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Meeting a Shaw Brothers legend, Ti Lung at the 2004 Amiens Film Festival
The Shaw Brothers Years 2/2 - Page 3
Author(s) : David Vivier
Date : 1/11/2004
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Chang Cheh
David Chiang Da Wei
Chu Yuan
Lau Kar Leung
Tong Gaai
Movies :
The Blood Brothers
Dead End
The Deadly Duo
The New One-Armed Swordsman
< Previous
Page 2 : Directors
Next >
Page 4 : After Shaw Brothers

HKC : Can you tell us about your brother in arms with whom you would start a long saga?
Ti Lung : David Chiang is a hugely talented, very nimble person. Before being an actor, he was a stuntman. He’s a man of cinema, a connoisseur, because in his family, his father, his mother, his brother, all worked in the film industry. We worked together in so many films before Chu Yuan separated us.

HKC : How did you two get to work together? Did the alchemy work right from the first films?
Ti Lung : We started working on The Young Juvenile (Dead End, 1969). We had an audition, I wasn’t as good as David Chiang at that time so he would often get the leading role. He had much more experience than me and I’ve learnt a lot from him. Sometimes, he would challenge me, but I would also challenge him. So after so many years together, some people keep thinking that Chang Cheh preferred David Chiang to me. I don’t really agree with this. I’ve remained very patient ;I am like good wine, I would improve with time (and still do). I had to work twice as much, I had to improve my Mandarin, my kung-fu practice and then I waited… and the film Blood Brothers (1973) came out, proved my new status and after thatI became independent. Our roads parted. We may meet again on another occasion… When we are older who knows… we may work again together… Pourquoi pas? (‘Why not?’) [Ed': said in French]
HKC : Director Chang Cheh's actions were decisive in the making of your ‘duo’, but could have it been possible without him?

Ti Lung : As an actor, we have to learn how to survive in cinema. We are given new partners so that the audience doesn’t get fed up. To avoid monotony, we must always find something fresh, new. Thus, after Chang Cheh, I worked with other directors and I succeeded in finding my independence and in surviving in this industry without Chang Cheh and David Chiang.

[Ed’: After I show him a still from New One-Armed Swordsman] That scene out of New One-Armed Swordsman is one where I fall on the ground before dying. It was very difficult and I fainted. Actually, the whole rehearsal had to be done according to lighting and choreography, I managed to finish this scene as best as I could. It was a memorable scene and the action director Liu Chia Liang was a very talented person, he teamed with Tang Chia. Just like me with David Chiang, they parted, got back together for style matters. And this film New One-Armed Swordsman (1971) has something particular with this costume, it was a cow skin, and I had two swords which had to come out f my sleeve. And I had to act so that the two swords come out of my sleeve. And if you look closely, this scene was almost taken up in the film Hero, well borrowed. It happens all the time, that’s cinema. The film poster is more of a Korean style. (laughs)
HKC : Your duo with David Chiang was really brilliant in films such as New One-Armed Swordsman or Deadly Duo. Was it a ‘commercial’ duo or did you have friendly relationships outside the sets?
Ti Lung : Our duo was ‘commercial’, our relationship was friendly. Each of us had a motorbike, and we would ride them to go from one shooting to another. We would constantly throw challenges to each other, and in the evening after the shooting, we would drink together. We discussed, went to clubs. But anyway if our relationship hadn’t been so good, it would have shown on screen, and we would have distanced ourselves from each other. Our relationship were very good, some people said we were two people with the same mind, in the same soul… and there are even some people who wondered if we were not a bit gay.

HKC : But you are not gay !
Ti Lung : (Laughs) I am not!
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