With over 60 film credits in his thirty one years career, Donnie Yen admits he is a martial artist foremost. His interest in martial arts started at a young age of four under his mom's influence, as she was a martial arts master. It was fate that on a trip to Hong Kong, he would meet the famous Hong Kong action director, Woo-ping Yuen (brought Jackie Chan to fame). His first role was just a stunt double, before landing his first role in "Drunken Tai Chi" when he was 19.
At the screening, he brought two films to show the two sides of his martial arts interest. The first being the epic biopic "Ip Man" (2008), and second is one he co-produced "Special Identity" (2013). He said he had to bring "Ip Man" as it was his classic role of his career. Like all other fans, I wondered if he pick up the role again. He answered all of our minds - although he wasn't so keen on doing so, he might do Ip Man 3 in his later career to wrap it up and give closure to both fans and himself.
Then the floor was opened to Q&A. Each guest that asked a question received a tee shirt and autograph photos, these were usually sold in his store to help raise money for charity he and his wife started. Can he be anymore cooler than that? He does awesome martial arts, acting, stylish and a philanthropist! (We all also got a free tote bag on our way out!)
Although he enjoys acting as historical characters, he likes taking on modern role. It's his chance to use his creativity and form the character as opposed to following up the life, figure's characteristics and literature of a certain time period. He does do his research when picking up these roles by digging into their lives and history. For his modern film, he likes to incorporate mixed martial arts, as he knows many different forms of martial arts. "Special Identity" is one such example that he helped produced, but admits he is disappointed in the overall production and ending.
When asked by one of the fans if entering into the role's world and personality quickly and not dropping it after filming is more professional or the opposite, he gave a candid reply. Once off screen, he would take off his role to be a father and husband. He would walk in the streets in his normal clothes such as button ups and jeans (his attire of the day actually).
|Talking about the spinal plates injury.|
|He may look like he's posing, but I think he was mainly just resting himself against the wall as he is very tired!|
To balance out all the dramatic elements, they threw in some comical relief which was great. I enjoyed the scene Ip dueled with the "out of towner" Jin Shan Zhao. Before the duel, his wife warns them to not break anything, however Jin's aggressiveness caused vases to fall left and right. Ip's blaming expression was so great, no words needed for Jin to exclaim he will pay each time things shattered. The best part? When Ip's son came nonchalantly riding in gleefully warning his mother says if they don't stop fighting, soon all the things in the house will be broken. Causing the two men to get serious and quickly ending the fight, with Ip winning of course.
My favorite quote however was "There are no men who fear their wives. Only men who respect them." It really showed his personality as he tried to refuse Jin's duel.
"Special ID" however was the complete opposite film in all ways - more comical, modern and a different feel of directing. Instead of the righteous martial arts master, he plays a hooligan undercover cop Dragon Chan that used mixed martial arts in combat. I wasn't able to finish the movie as I rushed out to check in for the Awards Ceremony.
|Donnie posing with fans for photos.|