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23 September 2008, 2pm at Orchard Cineleisure KBox

Louis Koo wants viewers of “Connected” to associate his character, Bob, as an ordinary person, not a hero.

So much so that he chose to be strapped into the driver’s seat of a car hanging at the edge of a precipitous cliff. He is quick to add that there were no wires or harnesses attached to him. All he had was his seatbelt.

“The fear and anxiety you see on my face in that scene were real,” he attests. Although the original plan was to have a stuntman extra in the car, he persuaded director Benny Chan to let him do it himself because the “result of which would be more believable”.

The scene ends with his character swiftly opening the car seat and jumping off to one side while the car plunges down the ravine. Again, that really is Louis Koo you see on screen doing that daring stunt. “There were no rehearsals for that,” he said. “The assistant director wanted a rehearsal but I told him ‘Rehearsal? What rehearsal? Let’s just get it over with.’”

Koo was also concerned about the plausibility, or rather the implausibility of the scenario in “Cellular”, the Hollywood movie on which “Connected” is based on. So he worked hard with director Chan to make sure that his character’s transformation from being skeptical to believing that the stranger on the other end of the phone line was indeed in danger was as real and believable as possible.

Aware that “Connected” arrives four years after “Cellular”, Koo said that the social distance between people has gradually widened. “People are busy with their own work and other commitments, so much so that their connection with others are becoming weaker,” he observed. He feels therefore that Connected arrives at a timely occasion on the heels of such a social phenomenon.

Today, Louis Koo has reached a point in his career where his name is enough to headline a big-budget action film. Indeed, it has been more than 12 years ago that the boyishly handsome actor had his screen debut in the movie “On Fire” and the “Troublesome Night” series.

Ever the dedicated and professional actor, Louis Koo said that he hopes to get a wider breadth of roles in future. He alluded to the accolades he received recently for his playing against type in the movie “Protege” and said that is an example of the kind of roles he hopes to be able to experience in future.

Hollywood has also come knocking on his doors, as his manager revealed, and it may not be too long before we get to see the bona fide Hong Kong star in Tinseltown.

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"Connected" opens on 1 October and is reviewed here

Report & Photos: Gabriel Chong & Richard Lim Jr
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