bruce Lee, my brother
Aarif Lee gets to live kung fu icon Bruce Lee’s life on screen.
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.