Starring Carina Lau (劉嘉玲), Mark Chao (趙又廷), and Angelababy, Tsui Hark’s (徐克) upcoming fantasy-adventure film Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon <狄仁傑之神都龍王> is due for a September 27 release in Hong Kong. The film about the Tang Dynasty detective Di Renjie serves as a prequel for Tsui Hark’s 2010 film Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame <狄仁傑之通天帝國>, which starred Andy Lau (劉德華) in the title role.
At a recent press interview, Tsui Hark discussed the difficulties behind filming the Mandarin-language film, and revealed that the film’s underwater action sequence that took 96 days to shoot was particularly memorable for the cast and the crew. The actors spent six hours underwater in total.
The underwater scene was especially difficult for Mark, who had to fight submerged in water. Due to the high water pressure, Mark’s nose started bleeding halfway, but to not impede the filming schedule, Mark insisted to continue shooting. Although Mark professed that he is a swimmer, having his hands and feet tied underwater was a completely different “swimming” experience.
Angelababy, however, had it much easier than the rest of the cast, as she only had to film a sequence where she slept peacefully underwater. Nonetheless, the experience was no less frightening for the 24-year-old. She said, “Before filming began people asked me if I could swim. I loudly said I could, but later I found out that I had to be bounded inside a sack underwater! That’s different.”
With mixed German and Chinese heritage, Angelababy’s ethnical background attracted Tsui Hark to cast her as Yin Yuji, a courtesan who has an affair with the young tea house master Yuan Zhen, portrayed by South Korean actor Kim Bum.
“An interesting thing about [Angelababy] is that she is a little mixed, and I was curious to how she would appear in a period film,” said Tsui Hark. “In the film, Yin Yuji is from Goguryeo [Ancient Korean state]. Sometimes I wonder if there were actually many people in the Tang Dynasty who were like [Angelababy], being of mixed heritage. Maybe there were people from Xianbei; maybe from Xiyu.”
The underwater scenes employed a series of fantasy sequences. While Mark had to fight underwater, Kim Bum had to kiss the sleeping Angelababy. Mainland actor Lin Gengxin (林更新), who portrays the medic Shatuo Chung, was required to ride on a galloping horse underwater.
Having a scene of such epic scope, did Tsui Hark also go underwater himself? He laughed, “I didn’t! I really wanted to go down also, but if I did, people would rush over to protect me. It would be such a hassle, so forget about that. Also, there weren’t many divers at the scene.”
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon also stars Feng Shaofeng (馮紹峰) and Hu Dong (胡東), with a guest appearance by Chen Kun (陳坤). After its September 27 release in Hong Kong, it will open in theaters in mainland China and Singapore on September 28.
Source: Apple Daily
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.