Text and photos by Loong Wai Ting
INTERNATIONAL action superstar, Datuk Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon Emperor, Tomorrow Never Dies) was all smiles, when met recently at the The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore in conjunction with the release of her latest martial arts flick, Reign of Assassins. With her was critically-acclaimed director, John Woo (Face Off, Red Cliff) and Taiwanese director, Su Chao-Bin (BTS: Better Than Sex).
The trio, who later joined the press conference, expressed their thrill and excitement whilst making the movie and finally releasing it worldwide. The 45-minute conference, one of the longest movie-related conferences saw reporters from the region and Malaysia directing questions after questions at the directors and Yeoh.
Also a former Bond girl, Yeoh expressed her thoughts on the movie, saying that working with action Director, Stephen Tung was really great.
“He’s such a great person to work with. He takes good care of his crew. He even told us that we should not force ourselves to do dangerous stunts that involve wires,” quipped Yeoh. “As a result, I manage to “escape” being injured, whilst making the movie,” continued Yeoh again, beaming with smiles.
Known for her commitment to perform all her own stunts, Yeoh said that nothing can beat the feeling of fulfilment after completing each difficult scene. “I’ve always believed in submitting my best in whatever I do. The end result usually takes my breath away, as I reflect on it at the end of the day. Was it really me who just did that or was it someone else.”
Yeoh, who was earlier smitten by her co-star Jung Woo-Sung (The Warrior, A Moment to Remember) was all praise for Jung, saying that he was a “great person to work with”.
“We had fun playing the on-screen couple and I’m glad that the crew found someone as good as Jung to be my co-star,” said Yeoh before breaking into a roaring laugh.
Taiwanese director, Su Chao-Bin who appeared to be the less talkative amongst the three said that when he made Reign of Assassins, he had set his mind to make a movie that shows that forgiving is better than revenge.
“When you compare it to the wuxia films in the old days, it’s always about somebody killing somebody and then his or her children grow up and avenge their parents’ death. The cycle keeps repeating. But I want to create something different in Reign of Assassins where my audiences can relate to themselves,” shared Su.
Chinese director, John Woo whose rapport included working alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names like John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, half-joked that Reign of Assassins is in many ways better than Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
“I find that the Chinese film industry is very passionate about move-making now. There are a lot of areas to explore, which is why I want to come back to Asia and start making more Chinese films,” said Woo during the roundtable interview.
Yeoh, who did a no-show during the roundtable interview due to personal matter, said earlier on during the press conference that she really admired the courage shown by Taiwanese actress, Barbie Hsu (Da S) in performing her own “sexy stunts” in the movie.
“Me? I have not tried any of those in the past, and I shall NEVER attempt any of it in the future either.” [laughs]
Reign of Assassins opens in Malaysian cinema on October 14, 2010