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Despite the movie’s solemn and serious tone, the press conference for “The Curse of the Golden Flower” held at the prestigious Shangri-la was far from that. Gracing the occasion is none other than “The Emperor” Chow Yun-Fat. Supposedly scheduled on this promotional tour is Gong Li who couldn’t make it here due to some immediate affairs in Beijing.

Nevertheless, Fa-Gor as Chow is affectionately called is at ease addressing the huge group of local and international media present with his fluency in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. The veteran jovial actor clad in casual sports attire has more jokes to crack than serving the usual heaps of PR praises upon his co-stars, Gong Li and famous singer/rapper Jay Chou who plays Second Prince Jai.

Chow cheekily puts on a fierce look when he claims Gong keeps teasing him about his less than perfect Mandarin diction. In addition, Jay Chou’s renowned magic performing tricks on the movie set irk him as well. Not surprisingly, Chou has all the attention from all the young girls on the set. And Chow being the Emperor ironically has little or none of Chou’s luck.

It’s clearly shown that Chow has achieved milestones in his acting career and is enjoying his current lifestyle as an actor who don’t mind taking up supporting roles not even nominations at the prestigious Academy Awards can stir him. As the man says, whether “The Curse of the Golden Flower” has any nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film, it meant nothing to him because he has fulfilled his task as an actor and he should move on to his other film projects. It would be too stressful to keep pining for awards but he wouldn’t mind being invited for a night of free luxurious food and entertainment if the film gets nominated at the Oscars (refer to “The Curse of the Golden Flower”).

Answering a media’s enquiry, Chow never deemed his career in Hollywood as a “failure” ever since he moved his base to the States since 1997. He seems to take it in his stride despite receiving lukewarm responses to his Hollywood productions as compared to his numerous memorable hits in HK. But to the ever optimistic Chow, this is just part of learning progress for him.

Nevertheless, he did have a great time filming “The Curse of the Golden Flower” despite shooting the film for 6 months in Beijing. Perhaps only the atrocious Mandarin diction as required by Director Zhang Yimou is a bit hard on him, other than that, every Monday is a BBQ day for him and the crew.

It’s all in a day’s work for Chow as he bid his farewell to the media after a fun-filled, humourous 30 minutes session. This man has been on the screen for 33 years since “Man In The Net”. And we definitely have no qualms in looking forward to another 33 years.

Experince the press conference here!

The Curse of the Golden Flower opens in Singapore on 21 December.

Report by: Linus Tee | Photos: Lokman B S | Video: Lokman B S, Richard Lim Jr, Linus Tee
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