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Donnie Yen plays drug lord from '70s Hong Kong

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-28 08:04

Donnie Yen plays drug lord from '70s Hong Kong

Still photo from film, Chasing the Dragon. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In his career spanning three decades, actor Donnie Yen has starred as many heroes, such as a martial arts master in the Ip Man franchise and as a blind monk in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

So, it may be not a surprise that he was at first unsure about joining Chasing the Dragon, a new crime action movie based on the true story of Ng Ski-ho (1930-91), an infamous drug lord in Hong Kong in the 1960s and '70s.

The movie will be released on Sept 30.

"I have had a goal for a long time that I hope my movies can transfer positive energy. So, when director Wong Jing invited me to play Ng, I initially hesitated," says Yen, during a Beijing event to promote the movie last week.

He was concerned that it would be difficult to explain to his children and their classmates about the screen transformation from a hero to a ruthless criminal.

But Wong, one of the most prolific film directors in Hong Kong, helped him overcome such concerns. The director made Yen believe that the role would become a breakthrough in his career as he had not played such a role earlier. Besides, the movie marks his first teaming up with Andy Lau, one of the most celebrated stars in Hong Kong showbiz.

"It was a very exciting experience. I've learned a lot of acting skills from Lau," says Yen, 54, whose most pivotal awards are in the action choreography sector.

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