Director Peter Chan does not think that Tony Leung,
Eric Tsang and Andy Lau are superstars. Having worked
with Leung in He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (1993),
Tsang in Alan and Eric: Between Hello and Goodbye (1991)
and Lau in his latest film The Warlords, the 45-year-old
feels that these critically-acclaimed award-winning
Asian movie stars are no different from other movie
you, they may be are megastars, but I’ve known
them since the 1980s when they were playing supporting
roles on television. They are just people like you and
me,” says Chan articulately in Mandarin during
an interview with MovieXclusive.com recently.
town to promote his latest work, Chan explains that
because he has known these stars for over 20 years,
he does not feel any pressure working with them on his
films. Coincidentally, it is the glorious years of Hong
Kong cinema during the 1980s that he wants to celebrate
with The Warlords, which he also served as a producer.
war drama tells the story of three sworn brothers who
initially went through thick and thin together, but
eventually turned against each other due to tragic circumstances.
bespectacled Chan explains: “In the 1980s, many
Hong Kong movies like John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow
portrayed strong themes of brotherhood and comradeship.
I feel that this vividly represents the spirit of Hong
Kong and I want to revive that in The Warlords.”
Incidentally, Chan was Woo’s second assistant
director and producer on Woo’s 1986 movie Heroes
Shed No Tears.
international film language, I hope that today’s
audiences can feel the same passion,” he adds.
on the saga hasn’t been an easy journey for the
award-winning filmmaker, who took home two Best Director
Golden Horse Awards for Perhaps Love (2005) and Comrades:
Almost a Love Story (1996). This is his first time directing
such an epic story, and one of the key scenes is an
impressive 10-odd minute battle sequence involving thousands
that scene was very tiring and not easy at all because
I’m not the only one who’s having this ‘first-time’,”
Chan chuckles. Referring to his male leads and action
coordinator, he says: “It’s Jet Li’s
first time, it’s Takeshi Kaneshiro’s first
time, it’s Ching Siu-Tung’s first time,
it’s everyone’s first time.
we slowly figured our way through and the scene evolved
into what you see on screen in the final version.”
in Bangkok before studying at UCLA in the United States,
Chan is clearly a passionate filmmaker who believes
in telling good stories with his works. While academics
and scholars have referred to fellow filmmakers like
Johnnie To and Wong Kar Wai as auteur directors, Chan
feels that all directors in Hong Kong have their signature
term ‘auteur’ is difficult to define. In
Hong Kong, most of us write our own screenplays and
have strong messages to tell.
me, as long as you can proudly call the film your own,
you are an auteur.”
More interview video clips with Director Peter Chan: