Stephen Chow seeks to inspire losers with new film
Hong Kong filmmaker Stephen Chow has emerged with a new comedy to inspire losers and those who start their movie careers as bit-part "extras", one of the crowd.
Stephen Chow and the Flurry Girls pose for a photo on stage at a press conference for "The New King of Comedy" held in Beijing, Jan. 11, 2019. [Photo/ China.org.cn]
He and leading actor Wang Baoqiang appeared on stage in Beijing on Friday to promote "The New King of Comedy", for the first time unveiling its cast and providing some insights into the production on which he had previously been tight-lipped.
Chow is best known for the 1999 comedy drama "King of Comedy", in which he starred and co-directed with Lee Lik-chi. The film, now lauded as an all-time classic, is a semi-autobiographical portrayal of Chow's early life when he once worked an extra fighting for recognition.
Speaking of the new project, he said the philosophy of "working hard to succeed" is retained, but there will be many new things appearing. "I have also condensed my reflections on life for the last 20 years into two words and put it in the film, which I hope will give everyone hope and inspiration". However, he refused to release any "spoilers" to titillate the potential audience.
"The New King of Comedy" stars Wang Baoqiang, E Jingwen, Jing Ruyang and Zhang Quandan. Only Wang is a well-known comedic star, the others being lesser known or even unknown actors.
When asked why he chose Wang, Chow said there hadn't been anyone else in his mind from the start. "Our story is about extras, so we had to find a man who is a big star now, but had early experience as an extra. Wang fits the job description perfectly."
He noted that both he and Wang had similar experiences in this regard that enabled them to connect more closely during the filming.
Wang said when he was extra years ago, he watched Chow's "King of Comedy" over and over again for inspiration whenever he encountered hardship or suffered humiliation back then. He had long had a belief that, some day, he would collaborate with Chow, and the dream had finally come true.
Wang went further to reveal he is actually the "leading actress" in the film, as seen in some released behind-the-scene photos where he hilariously wears a Snow White costume, adding mystery to what the film will really look like. "I tried many things I never tried before, and this film is the most brilliant production in which I ever starred. "
The actor also praised Chow for his devotion, directorial skills, professionalism and perfectionism. "He has great patience to direct every actor to present their best performances," Wang pointed out, while revealing that, for one scene, he had to go through 50 takes, the most in his career, "Very few directors would love to give you so many opportunities to try so many different possibilities."
At the press conference, Chow also presented a one-time-only girl group Flurry Girls, involving seven young female singers who initially lost their race, but gained stardom of sorts in the 2018 reality show Produce 101 China on Tencent Video.
"I heard that they had failed, but that doesn't matter, for who hasn't failed?" Chow said, adding he hoped to bring them back together to record the theme song "Flurry" for his new film, a cover of 1980s classic by the late legendary Hong Kong singer Danny Chan, encouraging girls and everyone else who once were losers to get back up again and keep going, working hard until achieving success.
"The New King of Comedy" will debut on Feb. 5, the first day of the Spring Festival -- a profitable season of the year for films, which is already overcrowded with dozens of blockbusters, including Jackie Chan's fantasy feature "The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang," Ning Hao's sci-fi comedy "Crazy Alien," Guo Fan's sci-fi epic "The Wandering Earth," Alan Mak's anti-corruption crime film "Integrity," and the British-Chinese animation "Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year."
Chow has been a major force in the Spring Festival film season as his "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" raked in US$205 million during the 2013 holiday and "The Mermaid" grossed US$525 million at the same time in 2016. Both films are among the highest grossing Chinese films of all time.
(Source_title：Stephen Chow seeks to inspire losers with new film)