Monday, October 19, 2009


Joe Odagiri, Tian Zhuangzhuang
courtesy of

Text: Wan Man Chi
Photo: Tam Chi Kwong

Japanese actor Joe Odagiri most recently worked with Maggie Q on the film THE WARRIOR AND THE WOLF (LONG JOI GEI). Although they had a language barrier, they had a series of passionate scenes. Odagiri praised Maggie as a happy and friendly actress who he can trust, thus the intimacy was not awkward. Director Tian Zhuangzhuang disagreed that Maggie's nude performance was daring.

Joe Odagiri and director Tian Zhuangzhuang earlier came to Hong Kong to promote their new film THE WARRIOR AND THE WOLF. Working with Maggie Q this time, Odagiri praised her as direct. Because she worked more in the U.S. and performed in Hollywood films, she had quite an American feeling and was a typical American woman. She was very friendly and took the initiative to communicate with actors. Odagiri in the film had five intimate scenes with Maggie. Did they have ample time to communicate? He said, "We didn't have any special communication. The first time I met her we were already on the set. After meeting we were already very involved in the work."

Just As Hard Working With Animal

Odagiri said that the series of intimate scenes with Maggie took a month to shoot in the studio. He and Maggie both belonged to the hard for bad take type so in his memory he did not have any bad. Was the shoot awkward? He said, "Even though we wasn't together long, we had to get into the performance. Thanks to Maggie who got along pleasantly with people, I as a co-star felt she was someone trustworthy. Thus I didn't feel these scenes were awkward. She made our communication great." Odagiri in the film had many scenes with the wolf. He honestly said that those were dogs, but working with animal was just as hard. To avoid getting too familiar with the animal so they would feel tired during the shoot, before places he did not touch it in order to keep the freshness. Was animal or intimate scenes harder? He joked, "Both are just as hard, depending on how you shoot them."

As for difficulties during the production, Odagiri said, "In a far away place like Xinjiang, the first difficulty was spiritual. The biggest problem was the language barrier and food. Because the place was very remote, actor stress was enormous." The film had few lines, Odagiri was asked whether it was a language barrier issue. He said, "No, this is Director Tian's style." Odagiri expressed that he admired Tian Zhuangzhuang the most for being an attentive director who would make the crew work for the director. Odagiri worked on the film PLASTIC CITY in Brazil. This time he worked in Xinjiang. Although it was difficult, he did not have any regret because he wanted to go to some places in China. Odagiri expressed that he rarely watched Hong Kong films but he rather liked Wong Kar Wai's films.

The Story Required Nude Scene

Tian Zhuangzhuang expressed that Odagiri and Maggie before the shoot had great communication. The script and the actor's aura was very close. Tian Zhuangzhuang also praised the actors' great conditions and performance. The collaboration was very pleasant and everything was good. "Maggie was a very smart and highly cognizant actress, she didn't have any problem." As for Maggie's nude scene, Tian Zhuangzhuang asked, "Is that considered daring in Hong Kong? These love scenes shouldn't be described as daring, they only expressed emotions and attitudes." He said that Maggie's scene was not cut. "Ang Lee's LUST CAUTION was also very open because he lived in the U.S. for a long time. If he was in the Mainland he
might not use this way to make it." In addition, Tian Zhuangzhuang also denied the rumor that Maggie's role was intended for Tang Wei.

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