Just hang on!

Firestorm is as ex­plo­sive as it gets when it comes to crazy stunts.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By SETO KIT YAN en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

AC­TORS do­ing their own stunts in movies is noth­ing new, but in Firestorm both of its main stars, Andy Lau and Gor­don Lam, seemed to be flirt­ing with dan­ger.

The two crashed into each other in sev­eral ve­hi­cle col­li­sions. They leapt off an ex­plod­ing build­ing. They hung on to speed­ing cars. They tum­bled down sev­eral flights of stairs in a fist fight. They wres­tled atop a wire panel sus­pended be­tween two build­ings.

It looked like the most dan­ger­ous movie they had ever made, yet the pair brushed aside con­cerns for their safety.

“That was re­ally easy; it was all wire­work,” said Lau, be­fore adding, “Stunt work is no longer as dan­ger­ous as it used to be when I first started mak­ing movies. Now, we have three or four sets of wires at­tached to us. In any case, we run the risk of meet­ing with all sorts of ac­ci­dents in our daily lives. But, on the set, we film all th­ese stunts and ac­tion se­quences un­der tightly-con­trolled sit­u­a­tions.”

While dan­ger­ous stunts did not faze Lam, there was another ma­jor chal­lenge for him while shoot­ing Firestorm – chilly weather. “Hav­ing to adapt to film­ing in the cold was quite tough. Even more so than do­ing the stunts, which was not a prob­lem be­cause we were prop­erly pre­pared and had all the safety mea­sures put in place,” he noted.

Lau and Lam were in Kuala Lumpur last week to pro­mote their movie Firestorm, which has all the el­e­ments of a 1980s HK ac­tion flick.

Play­ing a hard­boiled se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer who is forced to ex­am­ine his moral stand, Lau, 52, spoke about the yin and yang of the main char­ac­ters.

“Our movie re­volves around the premise that a good man may be pushed to flout the law due to cer­tain cir­cum­stances. Sim­i­larly, a bad guy, may be com­pelled to do good.”

Com­ment­ing on his role as an ex-con des­per­ate for re­demp­tion, Lam, 46, shared that the plot will give the view­ers some­thing to think about. “It’s not just ac­tion and spe­cial ef­fects; the au­di­ence can look for­ward to some is­sues to re­flect upon.

“When I first read the script, it was the con­flict within my char­ac­ter which held the ini­tial at­trac­tion. Fol­low­ing that, how he deals with this con­flict and how the de­ci­sion he makes in a mo­ment of des­per­a­tion af­fects the even­tual out­come. That was what I liked about the script.”

Writ­ten and di­rected by Alan Yuen, Firestorm was made on a US$20mil (RM64.5mil) bud­get.

Speak­ing as a pro­ducer, Lau praised Yuen’s screen­play. “With such a solid sto­ry­line, we hoped to best com­ple­ment the plot with cor­re­spond­ing vi­su­als. So, my fo­cus was more on the tech­ni­cal as­pects. Since the di­rec­tor was an ex­pe­ri­enced writer, the script was al­ready in good hands. Our only con­cern was to bring out the best in our roles,” said Lau. Firestorm is the 146th movie in Lau’s il­lus­trous ca­reer!

When asked for his mem­o­rable scenes, Lam said it he en­joyed film­ing with main­land Chi­nese ac­tress Yao Chen.

The 34-year-old ac­tress is best known as the queen of Weibo (Chi­nese equiv­a­lent of Twit­ter) with 58 mil­lion fol­low­ers.

Cit­ing the scene where Yao shaves his hair with an elec­tric clip­per, Lam said: “I think it is very ro­man­tic when a woman cuts your hair. That is be­cause she hopes to help you get a fresh start. Though I may not have ex­pe­ri­enced this my­self, I feel this is a sig­nif­i­cant in­di­ca­tion of how deep her love is. So, I re­ally like that scene a lot.”

The movie also stars Philip Ke­ung, Kenny Wong, Os­car Le­ung, Michael Tong, Vin­cent Sze, Terence Yin, Sammy Hung, with spe­cial ap­pear­ances by heavy­weights Hu Jun and Ray Lui, as well as cameos by Michael Wong, Wong Cho Lam, Alex Tsui, Ed­die Che­ung, and Hayama Hiro.

Aside from be­ing the open­ing film at Screen Sin­ga­pore last week, Firestorm is also set to open the 56th Asia Pa­cific Film Fes­ti­val to be held on Dec 13 in Ma­cau.

Firestorm ex­plodes into cine­mas na­tion­wide tomorrow.

Need a ride? Lau has no qualms do­ing his own stunts for his 146th movie, Firestorm.

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