the subject of drugs on the big screen is never an easy
task especially the subject on hand is an apparent taboo
But director Derek Yee did just that in his latest self-penned
project, "Protege". In town for the press
junket were executive producers Andre Morgan, Daniel
Yun from Raintree Pictures and the female audience's
favourite male leads, Daniel Wu and Louis Koo.
Koo who just flew in last month for "Happy
Birthday" was in his usual cheeky, laidback
self. The toughest thing for him in Protege was ironically
not his role in playing a hardcore drug addict but the
tiring task of juggling not 2 but 3 movies at one go.
It was surprising to learn that it was Koo who proposed
to Derek Yee for a set of false yellow-stained buckteeth
for added realism. He was more than just enthusiastic
to hop onto the character of a drug addict. Seem like
the well-known handsome prince of Hong Kong cinema and
television is looking forward for a breakthrough performance
and also a major desire to shed his wholesome onscreen
in the meantime seem to have it easy. When questioned
about his steamy scene with co-star Zhang Jingchu, the
word "awkwardness" seem non-exist as he explained
that he already has ample discussion between the director
and Zhang beforehand. One take is all it required to
finish the shot. (Unfortunately, the Singapore version
was shortened to achieve a friendlier rating, let's
hope the dvd will contain the full sequence.)
for his stunt sequence in the movie which requires him
to jump to a dangling air-con duct on the eight floor,
the ever cheery American born actor brushed it off as
though it was a daily routine. Well to him, the humid
summer weather during filming is perhaps more torturing
to him than the high floors.
both actors have no qualms in saying NO to drugs, both
men in fact look forward to play an addict on screen.
Daniel was initially interested in Koo's role but Derek
wanted him for the undercover cop role instead. When
pressed for a comparison to Tony Leung's now renowned
undercover role in "Infernal Affairs", Daniel
further elaborate that his character Rick touches more
on the mentor/protege relationship with druglord, Lin
Kun (played by Andy Lau) and also the movie portrayed
Rick's own internal struggle with life's emptiness and
drugs. A far difference from the latter. In the meantime,
Louis jokingly said he would rather play the role of
his screen daughter if given a chance. Child actor it
seem has the privilege to throw tantrums on set.
And so is drugs a celebrity's problem given the recent
hype in drugs scandal in the Taiwanese celebrity circuit?
Daniel attributes this to a social problem rather than
a celebrity trend as research has shown drug abuser
happened to one in every 30 people in the world.
With that, moviexclusive.com shall leave "protege"
in your own hands. Mark this down as one of your choices
in the coming Lunar New Year.
opens islandwide 15 February 2007 and is reviewed here!