Good-look­ing stars can act, says direc­tor

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By YIP WAI YEE

Cel­e­brated Hong Kong direc­tor Ann Hui stands by her de­ci­sion to cast stars who are much bet­ter­look­ing than the his­tor­i­cal fig­ures they por­tray in her lat­est movie, Our Time Will Come.

It has been la­belled in the me­dia as “the war movie that fea­tures the best-look­ing he­roes”.

About a group of reg­u­lar folks liv­ing in 1940s Ja­panese-oc­cu­pied Hong Kong, the film fea­tures the likes of Chi­nese ac­tress Zhou Xun and Tai­wanese hunks Ed­die Peng and Wal­lace Huo.

The 70-year-old film-maker ad­mits: “Zhou Xun is much pret­tier than the real woman, Fang Lan, whom she plays, but I think that’s OK for a movie.

“There are no stock pho­tos of Lee Kum Wing, but I think Wal­lace Huo por­trayed him well. Some peo­ple say good-look­ing stars can­not act, but my cast can do a lot more than just act – they are very pro­fes­sional too.”

It was of Peng, 35, in par­tic­u­lar, whom she could not stop sing­ing the praises.

“Ed­die is one of the most promis­ing young ac­tors I have worked with in re­cent years. He’s very hard­work­ing and puts in a lot of ef­fort in think­ing about how to play his role.

“He would al­ways offer sug­ges­tions, so it was great col­lab­o­rat­ing with him. He is an idol with many fans, but he has no airs about him at all.”

Our Time Will Come is cen­tred on the story of Fang Lan, a Hong Kong school teacher who be­comes a tough anti-Ja­panese re­sis­tance fighter in the Dongjiang guerilla unit.

Aid­ing her is sharp­shooter Blackie Lau (Peng), as well as her child­hood sweet­heart Lee (Huo), who be­comes a dou­ble agent work­ing in the Ja­panese army head­quar­ters.

Hui – who has di­rected crit­i­cally ac­claimed so­cial re­al­ist films such as Boat Peo­ple (1982) and A Sim­ple Life (2011) – learnt about the story four years ago from the pro­ducer of the film, Stephen Lam.

She says: “I didn’t even know that Hong Kong had a guerilla fight­ing unit and I was fas­ci­nated. I didn’t have to think twice about mak­ing a movie about this topic.”

Although the film is cat­e­gorised as a war movie, it high­lights emo­tions rather than blood­shed, she says. “I didn’t want this to be a typ­i­cal war movie be­cause it will ei­ther be overly vi­o­lent or it will be com­pletely un­mem­o­rable as au­di­ences have seen too many of th­ese films.

“In­stead, I wanted to show that a war movie can also have very del­i­cate emo­tions.”

She adds: “This is a story about reg­u­lar peo­ple who never in­tended to be war he­roes. They worked to­gether on this mis­sion with­out ask­ing for any­thing in re­turn. I was very touched by that.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Net­work

Our Time Will Come is show­ing at cin­e­mas na­tion­wide. For GSC show­times, turn to P13.

Tai­wanese hunk Peng plays a sharp­shooter in the his­tor­i­cal drama Our Time Will Come. — Hand­out

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