Nicholas Tse, who just released his purported “last” album, has begun filming for his new movie, Bodyguards and Assassins, set in Hong Kong during the Qing Dynasty. Despite playing a rather bottom of the rung character, who is billed as “the rickshaw driver”, he is the lead of this star-filled, big-budgeted tale about many who protected Dr. Sun Yat-sen during a trip the famed leader took to Hong Kong in October of 1905 (the film title in Chinese is Besieged in October).
Despite the rather unflattering pics of him released so far, and the big deal made about his shaved head, this is not the first time Nic has gone “bald” for a film. He sported a similar look in A Chinese Tall Story, and he looked great in that movie, good enough to make me think “Yes!” when I first heard he be shaving his hair this time.
However,that movie was a bizarre EEG star-filled fest that was, despite being directed by Jeff Lau, the epitome of the kind of HK idol-movie I talked about before. Nic didn’t stretch himself acting wise (although he hinted at a flair for comedy) and he wasn’t even really bald.
This role obviously took more work and dedication, including Nic actually shaving his head, facial “disfigurement” that took hours to give the impression of scars and old woulds, tanning for the role of the rickshaw driver, and going out barefoot in the hot sun, totally erasing Nic’s potential for good looks as a bald guy. While I can’t say I enjoyed Nic’s lastest album as much as some of his earlier works, I do feel that as an actor he’s growing a lot, and maturing steadily along with the changing HK film industry. From the EEG idol filled movies he’s gone to classier and classier fare, and this is a new milestone for him, and perhaps the HK film industry at large. The movie, rather than simply a way to reap in money through big-name stars, sounds like a solid look at Hong Kong history from a HK director (Teddy Chan), producer (Peter Chan) and a cast filled with HK acting veterans who want to probe the history of this city.
This cast includes Leon Lai as a beggar, Donnie Yen as a gambler, Tony Leung Kai-fa as a revolutionary, Eric Tsang as an exiled general, Simon Yam as a police superintendent, Fan Bingbing as a concubine, and Hu Jun as the assassin everyone is protecting Sun Yat-sen from. Chris Li Yuchun also has a small role as the daughter of Eric Tsang, in her big screen debut. The film is schedule for release in December 2009.
And per request…concept art for Li Yuchun’s character
Wow, I like all the actors that’s going to be in this so far…
>< Thanks Billy! I think I should go add in the other people while I’m at it…
a little correction:…. its Simon YAM….not LAM = )
^ no, it’s the wonders of makeup.
No, it’s part of the “disfigurement” makeup to make him look like a weathered rickshaw driver. You can see the “scar” on the side of his face.
Has his left eye always been that droopy? 0_0
Nic looks OK, even though the Manchu pigtails are hardly sexy and rather ugly on Chinese men.
Fan bingbing as a concubine, even though I know she’s played many other roles before, it feels so cliché. Guess there’s limited female roles you can play if it’s based on back it those days.
That first photo I saw… why am I not surprised? I guess they decided to stick with her more tomboyish look. Perhaps fans would have been upset if they made her wear anything more feminine. The second photo really makes it seem as if she’s in a opera troupe- does she have short hair there? Really doing to reel in a lot of fans from all sides for this film.
Baike for this movie said that she was the daughter of a general played by Eric Tsang…has the role been changed since?
Fan Bingbing’s in this too. She’s like in everything these days. I don’t know how she does it.
There’s another outfit, an opera robe. She’s the daughter of the owner of an opera troupe.
But reading this…wow, she’s the only female in an all-male cast.
Well, it shows he’s professional.
I added a image for Li Yuchun. You can find pics of her filming here as well:
She’ll bring in a lot of money, and this film has a fairly huge budget, something like over 100 million yuan I believe. It’s a big production, and now I feel like talking about Nic Tse’s baldness wasn’t the right way to start talking about it. I actually don’t care if he’s bald or not…it was supposed to be some metaphor about him and the HK film industry in general, from EEG idol flicks to deep philosophical looks at Hong Kong history, from fake bald to real bald, that I totally failed in expressing.
I guess image sacrifices need to be made for people to be taken as a serious actor or what not…
Do my eyes deceive me? Li Yuchun? NoW I have to see this, the main cast is good, but Li Yuchun I can’t miss out on. (Will she dress girly? Will she have long hair? Or will she crossdress? D:)
Well, I think Nic looks a lot worse here than usual, or even compared to when he was “bald” before, due to the heavy makeup, but I guess that was the point I was trying to make, although I think it didn’t come across. >_< He’s starting to really dive into his roles, making sacrifices as an actor.
I always liked him for his music though. I was floored when I learned he composed Huang Zhong Ren. He’s more talented than people give him credit for.
I guess Nic Tsu’s role isn’t meant to be flattering in the first place so I can accept it.
Bald head aside, the cast is very promising…
I think he still looks really good, especially in the second picture. His image has improved tremondously for a lot of people because of the scandal. It’s really in times of turmoil that you see a person’s true colors.
I think he looks fine. As long as he portrays his character well, I’m fine with it. I ｈａｖｅ ａｌｏｔ ｒｅｓｐｅｃｔ ｆｏｒ ｈｉｍ＜３