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25 February 2009, 3 PM at Marina Mandarin

It’s easy to think of Sammo Hung as the gongfu action star. But as a rapper!?

Indeed, that’s exactly what Vanness Wu managed to get Sammo Hung to do on the set of their latest film together, Kung Fu Chefs- though it did take some studious convincing on his part before Sammo said yes.

In town to promote the movie that he also produced the music for, Vanness Wu spoke excitedly about his successful attempt at getting “Da Gor” (as Sammo is affectionately known) to lend his vocals to one of the songs in the film.

“Terry, my fellow music producer, and I thought ‘Hey wouldn’t it be cool if we got Sammo on a track?’ But when we asked Sammo, he said ‘No, you don’t want me to sing on a song. I’m not a very good singer.’ So we discussed it and in the end, we decided that no matter what, we just had to get him to do the track,” said Vanness.

“So on the last day that Terry (who incidentally hails from Singapore) visited the set in Guangzhou, he brought all his recording equipment and we ambushed Sammo while he was resting between takes.” But after much pleading, Sammo gamely took up the mic and the rest is history. “He (Sammo) heard the finished product, and I think he was really quite happy with it.”

In fact, Vanness Wu has nothing but praise for his co-star. “It was just great working with him. His skill in martial arts, his character as a person- he’s just charming,” he said. “And to watch him fight, to watch him work, was really a great inspiration.”

And rightly so- since it appears that the former F4 member has been working hard at carving out a name for himself as a young, up-and-coming action star. Since the members of the popular boy band began pursuing their solo careers, his big-screen forays have been mostly action flicks such as Star Runner and Dragon Squad.

“I’ve always loved action movies since I was young. I guess because of my background in dancing, I’m more flexible and more limber so most of the roles I get are in action movies,” he said. “But I’d love to change my characters as well so I’m just looking out for the right role to play.”

His role in Kung Fu Chefs also marks somewhat of a change for him- this being his first action comedy. But it seems he is just as comfortable in comedy as he is doing action.

He said: “What’s really great in this movie is how the director just gave me the freedom to do what I wanted, basically to have fun, and I think that’s what made it much easier for me as well.”

But what he found more challenging on the set of Kung Fu Chefs was filming the many cooking scenes. “I like to eat, but I don’t really cook that well,” he said. “In cooking, the hand movements have to be a certain way. And plus if you’re not familiar with the knives, then it’s very easy to get hurt. So cooking is probably a little bit harder for me right now.”

Aside from acting, the versatile star has recently embarked on a new venture- designing his own jewellery line, called 3V07 (which actually reads “LOVE” backwards). In fact, he was also wearing some of the items he created, including a ring adorned with a star and a lightning bolt on it and another meant to be worn on two fingers that’s shaped like a chastity belt.

“I love to draw, and I love to design, so this is actually something that I’ve always wanted to do.” In a surprisingly frank and candid manner, he added: “Now I’m at a different point in my life where I see truth is, I see where I’m at, and I’m able to identify with who I am, and what’s important to me- God, family, friends, fans.”

And certainly that same kind of clarity, coupled with determination, will definitely serve him well. After all, that’s probably the same spirit that convinced Sammo “Da Gor” Hung to take up the microphone in the first place.  

"Kung Fu Chefs" opens on 26 February and is reviewed here

Report & Photos: Gabriel Chong & Richard Lim Jr
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