HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS - Q&A with actor Takeshi Kaneshiro
Movie Interview by Neils Hesse
HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS Q&A session at the London press conference with Takeshi Kaneshiro who plays Feng Tian County' local captain Jin
What really attracted you to the film and is there anyone in particular who inspires you in the world of martial arts movies?
The director, Zhang Yimou was the main attraction for me and as for all that martial arts stuff I hardly know anything it is all mainly down to the choreographer.
How much training did you have to do?
I practised basic swordplay for about one month and then the action director worked out the scenes mainly whilst we were on set. I always looked after my face.
What appealed to you more the story or the action?
The elements of the love story appealed to me more and once again the director Zhang Yimou also drew me to the project.
Would you like to try out different films like say some big Hollywood movies?
I would like to try out many kinds of films but I don't think that there are a lot of parts for me in certain movies particularly in Hollywood.
Do you think that Asian cinema is finally going global in a big way?
Yes, well the Chinese mainland has opened up and so the western world is getting to see more and they are pumping more money than before into a lot of foreign films.
Do you have more fans on an international scale than in your home country?
Well let me put it this way, I don't have a fan club so I couldn't really say.
Was it challenging for you to shoot at all those locations in the varying weather conditions?
Well for us the cast all we could do was wait but for the director, it was very challenging. For example the scene in the snow was very cold but it was also very well done, it is a very good scene. I have an opinion about drama, if say there is a character in a movie who is trying to open a door and it opens with one try then there is no drama, but if the door is locked and it has to be broken down now there is drama. When we shot in the snow it restricted our movements and this added to the drama of the scene, in fact the snow wasn't planned it just happened and so were padded up for the cold and we did it.
Which scenes proved to be difficult to do?
Any scene that required me to fight with another actor or actress because I was afraid that I would hurt them because I am not an expert with a sword.
Did you relish acting with those two big stars?
It was very inspiring because they are both skilled and Ziyi is also a very disciplined and talented dancer. Andy Lau is a very experienced actor so I learnt from both of them.
What did you learn form Andy Lau?
Well both him and Ziyi are very restricted and they aim for perfection and if they were not happy with a scene they would do a retake whereas I would just agree with whatever the director said was good.
Did you have to give up any roles to do this movie and are there any particular actors or directors you'd want to work with?
I really don't know if I had to give up any roles my agent could probably answer that. There are several actors and directors that I would like to work with.
Is it exciting for you to see the film with a big audience?
I haven't actually but there have been a lot of pre-screening interviews with people from the media and also the general public. I don't personally know what the reactions are to the movie and I don't like to ask people because they never say it's bad to your face. Nonetheless for me it is just great that you are showing the film in London, I am very happy about that.
Do you think it's very different from HERO?
It is very different but the common point in both movies is the notion of sacrifice.
Do you now think that all the big upcoming Chinese films will have a CROUCHING TIGER/HERO theme to them?
Good question, I want to know the answer to that one myself. I think that these films are being produced more to cater for the western audience tastes as they seem to be popular over here.
So what's next for you?
I don't know, I can only wait, only wait.