With a cast featuring Ekin Cheng (鄭伊健), Yu Bo (於波), Vic Chou (周渝民), Li Chen (李晨), Raymond Lam (林峯), Wu Chun (吳尊), Fu Xinbo (付辛博), and Shao Bing (邵兵), it could be said that Saving General Yang <忠烈楊家將> has the most luxurious and handsome ensemble of actors out of the many adaptations of the story of the Yang family. The cast held a press conference on March 6, where they discussed the brotherly camaraderie on the set, as well as some amusing stories that occurred behind the scenes.
When asked which part of the movie left the deepest impression on them, the seven “brothers” all mentioned the strong friendships they’d built up during filming. Ekin, who plays the oldest brother Yang Dalang, shared that they were close not only within the movie, but also outside of it, and they would often eat and play video games together. Raymond hoped that they would be able to collaborate again in the future, while Vic summed it up best, “The love between a family cannot be broken.”
Left out of this brotherly love, however, was Shao Bing, who plays the villain Yelü Yuan. He joked that he felt resentful about their good friendship and complained good-naturedly about being the outsider on the set. In response, Ekin expressed that, had the Yang family and Yelü Yuan met under different circumstances, perhaps they would have become friends.
Apart from sharing about their feelings as brothers, the cast also discussed their experiences in filming with horses, which brought the wide-ranging battle scenes to life but were extremely dangerous as well. In one scene, the seven brothers enter the battlefield on horseback, with more than 300 horses charging behind them. To everyone’s terror, Ekin almost fell off his horse, but luckily he was secured by wires and evaded calamity. At the press conference, Ekin said that he had been “protected by the Yang family.”
Unfortunately, this protection did not extend to Wu Chun, who had to carry his onscreen father Adam Cheng (鄭少秋) while on horseback. During the first take of that scene, Wu Chun fell from his horse. However, no damage was done, and he never fell off his horse again.
While potentially hazardous, the inclusion of horses also created opportunities for humorous anecdotes, such as the one Vic shared about trying to build up a friendship with his war horse. He would often lead his horse to a very high hillside to eat, because other horses rarely ate there, meaning the grass was more plentiful. From then on, he no longer feared horses.
Although the story of the Yang family has been adapted several times, director Ronny Yu (于仁泰) wanted his version to exemplify a more youthful and modern style, while adhering to the historical time frame. When he read the story several years ago, he was deeply moved by the themes of loyalty and righteousness, and jokingly added that although he was advancing in years, he was still fashionable at heart.
Saving General Yang will release in worldwide theaters on April 4, 2013.
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This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.