Tuesday, June 21, 2011


courtesy of takungpao.com

With 178 actors from three lands on both sides of the strait, the Huang Jianxin and Han Sanping directed film BEGINNING OF THE GREAT REVIVAL will open in Hong Kong tomorrow. To assist with the promotion, Huang Jianxin earlier was interviewed with several actors Liu Ye, Feng Yuanzheng, Li Qin and Li Chen.

Working with over 100 actors this time, Huang Jianxin with many big productions and years of producer experience honestly said that the most difficult was actor scheduling issues. However he was not baffled and instead after its completion felt a great sense of achievement. Playing Yuan Shikai, Chow Yun Fat earlier joked that he had to complain about Zhao Benshan impersonating him while he was acting; Huang Jianxin said that their exchanges cracked up everyone on the set and praised Fat Gor's professionalism. Fat Gor in order to prevent his Cantonese accent affecting his performance asked the director two months the production to get a professional to record his lines for him to practice with in Hong Kong. Thus during the shoot he had no obstacle at all. The director also pointed out that the film story took place between 1911 and 1921, but now most of the buildings in Shanghais were from the 30s. The team had to build the Beijing brothel and university library in Huairou.

Liu Ye and Li Qin in the film played young Mao Zedong and his wife Yang Kaihui; Li qin said that before working together she thought Liu Ye was beyond her reach, but on the first day of the shoot Liu Ye in order to adjust to her height took a seated position while acting. Thus she thought he was very nice. Liu Ye also praised in Cantonese her performance. As for playing Mao Zedong, he said that he had certain pressure because Mao Zedong was an important figure in Chinese history and very influential around the world. However each person's understanding of Mao Zedong was different. He performed his own way so he definitely had pressure. How did he relax himself? He said, after the shoot he took two months off and he was freed. Speaking of the film's online availability, Liu Ye said that it was outrageous because the film box office would suffer a lot. Playing his first love, Tang Wei had three scenes but was completely cut out. Did he feel any regret? He said, the film had 178 actors so a balance was very hard to find. Thus 17 people's roles were cut. The film also went from the original four hours to more than 2 hours.

Feng Yuanzheng in the film played the "May 4" Movement founder Chen Duxiu, he caught the directors' eyes with the shape of his head and his elegant quality. In the film he and Liu Ye had the most scenes together. He even had several minutes of screaming and yelling, but he did not feel any difficulty. Instead he felt very lucky because he was able to work with so many great actors. As for the 17 actors on the cutting room floor, Feng Yuanzheng honestly said that at first he was worried about being cut.

The film had over 100 actors and resembled a film award. Li Chen said that meal times felt like that the most. Speaking of memories from the production, he and Feng Yuanzheng both said that the most memorable was birthday celebrations during the shoot. Feng Yuanzheng also mentioned something funny about Fat Gor. When the team was shooting in Hengdian, Zhejiang, it ran into the snowstorm of several decades. The highway was jammed. Fat Gor told the police, "I am Chow Yun Fat, I am in a hurry to make a movie." The police told Fat Gor, "Even if you are Chow Yun Fat there isn't anything we can do." In addition, he also mentioned that he admired Tony Leung Ka Fai very much when he was little, thus he was very
excited about the chance to work with him this time.

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