Philip Ng’s (伍允龍) first film as a lead actor, Once Upon a Time in Shanghai <惡戰>, is currently showing in Hong Kong. Directed by Wong Ching Po (黃精甫) and produced by Wong Jing (王晶) and Andrew Lau (劉偉強), the martial arts film stars Philip Ng as Ma, a talented young wanderer who travels to Shanghai and becomes involved in a gang. Andy On (安志杰) stars as Lung, Ma’s best friend, and Sammo Hung (洪金寶) stars as the Iron Leader, a retired martial arts master.
In his first leading role, Philip earned praises from his costars and seniors in the industry. Recent behind-the-scenes footage was unveiled online, which showed Philip’s good friends, Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒), Vanness Wu(吳建豪), and Andy On praising Philip’s skill and talent.
Various scenes of Philip training with Nicholas on set were shown in the clip. Nicholas said that he and Philip became good friends through Wing Chun. He explained that Philip was his Wing Chun sifu and that Philip is very meticulous and a great teacher. “What he lacks is confidence,” Nicholas added. “I introduced him to many directors, got him to do more fighting scenes on the spot. People were surprised to see him beat me all the way to the end of the street! It helped raise his confidence.”
Wong Jing and the film’s action choreographer, Yuen Woo Ping (袁和平), also praised Philip. Wong Jing also regarded him as a potential successor to Donnie Yen (甄子丹), saying, “His family owns a martial arts hall in the United States. He receives challenges from opponents every day, so he has enough martial arts fighting experiences. Not every actor can fight as well as him.”
Yuen Woo Ping also praised that Philip is a very well-rounded fighter with quality moves.
Though born in Hong Kong, Philip spent the majority of his youth in the United States. After finishing graduate school, he moved to Hong Kong in 2003 to pursue a career in the Hong Kong film industry. He mentioned that his martial arts school had almost 1,000 students at one point in time.
Despite Philip’s talent, the 36-year-old struggled in the first few years of his career. Stuck with doing stunt double jobs, Philip mentioned that he almost died while doing a stunt for Vannes Wu. Not too well known in the film industry, Philip had expressed his disappointment at once being labeled as a “tiny star”.
Wong Jing encouraged Philip, “He has finally become a lead star today. I believe that his past ten years in the industry had value!”
“Once Upon a Time in Shanghai” Trailer
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This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.