Pre­cious Jade

From HongKong to Hol­ly­wood. Celina Jade hits the mark.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TV - By MUM­TAJ BEGUM en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

An e-mail popped up in Celina Jade’s in­box af­ter she landed the role of Shado in Ar­row warn­ing her about bears. The ac­tress, who was in Kuala Lumpur last month to pro­mote the hit TV se­ries, shares the high­light of the e-mail. “Don’t run. Be­cause if you run, the bear will fol­low you. But, I don’t know if I can­not not run if I see a bear,” she says with a laugh.

On Ar­row, her char­ac­ter is trapped on an is­land along­side the se­ries’ pro­tag­o­nist, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). Most of the ex­ter­nal shots of the is­land are ac­tu­ally filmed on the top of a moun­tain at a na­tional park in Van­cou­ver, Canada. You know, where bears roam free.

“It’s beau­ti­ful, but am I able to tell a bear from a dog? I am not sure,” the 28-year-old Hong Kong-born ac­tress dead­pans.

In the se­ries, Shado is a re­cur­ring char­ac­ter who ap­pears in flash­backs to the time Oliver was stranded on the trop­i­cal is­land of Lian Yu af­ter his fa­ther’s yacht sank in a storm.

She was in­tro­duced in the sec­ond half of the first sea­son as a lawyer who’d come to the is­land in search of her own fa­ther. At the end of the first sea­son, we dis­cover that Shado is no damsel in dis­tress and – shocker! – the per­son who taught the hooded vig­i­lante the art of archery. now, in the sec­ond sea­son, ro­mance starts to bloom be­tween Shado and Oliver even as more strangers ar­rive on the is­land with mur­der­ous in­tent.

“It’s funny be­cause I am kiss­ing the lead ac­tor within the three episodes (I get there), and my Asian fans are like, ‘ How can you give in to him so early? You have to make him work for it a lit­tle bit’, ” Jade says.

It’s ob­vi­ous that un­like her ever-se­ri­ous char­ac­ter, Jade is witty and has a pleas­ant dis­po­si­tion, even when this in­ter­view takes place in the same hour she checks into the ho­tel af­ter ar­rival from Hong Kong. The ac­tress- model-singer even skips lunch to keep the ap­pointed time.

The Pan-Asian ac­tress is of mixed parent­age – an Amer­i­can dad, who is also a kung fu star (Roy Ho­ran shared scenes with the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan) and a Hong Kong mum. Thanks to her dad, she and her sis­ter have been prac­tis­ing mar­tial arts since they were young. “Ours is the only fam­ily where get­ting beat up is OK.”

Even now, when­ever she is back in Hong Kong, her 63-year-old fa­ther still trains and teaches her how to take punches and fall the cor­rect way for the cam­era so that the ac­tion scene looks cin­e­mat­i­cally good and Jade won’t get hurt in the process.

She also cred­its her start in kung fu films (2008’s Leg­endary As­sas­sins be­ing her most pop­u­lar fea­ture) as a good train­ing ground for mar­tial arts. It also taught her to do her own fight stunts.

Ac­cord­ing to Jade, in an Amer­i­can pro­duc­tion, the crew is more care­ful with the kind of stunts the cast does. “I re­mem­ber the sec­ond episode (of Ar­row) I was in, Stephen said to me, ‘ Oh be care­ful when you are on the ap­ple box.’ And I am like ‘Re­ally?’

“I think they were sur­prised with how much I was will­ing to do. I get bruised a lot, I get punched in the face in the sec­ond episode. I was like, ‘It’s fine’. I go home, roll an egg on it and I am OK. It’s part of my job, to fall and take a punch.”

Be­sides con­stantly im­prov­ing her skills in mar­tial arts, Jade made sure she does her char­ac­ter Shado proud – so she picked up archery, even set­ting up a shoot­ing range at her home in Hong Kong.

She then says with a twin­kle in her eye: “You know, now that I have a bow and ar­row, some­times I won­der if some­one bur­gles my house will I use it and shoot him in the leg? I will be re­ally tempted, right?”

Catch Celina Jade in Ar­row ev­ery Mon­day at 9pm on Warn­erTV (Hyp­pTV Ch 613).

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