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Meeting a Shaw Brothers legend, Ti Lung at the 2004 Amiens Film Festival
Rebirth 1/1 - Page 5
Author(s) : David Vivier
Date : 1/11/2004
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Jackie Chan
Chang Cheh
Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing
Chow Yun Fat
Lau Kar Leung
Anita Mui Yim Fong
Pao Hsueh Lieh
Dean Shek Tien
Tsui Hark
John Woo
Wu Ma
Movies :
Drunken Master II
Companies :
Film Workshop
Shaw Brothers
Lexic :
Wu Xia Pian
< Previous
Page 4 : After Shaw Brothers
Thanks to Ti Lung, Léo for the translation, Festival d'Amiens team and Claire Viroulaud

Interview by David Vivier - 2004 Amiens Film Festival

Questions by David-Olivier Vidouze, Denis Gueylard, Bastian Meiresonne and Thomas Podvin.

Photos (c) by David Vivier for HKCinemagic.com.

HKC : The 1980s marked the decline of the Shaw Brothers empire. At this time, you played in a rather average Kung Fu films series produced in Taiwan, until 1986 when you saw John Woo who you met on the shooting of Chang Cheh's Blood Brothers . Could you detail us those ‘tough times’ when you were in exile in Taiwan?
Ti Lung : To come back to Taiwan, two people were significant at that time, the first was Wu Ma who was Chang Cheh's assistant-director, and Pao Hsueh Lieh who was a Shaw Brothers director. Thanks to them, I managed to continue my career in Taiwan by making five films that I would describe as rather mediocre, not as good as the SB ones. We can say that my career was declining… yet we worked very hard but the quality wasn’t there, not like at the SB.

Of course my incomes had increased a lot compared to the SB. But this career move was described as suicidal, the promotion of those films wasn’t good, neither was their artistic quality. I was thought as being ‘out’…


Chow Yun-fat, Ti Lung and Leslie Cheung in A Better Tomorrow (1986)
HKC : How were you contacted by John Woo to play in the A Better Tomorrow serie, which are tributes to Chang Cheh’s wu xia pian films, by the way?
Ti Lung : On my return from Taiwan, I met again an actor friend Shu Tien (Dean Shek) who with two other associates had founded a new society, the Film Workshop. And it’s thanks to those recommendations that I was able to sign a 3-years contract with the producer Tsui Hark. I played with Chow Yun Fat and Leslie Cheung.
HKC : How important was John Woo in the second part of your career (post SB)?
Ti Lung : The film of a rebirth and a recognition.

Drunken Master 2 (1994)

HKC : 1994, the union Lau Kar Leung / Jackie Chan gave birth to the masterpiece of kung-fu comedy that is Drunken Master II and it allowed you to interpret Wong Fei-hong’s father, a comedy alongside Anita Mui Yim Fong. How was the shooting of the magnificent Drunken Master 2 ?

Ti Lung : I made this film for free, I didn’t ask for a fee because the proceeds were going to be given to the HK Stuntman Association. I didn’t ask for a single dollar because as I’ve already told you, I had sent a few stuntmen to hospital for broken ribs or eye problems. This film had a great success in HK, the production earned a lot of money, the money was given to the association and after two years, the money disappeared…

The character I play is Jackie Chan's father. I loved this part because I didn’t merely fight, I could show my acting skills and my ability to please the audience.

In this film, there is a scene when I punish my son (Jackie Chan), I hit him with a stick. I tell Jackie Chan that we will only make one take and warn him that he must put stuffing under his costume to protect himself for I won’t fake my blows, I must look very angry. He protected one side… but I hit the other side! Another actor would have been scared to play this scene, but not him, although he’s extremely popular and has a lot of power.

HKC : Will we keep seeing you on screen and / or television ? Any current activities and projects?

Ti Lung : Now what I’m looking forward to is retirement, making the most of life. I’ve just finished two television series. The first one is General Yang, a part which demanded a lot of energy because the series contains many equestrian fights. The second one deals with a very famous painter.

I talked with my wife and we should spend the rest of our lives spending our money and not keeping it. Moreover, my son Tam Jun-Yin is starting out in the film industry, he’s starting a film career, and it’s now my turn to help him and to guide his steps.

I wanted to thank the French audience for their support, and the interest they have for Hong Kong films.


Pierre Rissent, Ti Lung, Lau Kar and Philip Cheah at the press conference of the 2004 Amiens Film Festival
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Page 4 : After Shaw Brothers

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