Filmmaker is impressed with action star's comedic chops.
Making a movie with Jet Li was an unforgettable and exciting experience for Badges Of Fury director Wong Tsz Ming and co-star Michelle Chen.
During a phone interview recently, Wong and Chen couldn't stop talking about Li's antics on the set of the movie.
The action comedy revolves around a pair of bumbling police officers tasked to investigate three mysterious homicide cases.
In the movie, Li, 50, plays veteran law enforcer Huang Fei Hong, who may appear to be a scatter-brain but is in fact a martial arts expert. The other cop is muddle-headed young detective Wang Bu Er, played by Chinese actor Wen Zhang, 28, who was last seen in Stephen Chow's 2013 lunar new year flick Journey To The West.
Taiwan's sweetheart Chen, 30, plays Huang's tough-talking superior Angela. Chen admitted that she faced many challenges making the movie because she had never done an action comedy before.
"I was new at comedy, so pacing and timing were of great concern to me. In addition to that, I had to do wire work for the first time. I discovered that it was really tough to act while being suspended in mid-air," revealed the pretty actress who shot to fame in the Taiwanese smash hit You Are The Apple Of My Eye.
With Li's reputation as an action hero, Chen expected him to be a serious person. However, Li surprised everyone on the set with his effervescence. "Jet Li was so much fun to work with. I was really surprised at how lively and playful he could actually be. He would tell lots of jokes and make us laugh everyday. He really made an effort to ensure a light-hearted mood on the set as we were making a comedy after all," said Chen.
Even director Wong was taken by surprise at how Li tackled the comic parts with ease. "I was really amazed that Jet Li does comedy so well. He was a riot in the movie. I do hope to work with him again as I'm sure there are other sides of him I've never seen before," said the filmmaker, who got his break shooting television series on Chinese kung fu heroes like Wong Fei Hung and Fong Sai Yuk.
For Chen, her most memorable moment on the set of Badges Of Fury was when Li came to her rescue when she couldn't recite some lines during a scene.
"The script was quite a mouthful and there were some lines that really bothered me. I couldn't bring myself to say the words. I felt that they didn't do justice to the character I was playing," she recalled.
Luckily for her, Li was quick to notice her anxiety and dealt with it immediately. "He asked me about it and I voiced my concerns. To my surprise, he told me not to worry about it as he would say those lines himself. Now, I know why he is such a respected mentor in the industry," said the actress, who recently released her first album titled Me, Myself, And I.
Now that he has made an action comedy, Wong hopes to tackle another genre for his next project. "I'm thinking of black comedy or a suspense thriller. And, I look forward to inviting Li for another project together," he mused.
Badges Of Fury also boasts action choreography by Corey Yuen and showcases fighting scenes with action stars like Jacky Wu Jing and Collin Chou.
The movie features a bevy of heartthrobs from Hong Kong and China making cameo appearances namely Kevin Cheng, Raymond Lam, Stephen Fung, Michael Tse, and Alex Fong, Huang Xiao Ming, Tian Liang and Tong Da Wei.
Badges Of Fury is now showing in cinemas nationwide.
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