Interview with Hong Kong action legend… Sammo Hung!
We were pretty thrilled to get a chance to ask the wonderfully enthusiastic Sammo Hung about Ip Man 2. Thank you, Sammo!
We heard you hurt yourself during the filming of Ip Man 2. What happened? Was it serious? Are you okay now?
Thank you for your concern, I’m fine now. It was just during fighting the boxer (Darren Shahlavi), maybe our timing was wrong, I turned one way and hurt my leg. Anyway, for making action movie, you will always get hurt! I’m used to it!
What was it like, taking over as action director? Did you and Donnie Yen work closely together?
Our first time working together was ‘SPL’. For this film, I’m just the actor, he’s the action director. Then, when we do ‘Ip Man’, he says to me, ‘Sammo, you be the action director’. I ask him ‘Are you sure you don’t want to do it yourself?’ Sometimes, I work with some action guy, and they hire me, but really they just want my help, they will really do it themselves. So it can be a problem. And Donnie says ‘No, this time I will just focus on acting, you do the action.’ And it seems like it was okay!
What was your favourite piece of action choreography in the movie and why? Ours was the duel on the round table. How did you and Donnie create that amazing scene?
Thank you. Yes, that was the hardest! For ‘Ip Man 2’, we fighting on so small space, and you can see I’m already very big, no room for Donnie! Also, the other sifu (teachers), they all must fight on there, one guy using pakua kung fu, another guy doing monkey kung fu. And, also, we are all very old now, so it’s not easy! (laughs) But finally we get it, and I think it looks okay.
Is it harder to choreograph really exciting western fight sequences (for example with the western boxer) than martial arts sequences? Western moves are so simple compared to Wing Chun!
It is the hardest thing for Darren (Shahlavi). He is really very good for kicking, he always says ‘Sammo, can I kick you?’. I say ‘No, you are boxer, you just use punching’. So the most important thing is to make him look powerful. He tries very hard, he has to fight me, has to fight Donnie, so I really appreciate him.
Will you do more fight scenes in the future? Have you any other projects coming up?
Right now, I’m action director for one movie about Chinese Opera (‘My Kingdom’). I think it is very interesting for audiences, they never saw this before. This is a big problem! We’re making kung fu movies now for forty, fifty years… we still have to find new things to show the audience! Maybe, next movie, we will shoot fighting in outer space! (laughs)
Ip Man 2 arrives on DVD and Blu-ray (including World Exclusive Special Features) on 7th March 2011, courtesy of Cine Asia. For more information on Cine Asia’s titles, visit www.cine-asia.co.uk