October 2008, 2.45pm at Marina
Wu Chun had always wanted to be a movie star, but he
chose to make his film debut in a 'wuxia pian', even
going to the extent of performing his own stunts.
The boyishly cute actor and singer flew into Singapore
recently to promote his new movie "Butterfly Lovers".
An adaptation of the classic Liang Zhu novel, Wu Chun
stars as the dedicated and passionate lover Liang Shanbo
who is deeply in love with Zhu Yingtai, played by Charlene
As Wu Chun said, it was a stressful but exciting and
challenging time for him on the set of his debut movie.
For one, he did not have the experience of his fellow
co-star Charlene Choi, with more than 30 films under
her belt. But he gamely insisted on taking up this movie,
and has absolutely no regrets about it.
"I am very grateful to have worked with a great
director, and also an equally wonderful cast and crew
on this movie," he said. To prepare himself for
what was to be a physically demanding role under the
direction of veteran action director Tony Ching Siu-Tung,
he underwent a month of martial arts training before
the shooting and was also learning every day on set.
Indeed, the film’s action scenes were probably
the most difficult aspect of filming this movie. In
particular, one scene in the movie had his character
and Charlene Choi’s character fighting in the
rain at night. That scene alone took six nights to film,
each night a twelve-hour shoot from five in the evening
to five the next morning.
"We were both wet almost all the time because in
the scene it was supposed to be raining very heavily
outside," he explained. To make it even more dangerous,
the red lanterns used for filming that scene were electric
operated, and were constantly crackling as water fell
But that did not deter him from performing his own stunts
in the film even when an extra could have stepped in.
He and director Jingle Ma wanted it to look more realistic,
so he willingly jumped off three storeys into a lake
below. What was frightening, he recounted, was how when
the extra tried the jump, the guy was almost impaled
by a wooden beam.
"Even though the beam was subsequently removed,
who knows what else could have been down there in the
lake?" Wu Chun said. Thankfully, that scene was
accomplished in just one take.
Reflecting on the difference between his experience
of filming Taiwanese idol dramas such as Romantic Princess
or Hanazakarino Kimitachihe and that of filming a movie,
Wu Chun said that the pressure of filming a movie is
"It’s much more expensive filming a movie,"
he said, “so the expectations were much higher
as well.” He also said that filming a movie was
a much more realistic experience on set than filming
a drama, because of the difference in the nature of
Known for his love of food, Wu Chun found this to be
a great way to bond with his fellow co-star Charlene
Choi, and director Jingle Ma. It was through this common
love of food that he and Asa (as Charlene is affectionately
known) developed a relationship. He was quick however
to point out and emphasize that this relationship was
one of friendship, and not romance.
The release of "Butterfly Lover" comes on
the heels of preparations for his band Fahrenheit’s
first concert tour in December this year in both Malaysia
and Singapore. Ever hardworking, the Brunei-born actor
was recently awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Award in his home country and currently also manages
his own gym. But fans need not worry about seeing him
in another movie anytime soon.
Wu Chun revealed that he is in the midst of reviewing
both television and movie scripts for next year. So
cross your fingers, dear fans, because Butterfly Lovers
may be the first in the line of many other films to
come, the start of a new film career for one of Taiwan’s
most popularly handsome popstars.
Lovers" opens on 16 October and is reviewed here
Chong | Photos:
Richard Lim Jr | Banner: See Ki Peng
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