Categories: People

Four to watch: The future of Hong Kong cinema

Wen talking about Hong Kong cinema, familiar names and faces come to mind instantly – martial artists such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan or Donnie Yen, or stars from the era of gambling or crime film like Chow Yun-fat, Stephen Chow, Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Louis Koo or Sean Lau.

But as with the industry all over the world, there’s a new generation of talent waiting in the wings, so here are four young people we’re sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about in the not-too- distant-future: model/actress Angela Yuen, actors Tony Wu and Kevin Chu, and director/actor/singer Hang Jai, who all open up about recent projects they’ve been working on – and where their screen careers go from here.

The Future of Hong Kong Cinema

ANGELA YUEN

DRESS MAGDA BUTRYM AT NET-A-PORTER

Tell us about your breakout role.

In August and September, I had a part in a movie with a new director. I played a single mum living with a children, facing all the difficulties during the time of Covid. The storyline had lots of scenes showing how I was struggling with my children and not being a responsible mother, which I found really interesting.

What’s been your biggest project so far?

So far, that one, but I wouldn’t like to measure the project purely by its scale or how commercial it is.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on another movie with a different director, and the story’s about family. In the movie, the mother doesn’t want her daughter to get married only to get a divorce, and the whole family hates her for it. There are lots of scenes based on our daily issues, family relationships and how they reflect reality.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

My dream co-star is the Hong Kong actor Tse Kwan-ho. I always go to watch how he acts even on-stage. As far as dream directors are concerned, I’d say any and all of the good and talented directors.

What’s coming up next? What would you like to achieve in the industry?

My next project is a feature film about gaming. I’m constantly aiming to become a better actress.

TONY WU

OUTFIT, STYLIST’S OWN

Tell us about your breakout role.

My first movie was called Weeds on Fire, about 10 Hong Kong underdogs who set up a youth baseball team. In real life I’m a baseball player in a Hong Kong team, so the director gave me a chance and cast me in the role. The first times I was on set I was very nervous, especially with scenes involving action or fighting movements, but fortunately two other experienced actors were willing to teach me and try out the angles together, so it worked out pretty well at the end.

What’s been your biggest project so far?

I had parts in Benny Chan’s Raging Fire, and in Zero to Hero with actress/director Sandra Ng.

What are you working on now?

I’m now working on big-scale movie, but I’m not able to talk about it yet. This is already the fifth year of my acting journey, and I’m so excited about the new movie as it’s my first time to work with Louis Koo – so I have to make sure I’m focused 100 percent. I’m also working on a TV drama with Viu TV and the renowned film director and producer Johnnie To. My role is to connect three different stories and I’m so looking forward to it.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

I always learn something new from every actor, actress or director, so I’m always open to working with anyone new in order to create good movies.

What’s coming up next? What would you like to achieve in the industry?

Aside from focusing on being a good actor and gaining more experience, I’ve been working on singing, so I’m hoping to be able to showcase my songs soon.

KEVIN CHU

OUTFIT, STYLIST’S OWN

Tell us about your breakout role.

It was in a movie called To the Fore, a story about a young man following his dream of becoming professional cyclist. The first movie I got a role in with dialogue was Dealer/Healer – I was very nervous in a one-on-one scene with Sean Lau, as I had so little experience at the time. Luckily he calmed me down, pointed out my mistakes and taught me some acting skills.

What’s been your biggest project so far?

I’ve been working on A Step into the Past, which was a popular TV drama in 2001and it’s now being made into a movie based on the same story. The shooting took place in Guizhou, in places like forests and a palace. As the director got most of the previous characters to take part in the movie, they’re mostly very experienced, which gives me a lot of pressure. Also Once Upon a Time in Hong Kong, which gave me the opportunity to work with Andy Lau and Tony Leung.

What are you working on now?

I just finished shooting a TV drama. The story’s about destiny – two children who do the same thing but with very different results and destinies.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

I always look forward to creating something new with different directors, actors and actresses, as I can always learn new things from them.

What’s coming up next? What would you like to achieve in the industry?

I have a new movie coming up in November about family and everyday life Hong Kong. Talking about achievement, being recognised and affirmed with an acting award would be one of my goals. I’m looking forward to challenging myself, and breaking out of my comfort zone to become a better actor.

HANG JAI

OUTFIT, STYLIST’S OWN

Tell us about your breakout role.

My first movie project as a director was Vampire Clean-up Department, which was unforgettable. Making a movie from start to finish involves so many different parties that I realised teamwork is most important.

What’s been your biggest project so far?

One of my biggest projects is the recently released movie One Second Champion. Compared with Vampire, I had a bigger budget so we could create some scenes on macroscopic scale. The other big project was my concert in Star Hall, as my other job is as the lead singer of the band Tonick.

What are you working on now?

I’m working new songs with my band and preparing some scripts for new projects.

Who would be your dream co-star or director?

I’m always excited to work both as an actor or director, looking forward to working with different people in new situations so I can keep on learning and creating something new.

What would you like to achieve in the industry?

To be able to carry on in my acting, music and directing journeys, being able to take on different roles, and create new songs and movie storylines. The biggest achievement would be for more Hongkongers to go to the cinema and show their support for local movies.

Four Emerging Faces of Hong Kong Cinema Photoshoot

PHOTOGRAPHER NATALIE DUNN | ART DIRECTOR JEREMY WONG
STYLIST GENNADY ORESHKIN AND JEREMY WONG | LOCATION THE CHINESE LIBRARY

This story first appeared on Prestige Hong Kong.

PrestigeOnline Singapore

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