Roger Kwok on Working with a Hollywood Director for “Bodies at Rest”

Starring alongside Nick Cheung (張家輝), Richie Jen (任賢齊), and Ron Ng (吳卓羲) in the film Bodies at Rest <沉默的證人>, Roger Kwok (郭晉安) talked about his experience on working with Hollywood director Renny Harlin, who directs the film.

“We were given a lot of freedom,” said Roger. “He really gives his actors a lot of room to work with. He would lay down his expectations and requirements, but then we would decide on how to do it.”

Roger recalled a moment where the director requested him to play his part like a gay man, but Roger’s character is not gay. “I really don’t know how to approach it. Fortunately, Nick was there and told me to not think too much into it, relax a bit. I am grateful of his support.”

On the topic of his kids, Roger emphasized the importance of always being present and mindful during family time. “I really encourage the parents to be more involved with their kids. You don’t want them to spend too much time playing video games.”

Roger is not against video games, but do everything in moderation. “I won’t prevent my song from playing, but I’ll teach him to do it in moderation to develop a good habit.”

His son Brad, who turned 11 on March 23rd, spent his birthday at Disneyland. “My son had requested it before, so we spent the day there. We also invited his friends.”

Bodies at Rest follows a team of medical examiners who suddenly get ambushed in the middle of the night by three mysterious men who were at the morgue to rob corpses.


This article is written by Addy for

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    1. @funnlim Cantonese and Mandarin. The movie is made for the Mainland China market. Renny Harlin basically directs Chinese movies now, as he shifted his career to China several years ago. If I recall correctly, this is the third (?) Chinese movie he has directed. There was an interview he did last week with I think it was either The Hollywood Reporter or Variety where he talks about the movie (since it was chosen as the opening movie for HK film festival) and also his experience working in China….there was also a bunch of articles / interviews about the filming of the movie several months ago. It’s interesting though, as Harlin doesn’t speak a word of Chinese and most of the actors in his movies don’t speak English – yet so far, it seems he has been able to make a decent living as a director in China…

      1. @llwy12 That’s quite interesting. Other than having translating staff, I wonder how he knows when it’s the take he wants and they can move on. Also the editing process, it must take longer to figure out which parts can be cut/switched because it’s not a language he knows.
        Good for him to be working in China though. Having a Hollywood background will help with getting jobs and there’s so much money being put in films there, he’ll make a good living

      2. @tungamy Translators mostly, at least back when Bodies at Rest was being filmed that was the case. There was a really detailed interview that Renny Harlin did a few years back where he talked about the filming process and how he didn’t understand much of the dialogue at the time so he had to rely alot on stuff like the artists’ intonations when they say the dialogue, body language, etc. to really get a feel for the scenes. Of course, things are much different now, since he’s been living and working in China for 5 years now and has picked up enough of the language to be conversational…but no doubt it’s still a bit of a struggle, especially for someone like him who had previously spent 25 years in Hollywood and now is switching to a work environment and culture completely different from his own. I’ve read (and watched) some of his interviews where he talks about the Chinese film industry and the culture and it’s pretty obvious he knows his stuff and understands how to adapt to the environment there – I think that might be one reason why he has been so successful in China (despite not mastering the language) versus other foreigners…he actually took the time to learn about the culture and the way Chinese companies (more specifically those in the entertainment sector) operate and adapted accordingly versus Hollywood people who would go in and try to force the Chinese companies to do things their way….

  1. I get Roger’s confusion. What does “act gay” mean? Does the director mean effeminate? I have seen plenty of straight effeminate guys and vice versa. You would think that a someone in the entertainment field who would have interacted with many gay people would know that.

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