Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Donnie Yen at GV Vivocity for "Wu Xia" Gala Premiere
OK totally off-topic but no less of a treat - martial arts actor Donnie Yen was at Golden Village Vivocity this evening for the gala premiere of "Wu Xia"!
He was really charming, friendly and humble. No airs or pretensions at all. You don't often get this vibe from celebrities. And I don't know how he's managed to stay so young-looking after nearly three decades of film-making!
I caught this by sheer chance (no, I was not invited!). Walking this morning past a taxi stand in my quiet neighbourhood, I spotted the movie poster with a tiny little blurb saying "Meet Donnie Yen 19 July at 7pm!"
Oh my god, that's today, I thought! I had to tell my friend who is a huge fan, and we both decided to go for it. I rarely bother going to see movie stars, but I have always liked Donnie Yen. My earliest memories are of him demonstrating those stunning martial arts moves in Once Upon A Time in China II, sparring with Jet Li....nearly 20 years ago!
He's put out a lot of good movies in recent years, and I'm glad for that. His star is finally rising.
We came early around 6pm, as we expected it would be crowded. That was a good move, as we managed to secure nice places near the front. I had a taste of how difficult it is to be part of 'paparazzi' (even if unofficially), and also envied the several fans in the audience who proudly wielded their footlong L lenses.
They trotted out some local celebrities as well before Donnie and Peter appeared. Most of them I don't really recognise, but it's always nice to see Wong Lilin and Allen Wu.
Finally, after more than two hours of standing and waiting, Donnie Yen appeared with director Peter Chan. My friend got to shake hands with Donnie as he walked past along the red carpet!
Donnie and Peter talked about the movie for a bit. Donnie was saying something about people watching less movies not because of money issues, but a lack of time. So every movie they put out, they want to do it well, and worthy of people's time. They focus on making sure everything is great - from the script to post-production.
Here's Donnie with his wife Cecilia, with whom he has two kids. The organisers gave him a surprise birthday cake (he turns 48 on 27 July, and he joked that he would soon be 18), and we all sang Happy Birthday to him!
I have been wanting to catch this movie since I saw the promo screen at Plaza Singapura. Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro in the same movie? And a cool movie at that (see trailer below)!
Donnie plays a paper-maker in a rural village, living the peaceful life with his wife and two children. But one day, two hardened murderers threaten the shop where he works, and he kills them. Takeshi Kaneshiro dons a Sichuan accent along with cute hat and glasses as he plays the highly determined investigator who isn't convinced Donnie is as simple as he appears to be. There are great fight sequences with House, M.D.-style medical insights (zooming into your innards).
I am so going to watch this movie when it comes out on Thursday, 21 July 2011. Tickets are available from Wednesday.
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