Pacific Rim: Uprising, sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s 2013 film of the same name, officially opened in Hong Kong on March 29. Though many stars from the original film did not return for the sequel, Chinese audiences are finding many familiar faces in the sequel, including a young man who looks to be the perfect mix of Angie Chiu (趙雅芝) and Melvin Wong (黃錦燊).
31-year-old Wesley Wong (黃愷傑), Angie’s youngest son, plays Au-yeung Kam-hoi, a Jaegar pilot. When Wesley first tried out for the role, he didn’t know he was auditioning for Pacific Rim: Uprising. “I felt like I won a prize,” he said, after realizing what he was signing up for.
The producers of Pacific Rim: Uprising wanted a Chinese actor who was fluent in speaking English. They approached Wesley’s agency in China asking for an actor, and Wesley was the first person to come in mind. The producers asked Wesley to record a video of himself doing an introduction in English, and Wesley, who grew up in California, had no problem doing the video. He won the role after acting out two scenes from the film.
Though both of Wesley’s parents are actors, the 31-year-old did not ask his parents to help him practice. “My mother and father have always had a very open parenting style. I didn’t ask them to help me out for this film.
Wesley, who studied acting at the Beijing Film Academy, got along with the rest of the cast, which included Max Zhang (張晉) and Jing Tian (景甜), his classmate at Beijing Film Academy. “There was no pressure,” he said. “We all got along very well.”
The actor added that he was beyond excited for the opportunity to work with Max Zhang, but found it unfortunate that he wasn’t able to do fight scenes with the action star. “He had no action scenes in the film, while I had a couple.”
Playing a new generation of Jaegar pilots, Wesley went through training for the role. Though Wesley has a background in Muay Thai and mixed martial arts, he still found the training challenging. “I had to train six days a week during the six months we did the film. It was to the point where I’d get cold sweats and even vomit.”
Other than being the son of Angie Chiu, Wesley is still relatively unknown despite being in the industry since 2012. Though his current focus is doing Chinese TV dramas, he hopes to put focus on doing Hong Kong movies in the future. “Seniors like Tony Leung Ka-fai (梁家輝) and Chow Yun-fat (周潤發) inspire me to meet my goals,” he said.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.