In town on Wednesday to promote his latest movie Black & White: The Dawn of Justice, Taiwanese actor Mark Chao and co-actor Lin Gengxin, who was not present, play cops-cum-partners in the movie.
When it was mentioned at the press conference that Mark did not have any love interests in the movie, he playfully responded, “Don’t you see that our female lead is Lin Gengxin?”
The 30-year-old, who registered his marriage with Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan this June, shared with xinmsn an instance where he requested Gengxin to contact his wife as his phone was out of battery. To their surprise, Yuanyuan jokingly told Gengxin, “Give Mark back to me!” over the phone which caused them to burst into laughter.
It was actually Mark who recommended director Tsai Yueh-hsun, who also attended the movie’s press conference in Singapore, to get his buddy on board to play his partner in the movie.
“I think he has a natural charm that is real and lovable, yet I wanted someone despicable and annoying as my partner, so I suggested him. The director saw that we were on good terms, but often squabble on set, so he included that in the plot too.”
In the movie – the latest installment of the successful Black & White police-themed productions, Mark revealed he has more action scenes this time and the cast engaged in physical training three months before filming began.
He said, “It’s not that we don’t want to use substitutes, but that the director objects to it! When the shoot ended, all the stuntsmen gained weight because the actors did the work.”
Acting together with ex-girlfriend Janine Chang
Taiwanese actress Janine Chang returned to Black & White: The Dawn of Justice following the television series of the production in 2009. As her past romantic relationship with Mark was recently revealed, it inevitably placed their collaboration in the spotlight.
Yueh-hsun and Mark, who participated in the scriptwriting process, were initially worried about casting her as “we were unsure if it would disrupt the promotional activities for the movie. But for the sake of the movie, we decided to give it our all”.
“It’s too late to be worried! (laughs) But both of us are honest with each other so she knows everything.”
He added they trust each other and Yuanyuan did not visit the set to “spy on him”. Despite their busy work schedules, the two still took time off for each other, and are planning to start making babies after their wedding banquet, which is still in preparation stages.
Director is the greatest villain in the film
The greatest villain in this movie, who goes against Mark’s and Gengxin’s characters, will be played by the director Yueh-hsun himself. The veteran, who has directed this series of productions from the first installment, expressed that he faced immense pressure from it.
Having been behind the camera for more than 10 years, Yueh-hsun shared, “Janine said that she wanted to see how the person who always tortures her to act, actually act. If I do not do a good job, I will be so embarrassed.”
Was his bride worried that he’d be working with his former girlfriend?
He specially put on hair extensions and make his voice hoarse by “shouting continuously till you feel the taste of blood, then drink cold and citric drinks” to prepare for the role. As there were several action scenes, Yueh-hsun even broke a rib but continued working as per normal and credited it to his “strong physique.”
Additionally, MediaCorp Ah Ge and new dad Christopher Lee will take on a minor role as a cop, and even earned praises from Yueh-hsun for his good-looks.
“When Janine was taking the train and realised Christopher was sitting opposite her, she asked excitedly: ‘Who is that? He’s so handsome!’” he said, adding that the first-time father charmed almost every female on set.
Black & White: The Dawn of Justice opens in cinemas on October 9.
This interview is translated by Jovina Ng.