bruce Lee, my brother

Aarif Lee gets to live kung fu icon Bruce Lee’s life on screen.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By SETO KIT YAN

PER­HAPS the most fa­mous mar­tial arts movie icon the world has ever known, Bruce Lee con­tin­ues to in­flu­ence and in­spire youths to take up kung fu even now, 37 years af­ter his pass­ing. Had he lived, this com­ing Satur­day would have been the 70th birth­day of the kung fu leg­end. (Bruce was born in San Fran­cisco, on Nov 27, 1940, and died of swelling of the brain in Hong Kong on July 20, 1973, aged 32.)

To com­mem­o­rate this event, the ac­tor’s younger brother Robert co-pro­duced Bruce Lee, My Brother with Man­fred Wong.

Di­rected by Ray­mond Yip Wai Man (as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of Body­guards And As­sas­sins), Bruce Lee, My Brother is only the third film – af­ter Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth (1976) and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993) – on the kung fu hero.

Bruce Lee, My Brother stars fast-ris­ing Hong Kong new­comer Aarif Lee as the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter. While his real name is Aarif Rah­man, the 23-year-old ac­tor-singer is also known as Lee Chi Ting or Li Zhi Ting.

Said to be the first in a three-part biopic, the movie chron­i­cles Bruce’s grow­ing up years as told by his sib­lings.

The story re­volves around Bruce’s re­bel­lious ado­les­cent years in Hong Kong un­til he set off to the United States at age 18 with only US$100 in his pocket.

As his fa­ther was a pop­u­lar Can­tonese opera singer, Bruce was in­tro­duced to the cin­ema as an in­fant and ap­peared in movies as a child ac­tor.

Apart from his pas­sion for kung fu, Bruce also took to danc­ing and be­came a cha-cha cham­pion.

Bruce’s par­ents are por­trayed by Hong Kong stars Tony Le­ung Ka Fai and Christy Chung. Chi­nese-Amer­i­can rapper Jin Auye­ung plays his buddy Uni­corn while Ni­cholas Tse’s sis­ter Jen­nifer Tse Ting Ting plays Bruce’s love in­ter­est and Angla Gong Mi plays his dance part­ner. The movie also fea­tures Che­ung Siu Fai, Chin Ka Lok and Candice Yu.

StarTwo spoke to Aarif when he was here as a guest at Ntv7’s inaugural Golden Awards, in Septem­ber.

“The prepa­ra­tion was rather in­tense as there were things I had never done be­fore that I had to learn all at once. Like danc­ing, be­cause Bruce was ac­tu­ally a good cha-cha dancer. And, also he was a fan­tas­tic fighter, which we all know.

“So, I had to learn free fight­ing and Wing Chun at the same time. Mainly, it was these three things. But, I still had to go to the gym,” said Aarif, who put in two months of in­ten­sive train­ing be­fore cam­eras rolled.

While he did say in ear­lier in­ter­views that learn­ing cha-cha was even more dif­fi­cult than learn­ing Wing Chun, the phys­i­cal na­ture of his ac­tion-packed role left him with in­juries while film­ing.

He put out his right palm that has a deep cut on it. “It was a stupid in­jury, but it’s bet­ter now. I was just not con­cen­trat­ing while I was run­ning and I lost my bal­ance.

Dream role: Aarif Lee plays the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter in the Ray­mond Yip-helmed Hong Kong ac­tion drama BruceLee,My­Brother.

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