Most moviegoers believe that visual effects add magic to a film, and stuntmen do all the actions in intense fighting scenes. However, there are actors from Hong Kong who do their own stunts, and their doubles do less of the scenes in the movie. Action star Chow Yun Fat is one legendary actor who chooses to do his own fighting scenes in his films.
For his movie set to be released this June 29, 2023, Chow Yun Fat, sometimes called Donald Chow, was reportedly slapped 62 times filming a scene for One More Chance. No body doubles were reported to have taken his place on the scene. This marks his return onscreen after 5 years. The film was shot in 2019, but due to the pandemic, the release date was moved to a further date.
In a ‘behind-the-scenes’ clip released on Weibo, 68-year-old Chow Yun Fat, whose role is a compulsive gambler and an irresponsible man named Fai, is seen rehearsing a scene with co-star Kenny Wong, a debt collector. The director was instructing Wong on how to do the slaps during filming. Chow Yun Fat told his co-star, “Do not hold back.” while shooting the scene. Reports revealed that Chow Yun Fat has received a total of 62 slaps from Wong’s character while filming.
The scene was shot several times with Kenny Wong giving his best to make the scene realistic. He said his lines perfectly as he had practiced with Chow Yun Fat. In the scene, he was threatening the character of Chow Yun Fat while slapping him for his unpaid debt. However, in the instance wherein Kenny Wong’s character was preparing to toss a hairspray bottle from his left hand to his right, he ended up striking Chow Yun Fat on his head wherein the bottle cover hit his forehead and fell on the ground. His forehead was already bleeding, but they continued with the scene until it was done.
The co-stars and production crew were unaware of Chow Yun Fat’s head gash until they saw him walking around the area with his hand on his forehead. Netizens praised Chow Yun Fat for his commitment to finishing the scene despite the injury. “Chow Yun Fat is very professional and acts well. We support him.”
One More Chance tells the story of Fai, played by Chow Yun Fat, a compulsive gambler and an irresponsible man. His former girlfriend, Lee Chik, played by Anita Yuen, told him about his biological son Lee Yeung, played by Will Or, and promised to pay Fai US$12,800.00 (about HK$100,000) to tend to their son for a month. Fai’s challenges begin when he realizes that his son is diagnosed with autism.
Another version of a behind-the-scenes video shows how Chow Yun Fat ended with the gash after filming a scene with Kenny Wong. He is seen kneeling on the ground as Kenny Wong’s character hits him while holding a hairspray bottle. As Kenny hits him, the bottle cover popped off and fell to the ground, leaving a deep gash on Chow Yun Fat’s forehead.
Tension filled the room when Chow Yun Fat walked around with blood trickling from his forehead, which started to bleed profusely after a while. His Singaporean wife, Jasmine Tan, was called to the scene to look at his wound. Kenny Wong looked worried but was consoled by Chow Yun Fat. “It’s just a small wound, don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid,” Chow Yun Fat told Kenny in Cantonese and jokingly added. “Calmness makes us earn money.”
“I was very scared as he was bleeding so much. But, both of us had to keep calm as we did not want everyone on set to be worried, especially Kenny, who played his assailant in the scene.” Jasmine said.
A third video was shared on Weibo wherein Chow Yun Fat can be seen sitting on a chair with a small laceration on his forehead. He calmly told the crew, “I will go to the hospital to get stitches and come back to continue filming. You can continue filming other scenes first.”
Returning to the set later, he jokes to the staff and crew that he received 5 stitches on his gash and said in Cantonese, that loosely translates to “five blessings.” Seeing that Chow Yun Fat was alright, the crew cheered and said that the movie will be a blockbuster hit when Chow Yun Fat said that his stitches were a “good harvest”.
The incident did not showcase the action star’s full professionalism and commitment to the industry. In another video released on Weibo, Chow Yun Fat can be seen rehearsing another scene with his co-stars wherein he was being dragged down the street and pulled by his hair and shirt. Chow Yun Fat instructed his co-stars to make the scene realistic. The caption on the video says, “Chow Yun Fat signals the actor that he should pull his hair harder.”
After rehearsals, Chow Yun Fat put his co-star’s hand on his head and said, “Luckily, I have good hair volume.” The crew burst into laughter. Netizens are amazed at how Chow Yun Fat maintains his hair volume. Some of them asked what shampoo he uses or if there are any other maintenance to prevent his hair loss.
“What is his secret for preventing hair loss? Because I really need it.” One netizen asked on Weibo.
One More Chance will be released in Cathay Cineplexes on July 6, 2023. Stay tuned, Chow Yun Fat fans.
Images credits: WEIBO