Kung fu actor takes actual beating for knockout film

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-07-02 08:03:52

Kung fu actor takes actual beating for knockout film

SPL 2 stars Wu Jing (left) and Tony Jaa take a break during the harsh shooting.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Kung fu film star Wu Jing is afraid of fighting.

While he has appeared in dozens of action flicks over nearly two decades, he still must repress the urge to flinch when filming fight scenes.

"When a powerful kick is flying at my face, my natural instinct is to wince and dodge," he says.

"But heroes sustain strong gazes and act like it's nothing."

Wu was speaking at a media event celebrating the success of action-thriller SPL2, in which he plays the lead, in Beijing on Sunday.

The film's success is viewed as a winning attempt to revive the flagging kung fu genre. It has generated 460 million yuan ($74 million) since its June 18 release, making it the highest-grossing Chinese-language film in the past two weeks.

Wu complained to reporters a couple of months ago about enduring nearly 400 kicks during the filming of a scene in which his character, an undercover cop, is kicked, beaten and choked by human-organ traffickers.

"Kicks ... punches ... being hurled from high platforms-this happened several times a day. If there's a sequel, I hope I can get revenge on those who assaulted me," he says, rolling his eyes with a teasing smile.

Wu's injuries meant he had to attend his own wedding on a crutch after returning to Beijing in a wheelchair in May last year.

Director Pou-Soi Cheang says he felt "too sorry to attend" Wu's ceremony but explains real fighting is crucial for action films, which currently rely too heavily on computer-generated effects.

That may be why the film-released 10 years after the first SPL topped Hong Kong's box office for three weeks-relied on professional martial artists.

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