TAK­ING A LE­UNG SHOT AT BE­ING A WAR­RIOR

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY - HOLLY BYRNES TV WRITER

At first glance, Mel­bourne comic Lawrence Le­ung may not strike you as a nat­u­ral-born ninja. And you’d be right.

Padded up for his role in ABC2’s hi­lar­i­ous new “kung-fu com­edy,” Max­i­mum Chop­page, the 37-year-old ad­mits to an affin­ity with his char­ac­ter, Simon Chan – who is mis­taken as a mar­tial arts war­rior when “re­ally he went to Mar­shall arts col­lege and is a full-time cow­ard.”

Grow­ing up on a steady diet of kung fu films, cour­tesy of his Hong Kong-born par­ents, the Box Hill fun­ny­man cred­its a child­hood spent be­ing his big brother’s wrestling part­ner as the only prepa­ra­tion he had for the role.

“If there’s one thing I know how to do

it’s lose a fight”

Those hours spent be­ing pinned down by his overly flat­u­lent sib­ling ap­par­ently served him well. The show’s stunt chore­og­ra­pher, Truong, was sur­prised by Le­ung’s abil­ity to move about and cower con­vinc­ingly.

“If there’s one thing I know how to do it’s lose a fight,” Le­ung says. “I know how to be a vic­tim and I can play that very well.”

Le­ung recog­nised him­self in Chan, who would rather go through with the cha­rade that he’s a karate king, charged with de­fend­ing Cabra­matta from gangs, than dis­ap­point his Asian mother “who be­lieves him to be a great war­rior much like his fa­ther.”

While Le­ung’s par­ents thought their young son was “just at uni­ver­sity study­ing arts/science, to be a psy­chol­o­gist, I was ac­tu­ally moon­light­ing (do­ing stand up) at pubs and clubs at night.”

LAWRENCE LE­UNG HAS WHAT I T TAKES

MAX­I­MUM CHOP­PAGE, ABC2, TUES­DAY, 9PM

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