Donnie Yen Plans to Step Down from Action Films after “Ip Man 3”

By on March 26, 2015 in Movies

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The cast and crew of Ip Man 3 <葉問3>, the final installment in the Ip Man film series, recently held a press conference in Shanghai. Donnie Yen (甄子丹) announced that Ip Man 3 may be the last action movie of his career.

Film Will Feature CGI Bruce Lee

Ip Man 3 will mainly focus on Ip Man’s later years and his friendship with his famous disciple, martial artist Bruce Lee (李小龍). After much consideration, the film crew ultimately decided to use computer-generated effects in order to recreate a true-to-life Bruce Lee.

“We looked at a lot of people and researched many possibilities,” said producer Raymond Wong (黃百鳴). “But we still felt that there would be a problem no matter who acted him out, unless it was Bruce Lee himself.”

Lee’s younger brother, musician Robert Lee (李振輝), was also present at the press conference. He defended the crew’s decision, saying that they looked at many special effects companies in the United States, Germany, and other places, before settling on one that would guarantee the best results.

Donnie Yen Idolized Boxer Mike Tyson

Apart from the Bruce Lee storyline, another highlight of Ip Man 3 will be the appearance of heavyweight boxing world champion Mike Tyson, who will portray an American boss that manipulates the boxing black market and challenges Ip Man’s authority. Though Tyson himself could not make it to the press conference, he did record a video in which he declares war against Donnie.

In response, Donnie jokingly asked the crew to purchase a larger insurance package for him. However, he also added that Mike Tyson was one of his idols, making Ip Man 3 a particularly meaningful film for him.

“I followed his competitions more than ten years ago,” shared Donnie. “I studied his boxing and used those techniques in my films.”

Putting Every Effort into Final Action Movie

On the day of the press conference, Donnie appeared visibly thinner. He explained this was by request of director Wilson Yip (葉偉信), who “felt that in this installment, Ip Man should look more meager.” He also shared that in order to prepare for the role, he put a lot of effort into studying Ip Man’s psychological state in his later years.

When asked if he will continue filming action movies until he becomes too old for them, Donnie replied that Ip Man 3 may be his last action film. “Right now, the most important question for me is not whether or not my body can handle it, but whether or not a movie has creativity,” he stated. “Thus, Ip Man 3 may indeed be my last action film.”

Donnie also shared that when he traveled to different countries, many fans simply called him “Ip Man” when they saw him, which he found extremely moving. “I became popular because of Ip Man,” he said. “So if I’m to leave, I hope it can be with Ip Man as well.”

Source: Sina.com

This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.

10 comments to Donnie Yen Plans to Step Down from Action Films after “Ip Man 3”

  1. Funn Lim says:

    So he is retiring from acting altogether? Because to me acting is like action for him and it is hard work for him!

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  2. JJ says:

    Really sad to hear. Donnie is one of my favorite action actor.

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  3. DooK says:

    He said the same thing after completing BODYGUARDS & ASSASSINS. He always says things like this when he feels pressured or exhausted from shooting action scenes. He will take back his words after shooting wraps and recuperating from shooting, guaranteed. I can see him retire from acting at 55 or 56.

    At this point, he has several projects attached as an actor so he can’t back out anyway. He’s shooting NOODLE MAN in July and will act and produce DRAGON CITY and THE MASTER for hos own company.

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  4. Michael says:

    That’s what they all say in pursue of non-action film roles. Basically they are trying to entice people to offer them those roles since they know they are not getting younger. Jackie Chan has been saying that he won’t do action films many many years ago and look at him still.

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  5. Anon says:

    These action stars will never get regular roles.

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    • DooK replied:

      Jet did OCEAN PARADISE in 2010 while Donnie is notable for his occasional turns in some Lunar New Year comedies and dramas. I think A-list action stars in Hong Kong/China have more opportunities if they want to try out different stuff.

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      • Anon replied:

        How’s that turn out for Jackie Chan?

        He’s the biggest of all martial art stars, though he’s been saying for years that he wishes to leave action movies. Has that happened yet? NO! It will never happen. Because no investor will be take such a huge risk to invest in an action star to play a dramatic character.

        Those cameo appearance and lunar new year comedies don’t really count. The question is, will Donnie be able to consistently receive leading non-action movie roles? NO! If Jackie can’t accomplish that, what makes you think Donnie can?

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      • dook replied:

        I think you should read your own comment. My point wasn’t even about these action stars succeeding and continuing in non-action roles more often but just be able to be offered regular roles outside of their comfort zone. Jackie may not have had success with that but Jet and Donnie obviously show more passion for it and I bet they would succeed if they ever was to retire from action film roles.

        As a matter of fact, most Shaw Bros actors (Ti Lung, David Chiang to name a few) who had basic to exceptional martial arts training and made martial arts/action films in their early years went on becoming dramatic actors in their later years. So you’re wrong.

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      • angeltien replied:

        @ i like jet li in that ocean movie. i think it all depends on the general public, if they’re willing to see different roles w/ action stars such as donnie yen, jet li, or jackie chan. i personally like to see them in different type of roles other than action. but yea, i agree with you dook, i think they have more oppt in hong kong/china!

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  6. dook says:

    I think you should read your own comment. My point wasn’t even about these action stars succeeding and continuing in non-action roles more often but just be able to be offered regular roles outside of their comfort zone. Jackie may not have had success with that but Jet and Donnie obviously show more passion for it and I bet they would succeed if they ever was to retire from action film roles.

    As a matter of fact, most Shaw Bros actors (Ti Lung, David Chiang to name a few) who had basic to exceptional martial arts training and made martial arts/action films in their early years went on becoming dramatic actors in their later years. So you’re wrong.

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