultural Revolution recalls Mr. Zhang's early films with its rural setting, literary pace and rich detail.
    14 Blades
    Ip Man 2
    Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
    Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #47
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    Donnie's greatest fight scene

    I was recently reminded of this gem from Mismatched Couples. Yea, Donnie has paid his dues.

    Donnie Yen Break Dance
    Gene Ching
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  3. #48
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    donnie earns 33million dollars a movie?

    i think the math is wrong on this article can someone confirm this? unless they are talking about his worth.

    Donnie Yen may have been recently named the highest paid Hong Kong celebrity of 2012, but the "Ip Man" actor doesn't find his whopping HKD263 million such a big deal.

    According to Jayne Stars website, the actor revealed, "In terms of our flourishing society, an artiste's income isn't that high. Often, artistes have to work a lifetime to develop their career. You may earn nothing at first, but when you are doing well, others will only see your success."

    The actor continued, "Take me for example. I had to struggle for many years to get to where I am today. If you compare my life's work with professionals like lawyers and doctors, my income is nothing."

    The actor was of course talking about his earlier years as a stuntman for films and dramas, before hitting the big screen with his first major role, "Drunken Tai Chi" in 1984. In those days, the action star had to invest in his own films, and had to live off of a few hundred dollars for several months.

    Donnie also credited his wife, Cecilia Wang for his financial success.

    "She's the one who helped me manage my investments and budgets. If you are scared of your wife, you become rich. I believe this," the actor joked.

    "A moment of triumph does not represent a life of success; a moment of setback does not represent a life of failure. This is what I have learned from my past experiences," the actor expressed.

    In related news, Donnie's upcoming films in 2013 include "The Monkey King 3D", "Special Identity", "The Iceman Cometh 3D", and "Ip man 3D".

  4. #49
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    Nice Donnie overview

    There are some vids too if you follow the hyperlink.
    Yen steps into his next big starring role

    Donnie Yen Ji-dan, who will star in the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel, is taking on just as big a role with The Spirit of Hong Kong Awards
    Monday, 02 September, 2013, 9:29am

    John Carney john.carney@scmp.com

    For a man who hit the big five-0 in July, Donnie Yen Ji-dan is not about to put his feet up and take life any easier.

    On the contrary, the action star is preparing for his biggest role yet when he plays the lead in the sequel to the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, with Michelle Yeoh. The film's producer is the legendary Harvey Weinstein, the man behind the likes of Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    Unlike the original film, the sequel will all be in English which will be new, but Yen was more than eager to give it a go and has faith in Weinstein. He had been looking to collaborate with the famous producer on a film for the past 12 years, but they couldn't find the right project.

    "I'd be over at the old Miramax offices in New York and he'd go over all these projects he'd planned for me but they never got made. Periodically he'd call me after that but we still didn't make any films," Yen explained.

    "Finally a year ago he called me up and said: 'Donnie. This is it! This is the project I want you to do - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, part II.' Well he and his people got in contact with me every week after that and we eventually came to a gentleman's agreement.


    (Clockwise from left) Yen, in Ip Man 2 with Sammo Hung Kam-bo, in Wu Xia with Takeshi Kaneshiro and with Ip Man's son Ip Chun. Photos: SCMP, Clara Mak

    "Then in Cannes earlier this year we announced we were going to do it. It took us 12 years to get the project going but I'm thrilled about it. We won't have Ang Lee [as director] but Harvey is a brilliant producer so I can't wait to see the result. It's going to be fun."

    He may be one of Asia's highest-paid actors but it's this sort of can-do attitude that typifies him and the city he loves. It was for this reason that he also accepted just as big a starring role - to be the ambassador for South China Morning Post's The Spirit of Hong Kong Awards.

    Hong Kong has many unsung heroes. From the social worker who puts in a 12-hour day to provide support to the underprivileged to the firefighters who put their lives at risk, and these awards are aimed at reflecting that. As part of its Celebrating Hong Kong initiative, last month the Post launched The Spirit of Hong Kong Awards to celebrate those who happily do such sterling work for very little reward.

    Readers can nominate who they think deserves to receive an award. There will be 11 awards in all, the first 10 all judged on the same criteria by a panel of judges, chaired by the former chief secretary of Hong Kong David Akers-Jones.

    The awards can be given to an individual or a group. The 11th award recipient will be voted for by the public and called the Sino Spirit Award.

    Along with Akers-Jones the other judges are: the Post's Editor-in-Chief Wang Xiangwei; Dr David Pang Ding-jung, chairman of the SCMP Group; chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, Ronald Arculli; the former permanent secretary for home affairs Shelley Lee Lai-kuen; Daryl Ng Win-kong, executive director, Sino Land; author and explorer Rebecca Lee; Nelson Chow Wing-sun, honorary professor at the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong; and former secretary for works Ronald James Blake.

    Who better to be the ambassador for such an admirable enterprise than Ip Man? OK, Yen only played the character on the big screen but he's taking this role every bit as seriously.

    "I'm well known for being an actor but what you contribute to society can be in many ways. Many people here care more for others than themselves - this happens in Hong Kong on a daily basis," he said. "They are the true heroes and we should always recognise these individuals. To celebrate their spirit and let everyone know that they matter as well."

    When Yen starred as Ip Man it brought him worldwide success and increased the public's fascination for Chinese martial arts. Yen is credited by many for contributing to the popularisation of the traditional martial arts style known as Wing Chun which the original Ip Man taught.

    This has led to an increase in the number of people taking up Wing Chun, leading to hundreds of new Wing Chun schools to be opened in mainland China and other parts of Asia.

    Born in the southern city of Foshan, Ip Man settled in Hong Kong in 1949 and devoted his life to the practice and popularisation of the Wing Chun fighting style, known for its explosive, close-range strikes.

    Released in 2008, Wilson Yip's film Ip Man is a biopic set in the 1930s, before and during the Japanese occupation, with Yen in the title role. Yen and Yip then reteamed - along with the illustrious fight choreographer Sammo Hung - for Ip Man 2, which covers its hero's years in 1950s Hong Kong, as he contends with rival instructors and thuggish British colonialists.

    Yen believed that of all the characters he played it was Ip Man that best captured some of the qualities that The Spirit of Hong Kong Awards are trying to convey.

    "As an actor I try to bring my own life experience to each character I play in a film. So even when it's someone as legendary as Ip Man I try to bring my own characteristics to that role. I'm a family man and so was he," Yen said.

    "Chinese culture is very family-orientated, and the character of Ip Man had all the best virtues of a family man. Family values matter and I think it was one of the main reasons why the film was so successful. It's the same in life. It's very, very important."

    Family has always been paramount in Yen's life. His mother, Mark Bow-sim, is a Fu Style Wudangquan [internal martial arts] grandmaster. At a young age, under his mother's guidance, Yen developed an interest in martial arts and began experimenting with various styles of traditional Chinese martial arts.

    Yen also comes from a family of musicians. In addition to being a martial arts teacher in Boston, his mother is a soprano, while his former newspaper-editor father, Klyster Yen, is a violinist. From a young age, they taught him to play musical instruments, including the piano. The influence they had on him is obvious.

    "One was very active while the other one was into literature," he said. "I was very blessed and fortunate that on one side my mother was a martial arts teacher and on the other my father was a journalist. I was lucky to be touched by two people who had very different careers but ones that taught me so much."

    Yen was born in Taishan, Guangdong and came to Hong Kong with his family when he was 18 months old. When he was almost 11 he moved with his family to Boston in the US where he spent his teenage years.

    He returned to Hong Kong and worked as a stuntman on his first film Shaolin Drunkard in 1983. The rest, as they say, is history. He describes himself as a "world citizen", but Hong Kong is his town and there's no place he'd rather be.

    "When I'm away I miss the energy of the place. It's unique," Yen said. "There is no other city in the world like Hong Kong, not even New York. The energy generated here is amazing. That is the real spirit of Hong Kong coming through."

    Action Hero

    NAME: Donnie Yen Ji-dan
    AGE: 50
    BORN: Taishan, Guangdong
    MARTIAL ARTS: Yen is widely credited with bringing mixed martial arts into the mainstream of Chinese culture. He has choreographed this style of fighting in his recent films and the sequences have won numerous awards. He has trained in boxing, kickboxing, taekwondo, Muay Thai, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wing Chun and Wushu.
    MAJOR AWARDS: 2003 Golden Horse Award for Best Action Choreography in The Twins Effect; 2004 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Choreography in The Twins Effect; 2006 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Choreography in Kill Zone; 2006 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Choreography in Kill Zone; 2007 Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Action Choreography in Dragon Tiger Gate; 2007 Golden Horse Award for Best Action Choreography in Flash Point; 2008 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Choreography in Flash Point; 2009 Beijing College Film Festival Award for Best Actor in Ip Man; 2009 Huabiao Award for Best Actor in Ip Man.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #50
    Im just saying go watch donnie's Wu Xia....
    I have never seen fighting scenes like that before, also excellent story.
    Watch it, you cant dont love it.

  6. #51
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    Double-edged sword of popularity

    Demotivated? I think the word they were looking for was 'discouraged'. Sorry, it's the editor in me...
    Donnie Yen is not demotivated by Golden Broom nomination
    From Cinema Online Exclusively for Yahoo Newsroom
    By Heidi Hsia | From Cinema Online Exclusively for Yahoo Newsroom – 10 hours ago


    Donnie Yen is not demotivated by Golden Broom nomination

    27 Jan – Despite his nomination for the 2014 Golden Broom Awards' Most Disappointing Actor, Donnie Yen stated that he is not at all demotivated by it.

    As reported on Mingpao, while speaking to the media at the launch of a Cultural Communication mobile phone game, "Dragon Tiger Gate Mahjong" with Eric Tsang, Donnie admitted that he read about his nominations at the award, which is China's equivalent to the Hollywood's Razzie Awards.

    However, the actor stated that he will take the nomination with a positive stride.

    "People have been paying more attention to me these past few years," said Donnie, who was nominated for his roles in "Special Identity" and "Together". "I will accept it with good intentions, since an actor has the responsibility to accept them."

    Speaking about the two movies which he was nominated for, Donnie said, "I was only a guest star in "Together", but I still got nominated for it! And for "Special Identity", filming it was difficult (due to the conflict with Vincent Zhao)."

    However, Donnie said the nominations have taught him to be more careful in picking movies and to improve his performance.

    "I will turn all the negativity and criticisms into motivations and make better movies in the future," said Donnie.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  7. #52
    I liked Special Identity. It wasn't groundbreaking or anything - but it was cool, and his MA choreography was top-notch as always. What made it really cool for me was that I just finished beating the video game sleeping dogs. It was like I played and then watched the movie!

  8. #53
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    Yay Donnie!

    Hong Kong Stars Donnie Yen, Carina Lau to Receive Special Honors From Asian Film Academy
    12:15 AM PDT 3/19/2014 by Karen Chu


    Donnie Yen
    During the Filmart industry event in Hong Kong, a new prize for rising Asian talent also will be handed out to Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama ("Kill Bill") and Korean actor Kim Nam Gil.

    HONG KONG – The Asian Film Awards Academy will present Hong Kong stars Donnie Yen and Carina Lau with the inaugural Outstanding Asian Actor and Actress Awards at a ceremony held during the Hong Kong Filmart industry confab next week.

    Co-organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy and Moet & Chandon, the Moet-AFA Special Awards will hold its debut ceremony on March 23.

    STORY: Asian Film Awards Announces Ambitious Relaunch With Support From Top Festivals

    Known for his onscreen martial arts prowess, Yen (Ip Man) will be the first Moet-AFA Outstanding Asian Actor recipient, while the multiple award-winning Lau (Bends, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame) will be the first Moet-AFA Outstanding Asian Actress.

    The newly-established Asian Film Awards Academy was formed by a partnership between the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, the Busan International Film Festival, and the Tokyo International Film Festival. The Academy will vote to select the winners of the 8th Asian Film Awards, held at the City of Dreams casino in Macau on March 27.

    To encourage new talent, Rising Star of Asia Awards will also be handed out to Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill: Volume 1) and Korean actor Kim Nam Gil (Lovers Vanished) at the Moet-AFA Special Awards.
    I haven't heard of this award before but it must be significant if it made THR.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #54
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    Somewhat random

    I should start a Donnie Yen scandals thread. You know an martial actor has really made it when they earn a 'scandals' thread here.
    Action star Donnie Yen's film company sues car firm over soured Porsche deal
    PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 4:31am
    UPDATED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 4:31am

    Julie Chu julie.chu@scmp.com



    Action star Donnie Yen's film company sues car firm over soured Porsche deal

    Action star Donnie Yen Chi-tan's film company is suing a car firm for allegedly deceiving it in a Porsche deal.

    Bullet Films Productions, of which Yen (pictured) is the main shareholder and director, is seeking a refund of HK$1.37 million and damages from NBT Motors.

    The writ names NBT, its director Lau Suk-hing and two staff, Tung Yok-yeu and Gary Luk Chi-kong. It claims NBT failed to deliver a new Porsche Cayenne S in 2011 after Bullet had paid for it, and that subsequent refund cheques were dishonoured.

    "On a date unknown to [Bullet], the defendants … wrongfully and with intent to injure [Bullet] by unlawful means conspired and combined together to defraud [Bullet] and to conceal such fraud and the proceeds of such fraud," the writ stated.

    It says Yen's wife Cecilia Wang represented Bullet to sign an agreement to buy the car for HK$1.53 million on or about March 11, 2011.

    Bullet paid a HK$777,000 deposit and was to have received the car in May that year.

    But Tung later advised that because of a manufacturing delay, the car could not be delivered on schedule. It agreed to cut the price by HK$80,000 and said the car would be ready in August 2011. In early September, Tung told Wang the car had arrived and drove a white Porsche to her home for a test drive.

    Wang agreed to complete the deal at a price of HK$1.37 million on September 5.

    According to the writ, Tung said NBT would deliver the car to Wang after documentation and asked her for the final payment of HK$600,000.

    After NBT failed to deliver the car, it gave Yen's company three post-dated cheques in November, but all the cheques were dishonoured.

    Yen played the title role in blockbuster movie Ip Man about the martial-arts teacher of kung fu legend Bruce Lee.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #55
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    Donnie's folks honored in Boston

    More pix if you follow the link.
    Mr. and Mrs. Yen and Donnie Yen Honored by Gov. Patrick, Mayors Walsh, Christenson and Boston City Council

    By David Li, bostonese.com

    Newton, Mass., July 20, 2014, — At the Yen Family banquet last night at Boston Newton Marriott Hotel to celebrate the 52nd Wedding anniversary of Mr. Klysler Yen and Mrs. Bow Sim Mark Yen, representatives from Governor Patrick and Mayor Walsh, Malden Mayor Gary Christenson and Boston Councilor Tito Jackson honored the couple with citations and proclamation for their dedicated service to the community in the past 39 years since they immigrated to Boston in 1975 from Hong Kong.


    Mr. Hung Goon presents a citation by Gov. Patrick to Mr. and Mrs. Yen (photo by David Li).

    Donnie Yen, a well-known Hong Kong movie star and son of Mr. and Mr. Yen, and his sister Chris Chi-Ching hosted the banquet. They thanked their parents for teaching them values and traditions in front of 300 guests. Donnie Yen said his father would always put 200% effort in everything he does, and he was fortunate to be the son a Kung Fu master Mrs. Bow Sim Mark Yen.

    As immigrants to Boston, Mr. and Mrs. Yen have made remarkable contribution to the community. Mr. Klysler Yen founded the Singtao Daily Boston edition 34 years ago and make it the top selling Chinese daily newspaper in Boston. In recent years, Mr. Klysler Yen has volunteered countless hours as executive board member of Asian American Association of Boston. The Boston Chinese Wushu Institute was created by Mrs. Bow Sim Mark Yen, and has graduated hundreds of students who learned Tai Chi, Kung Fu and many other forms of Chinese Wushu, also know as martial arts.

    Hung Goon, president of the CCBA, presented a citation from Gov. Patrick and wished Mr. and Mrs. Yen a happy and joyful 52nd wedding anniversary. Mr. Goon has served in the state government for many years.

    Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued a citation for Donnie Yen’s achievements after he learned that Donnie Yen grew up in Boston and went to become an international film star. Ms. Bik-Fung Ng, senior Business Manager at Boston Main Street, presented the citation to Donnie Yen on behalf of Mayor Walsh.



    Malden Mayor Gary Christenson presented a citation that detailed the contributions made by Mr. and Mrs. Yen. “Malden has a fast growing Asian population. We appreciate what Mr. and Mrs. Yen have done over the years for the community,” said Mayor Christenson.

    Councilor Jackson presented Mr. and Mrs. Yen a proclamation by Boston City Council that July 17, 2014 was declared as Mr. and Mrs. Yen Day in Boston. Donnie Yen joked that he is also a Mr. Yen.

    Donnie Yen thanked Councilor Jackson for the proclamation, and said that he would fly to New Zealand the next day for shooting movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2. Councilor Jackson mentioned to Donnie Yen about the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit, and invited Donnie Yen to make movies in this state.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #56
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    4 for 2015

    But they only list three.


    Donnie Yen hopes to film four movies in 2015
    From Cinema Online Exclusively for Yahoo Newsroom By Heidi Hsia | From Cinema Online Exclusively for Yahoo Newsroom – Thu, Jan 8, 2015 12:00 PM SGT



    8 Jan – Hong Kong actor Donnie Yen expressed his hopes to be able to work on four new movies in 2015.

    As reported on Wenweipo News, the actor recently attended Pegasus Entertainment Holdings' anniversary banquet, where producer and boss, Raymond Wong, revealed that he will be working together with Donnie's Super Hero Films in several movies, including, "Ip Man 3", "Seven Weapons", and "Wesley".

    Donnie later revealed to the media that he plans to film four movies this year, including the third instalment of the "Ip Man" franchise.

    Asked if he will get a raise, Donnie laughed and replied, "Should I get no salary at all then? I hope that everybody won't focus on this. An actor's salary depends on his contribution to the film as well as the demands of the market."

    In regard to "Ip Man 3", Donnie said that the production will commence in Shanghai after the Lunar New Year, and that Yuen Woo Ping will be the action director.

    (Photo source: zimbio.com)
    We don't have threads for Seven Weapons or Wesley yet. Here is Ip Man 3. The fourth might be Noodle Man or CTHDII or maybe something else entirely.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #57
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    Donnie = wifebeater

    Ok, not really, although Donnie does rock wifebeater shirts well.

    Donnie Yen accidentally hits wife in his sleep
    xinmsn
    11/3/2015


    © Provided by xinmsn Donnie Yen accidentally hits wife in his sleep
    Hong Kong martial arts star Donnie Yen and his model wife Cecilia Wang recently endorsed a bed product. In the commercial, Donnie dressed up as a “super fatty” for the first time in his acting career. The Ip Man star apparently looked so different that his wife could not recognise him.

    “I was very surprised, but I like [the image]. It’s very cute!” Cecilia said while Donnie jokingly warned her that this is how he would look like many years down the road.

    As Donnie revealed that he suffers from insomnia, Cecilia shared about an incident where the actor unconsciously hit her while sleeping. “He pushed my face really hard. I was very mad but he didn’t know about it as he was deep in slumberland. From then now, I sleep with my back facing him,” she exclaimed.

    After hearing Cecilia’s rant, Donnie claimed that “the ignorant is innocent” and called his action an “occupational hazard” because he often has to choreograph action scenes during filming.

    “No matter how big the bed is, I take up only one-quarter of it. I’m scared of cold while my wife dislikes being warm, so we sleep with air-con switched on all year round. I have to hide under the blanket throughout the four seasons,” added the actor.


    © Provided by xinmsn Donnie Yen accidentally hits wife in his sleep
    Gene Ching
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  13. #58
    All I have to say about him is he deserves every penny he earned. GREAT !

  14. #59
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    The MAN - so says USA Today

    Things are looking very good for Donnie to break Hollywood next. We'll see how IP MAN 3 does here this weekend.

    Donnie Yen is the 'Man' in Hong Kong action scene
    Brian Truitt, USA TODAY 7:54 p.m. EST January 18, 2016


    (Photo: Handout)

    Like much of Asia, Robert Downey Jr. and Mike Tyson really love watching Hong Kong action movie star Donnie Yen.

    “I love them, too,” Yen says with a laugh. But he also knows that, even though he has appeared in a few big American movies — Blade II (2002) and Shanghai Knights (2003) among them — most of us don’t know the 52-year-old actor.

    "Some of the films we do in this part of the world are not maximized to their potential" in the USA, he says. "Hopefully, things will change more.”

    Maybe even this year: Yen stars as Silent Wolf, one of four martial arts heroes keeping a mystical weapon out of the hands of a villain, in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, a sequel to the 2000 fantasy hit that premieres on Netflix Feb. 26. And the Chinese-born actor goes galactic with Felicity Jones as part of a crew out to steal plans for the Death Star in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in theaters Dec. 16.


    Master Ip (Donnie Yen) prepares to take on a gang of thugs in 'Ip Man 3.' (Photo: Well Go USA)

    Before those, audiences can get acquainted with Yen in his new action film, Ip Man 3 (in theaters Friday). The latest in the Hong Kong franchise pits Wing Chun kung fu grandmaster Master Ip against a greedy property developer played by Tyson. (For those who want to have an Ip fest, 2008’s Ip Man and 2010’s Ip Man 2 are both streaming on Netflix.)

    His goal was to never break big in Hollywood, though, or star in movies with mind-blowing kung fu moves. “I choose films that inspire others,” Yen says. “I choose films that carry a positive message that I feel the world needs."

    Based on Bruce Lee’s real-life teacher, Yen’s Master Ip character really doesn’t want to have students or fight gangs of thugs 10 at a time — he just yearns to live a normal life. In Ip Man 3, however, when a situation arises where his family and his boys’ school are threatened, “he steps up and it just so happens he can kick butt,” Yen says.


    Donnie Yen stars as Silent Wolf in the martial-arts fantasy sequel 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.' (Photo: Netflix)

    With his films, Yen is pretty choosy. He turned down a role in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 2, and it took producer Harvey Weinstein a good year to persuade him to do Crouching Tiger. “I don’t want to do films that are like something I’ve done for so many years, (with) swords and hair-blowing," Yen says. "But he came up with this idea of shooting it in English that was very refreshing.”

    Doing a Star Wars movie wasn’t as hard a sell. Yen recalls watching the original 1977 movie in Boston’s Chinatown, where he lived as a teenager.

    Yen already is ensconced in the Star Wars cone of secrecy. All he’ll spill is that his character “is definitely an important guy," he had fun doing it and “I will get some action."

    Rogue One may be many moviegoers' introduction to Yen, though he has made 70 movies since 1984. “Time flies,” he says. “You get a couple pieces of white hair and you realize, oh, my goodness, you made another film.”


    Donnie Yen (far right) stars with Diego Luna and Felicity Jones in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.' (Photo: Lucasfilm)
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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