In the midst of promotional activities for his latest film Rise of The Legend, Taiwanese heartthrob Eddie Peng took time out of his busy schedule to attend Longines Singapore Gold Cup 2014 as the “Longines Ambassador of Elegance” on Sunday.
Prior to the event, local reporters caught up with Eddie, who was dressed in a dashing black suit, in an interview session at Fullerton Bay Hotel.
So, what does the newly appointed ambassador have to say about “elegance”?
“It’s an attitude that everyone possesses in different forms. Most importantly, elegance is about having confidence in dealing with life and learning from experiences,” Eddie explained.
Honoured to join the big family at Longines, the 32-year-old is delighted to be able to realise his wish of giving a watch to his beloved mother, who often complains that he has never bought her one.
In Rise of The Legend, Eddie plays a young Wong Fei Hung, a character which saw him spent an entire year on practising Nanquan (a form of Chinese martial arts). A self-proclaimed fan of the incarnations played by veterans such as Jet Li and Jackie Chan, the actor hopes to inspire the current generation of young people, just like his seniors did for him.
While it is stressful to portray such an iconic character, it was an opportunity that Eddie, who insisted that his rendition deviates from the older films, could not give up on.
“Comparisons are inevitable, but I felt like I would regret it if I didn’t grab the chance,” he shared. “It’s up to the audience to decide if they like my performance, but I am happy that I took up the challenge. From this invaluable experience, I’ve gained better self-awareness, as well as a change in perception about work and life.”
Despite the long filming hours and strenuous action scenes, Eddie counts his blessings for getting to meet professional wushu masters and producer Sammo Hung, who plays his stepfather in the movie. “Without them, I wouldn’t have completed so many stunts on my own. They allowed me to present my best side on the screen,” the actor earnestly added.
Eddie: I became close with Choi Siwon because my friends love him
Eddie recently wrapped filming for Hong Kong director Dante Lam’s To The Fore, which also stars Super Junior member Choi Siwon. When asked on their collaboration, Eddie replied with a grin that the 28-year-old is an “adorable big kid”, who brought food to share with the cast and crew all the time.
“The people around me love Siwon, so I had to make friends with him!” Eddie chortled.
Thanks to their various common interests, the duo hardly ran out of topics to chat about. However, Siwon “could not believe it” when he first found out that Eddie was four years older than him. As Koreans place much emphasis on age hierarchy, the Hallyu star started addressing Eddie as hyung (an affectionate term used by guys to address an older male), a term which the latter gladly welcomed.
“I’d randomly call him oppa (term used by girls to address an older male). That isn’t correct, right? But it shows how friendly we are. (laugh),” the actor chuckled. “To The Fore is a very motivational movie. I’m sure it will do well in the box office, judging from Super Junior’s massive fan base.”
Eddie, a fast-rising action star
From Jump! Ashin to Unbeatable, Rise of The Legend and To The Fore, majority of Eddie’s recent projects had been physically demanding, a sign of the actor’s eagerness to break out of his “sunshine boy” image from his salad days. “When I decide to pick up a role, I give my 100 percent,” he reiterated.
During the interview, Eddie admitted that he is indeed exhausted by all that action.
Although the hardworking chap told himself that he was “never going to the gym again” after Unbeatable, then came along Rise of the Legend which was too precious an opportunity to be missed. And when the actor thought that he could finally take a break after playing Wong Fei Hung, he was “cheated into joining the line-up of To The Fore” by the director.
“Dante said that riding bicycles is very relaxing, but we ended up riding for a good six months. I can now proudly declare that I am qualified to join an official bike race,” Eddie quipped.
The actor’s matured performances have also gained critical acclaim in recent years, including nominations in the “Best Actor” and “Best Supporting Actor” categories at the prestigious Golden Horse Awards. In Eddie’s opinion, would he rate himself as an action star?
“Do you think I am one? If the audience likes to watch me fight, I would. But if they prefer my work in romance films, I am open to acting in more love-themed movies or even comedies,” he humbly replied. “Being an actor who has reached a suitable age, I should experience as many things as possible. Even if the results are not ideal, I can always venture into new areas. I don’t have to place too many restrictions on myself.”
WATCH: What does Eddie Peng have to say about Super Junior's Choi Siwon?
Rise of The Legend opens in local cinemas Nov 27.
To The Fore is slated to be released in 2015.
Eddie Peng enjoys calling Choi Siwon “oppa”
The Taiwanese actor thinks that the term, despite being incorrect, is a way to show his friendliness
- Eddie Peng Longines