Photos of Conan in Movies

True Legend Movie

Thursday, 29 January 2009

True Legend: the upcoming movie directed by the man behind the scenes with Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Kill Bill, and the Matrix series... a true legend in his own right... Yuen Woo Ping.

The True Legend movie (Su Qi-Er Chinese title) follows in the footsteps of Chinese movies with Asia wide cinema release that have gone Internationally successful, such as Fearless and Forbidden Kingdom, both of which Yuen Woo Ping was the Action Choreographer for.

I recently travelled to Beijing, China to have the great honour to work with Master Yuen on the True Legend movie, his first Directed movie in 12 or 20 years (depending who you ask).... 

First up arriving Beijing it was cold. -12 deg C at night to a high of -1 deg C in the day (10F to 30F). Coming from Bangkok (30-35 deg C) it was again very noticable, but unlike last time in China this time we were working with a reputable and respectable Chinese production company and the treatment on the True Legend movie set was far different from last time.

Working on True Legend:  A 1st Class Film WIth 1st Class Crew

My major problem time and again on set is being fed, this should not be too hard. In fact pretty simple really. I'm huge.... maybe I need to eat more than the average person? But this basic logic seems to defy many I have worked with since I left Australia.

This time however the True Legend movie caterers made sure I was  fed every 2 hours (depending upon filming) and I ended up coming home actually bigger and more muscular than when I left for the shoot, protein powder was provided and a suitable gym was also organised!

Actually I knew True Legend movie was not a Mickey Mouse production as soon as I knew Yuen Woo Ping was involved but the fact that cemented that in my mind was the air tickets I received were Business Class, again something that is normal in the West but I have never been treated this well in the East before and for me this made a BIG difference.

Thai Airways Are Awesome 

Flying Thai business class in itself deserves a little more detail. At the Bangkok airport (yes the one recently closed by anti-government protestors) Thai airways has a seperate check-in and even their own immigration desks so you can walk straight in with no lines, no waiting, check in and then get your exit stamp then walk straight into the Thai Airways lounge to get a light breakfast and await your flight. The total check in time was less than 10 minutes with the check-in staff even booking the seat next to me so I'd have more room.

Compared to the chaos flying Air Asia to Myanmar or Cambodia where check-in and immigration usually take about 90 minutes this was fantastic.

Also to their credit when I requested the Thai Airways staff for an additional meal as I am a very large person instead of fighting and lying to me that there was no additional food (yes, Qantas business class, looking at you) the Thai staff brought me 2 additional meals, in fact they later asked if I wanted more.



So a BIG thanks to Thai Airways and the True Legend production crew for looking after me on this flight, and a big thanks again for the True Legend production crew for not leaving me abandoned at the Beijing airport for 3 hours like last time in actual water freezing temperatures, like the last Chinese crew did...

Now back to the True Legend movie....

True Legend Was Cast Worldwide And I Got In 

Funnily enough I found out that the True Legend movie was cast for all over the world, the True Legend audition was advertised in all the martial arts magazines and was cast for in at least L.A., N.Y. and London. Originally there were to be 12 fighters of different types from all over the world and I was in the running, mainly because of my look, and because I had met with the casting director previously and we got along well. Another successful movie interview apparently, just like Manthing, not that I knew at the time, I thought we were just meeting for lunch as we got along well enough in email.

Then the True Legend fighters cast was cut to only 5 fighters, and I was still in the running but things were not sure. Could I send some fight footage? At the time I could not get any footage from recently filmed movies and it was looking a bit bleak. Then Dee Dee (Huan-Chiu Ku), the Hong Kong Action Director for Chandni Chowk To China put in a good word for me, as he is one of Master Yuen's students and that was enough to get me in the movie.

A good word? What was that?

Apparently what I was told third hand was that during my Chadni Chowk To China fights I did as I was asked and then in the fights I always checked the stuntman I was working with was OK and the hits were not too hard, in other words I cared about the other guy who was making me look good on film, and I did not want to hurt him (and I didn't hurt anyone). Apparently some actors like to hurt stuntmen, some just don't care about them at all.

Anyway so I arrived in Beijing and we had a meeting with Yuen Woo Ping at the studios on one of the other True Legend sets, and wow, check out some of the photo links later.

True Legend was a major film, turns out that this movie cameos just about everyone in the world of Martial Arts movies, I even worked directly with David Carradine (from the 1970's TV show Kung Fu). I remember as a child staying up late to watch Kung Fu everytime it was on, luckily being in Australia it was a few years behind American TV or I would never have seen it.

Michelle Yeoh is in the True Legend movie and you can check out her website for photos (the photos of the set below are from her site) and a listing of others appearing in the movie, also you can check the official website here.

true legend movie set 1      true legend movie set 2

 True Legend Fighter Pit Movie Set

When we arrived True Legend had already been filming for 5 months and had been in production for over a year, so True Legend is a major movie and there will be a LOT of action. (In comparision we shot Bangkok Adrenaline in just over 30 days and about 1/30th the budget)

Molotov The Fighter 

My part in the True Legend movie is a character named Molotov who is one of the Russian fighters on this set above, I won't go into details but I can say that the set designers and lighting guys did a marvelous job. On the playback screens I can say I (or rather Molotov) looked monstrous, with good down lighting showing off my musculature and with Yuen Woo Ping wanting to do a few close ups of various actions that highlighted my muscles again.

With a truly professional team 100% behind me I can say that the True Legend footage will be the best footage I have ever had taken of me. I can confidently say that this will launch my US movie career as "THE BIG GUY", if it goes International cinmea release which the current plan. Next will be to prove that I am more than just a big guy. The Bangkok Adrenaline release should take care of that with a principle comedy role and scriptwriter credit

True Legend is planned for a Chinese summer release, which will mean July or August release that they are planning on. I really hope this works out as planned, I cannot wait to see the True Legend movie.


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