|courtesy of mingpao.com|
Donnie Yen Chi Tan in the Lunar New Year film THE MONKEY KING (SAI YAU GEI ji DAI LAU TIN GUNG) played Sun Wukong and defeated Stephen Chow Sing Chi to be crowned "the best Sun Wukong on the Great Chinese Silver Screen". Chi Tan finally was able to wash away his Ip Man image. During the Lunar New Year he still remembered to do charity work, donating his own design brand for charity sales.
This year Hong Kong films finally showed signs of life with 4 Lunar New Year films, THE MONKEY KING, GOLDEN CHICKEN SSS (GUM GAI SSS), HELLO BABIES (LUK FUK HEI SI) and FROM VEGAS TO MACAU (DOH SING FUNG WON). Among them the 600 million investment THE MONKEY KING garnered the most attention, with a strong cast that included Yen Chi Tan, Chow Yun Fat and Aaron Kwok Fu Sing. Its production and post production all took over two years. As GOLDEN CHICKEN SSS and HELLO BABIES were still playing with Ip Man, Yen Chi Tan this time has already successfully become the new generation Sun Wukong.
Chi Tan described working on THE MONKEY KING as "returning to the Tiger Hill", before the shoot he was already mentally prepared for it to be difficult because too many have played the Sun Wukong character. Before the shoot he deliberately watched all related work. Aside from Chow Sing Chi, he watched the Mainland Sun Wukong (Liu Xiao Ling Tong) the most to analyze everyone's performance methods. In order to make the characters more convincing, Chi Tan also watched many monkey, gorilla and orangutan documentaries. He even went to the zoo to observe every move of monkeys made. One day while considering the character at home, his son jumped around in front of him. Chi Tan was suddenly inspired. Actually Sun Wukong was only kind, mischievous and innocent child, as long as he performed in this direction he was fine.
THE MONKEY KING in the Mainland received many film critic praises, Chi Tan even defeated Chow Sing Chi and Liu Xiao Ling Tong for the title of the "Best Sun Wukong on the Great Chinese Silver Screen". They even praised his acting as improved from IP MAN. Chi Tan humbly said, "I don't dare to say who won! Especially Liu Xiao Ling Tong is an elder, I should learn from him. Chow Sing Chi turned the character inside out when he put the focus on love, no comparison could be made. My Sun Wukong returned to a child, with infinite power to change the world. Actually this time feels like 'playing with fire', before hand few were optimistic. First IP MAN was too memorable and secondly I have played too many heroic figures. Many before watching the film would say, 'How can Yen Chi Tan play Sun Wukong?' After watching they would be surprised that I broke through with previous performance methods. As long as no one yells at me, I feel like I pass!"
Finally with a a character that can surpass Ip Man, Chi Tan felt conflicted. He said, "When I hear everyone say that after watching me as Sun Wukong they can forget me as Ip Man, I don't know if it's good or bad. With an image that took so much hard work to establish, I am very afraid that viewers would forget it. Yet this time indeed is a new breakthrough, I am very confident too!" Chi Tan revealed that when his children saw his Sun Wukong costume they were frighten and could not recognize him. When they realized it was Papa, they were very excited. THE MONKEY KING would be the first movie that Chi Tan would take his children to, as his past work has been less than suitable for children. This time the movie was suitable for the entire family, from age 3 to 80. Speaking of 4 Lunar New Year Hong Kong films, Chi Tan said that this year the thriving Hong Kong film industry past has returned. He hoped that all 4 would be hits and everyone would be happy!
When Chi Tan posed for Lunar New Year photos, he wrote the words "Happy New Yeare from Magic Monkey". He will spend the Lunar New Year on vacation with his family. This year he will focus on film work as well, with CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON 2 (NGOR FU CHONG LUNG 2) and KOWLOON WALLED CITY (GAU LUNG SING JAI). His releases will include KUNG FU KILLER (YUT GOR YUNG DIK MO LUM) and ICEMAN 3D (BING FUNG HUP). The long anticipated IP MAN 3 will likely have to wait until next year.
In addition, Chi Tan was also active in charity work. His personally designed "DY Fanatic Gear" charity brand has been officially unveiled, with products like tee shirts, hats, mobile phone cases and sunglasses. The proceeds will be donated to the Heep Hong Society.