Tay Ping Hui recently wrapped filming for upcoming Chinese blockbuster drama The Legend of The Condor Heroes. In it, he will play Temujin, also known as Genghis Khan.
He flew over to China’s Hengdian and Lanzhou after wrapping filming for Channel 8’s Hero in July, and completed shooting this month. The leads are young stars Yang Xuwen and Li Yitong. Ping Hui has since returned to Singapore and spoke to Toggle over the phone to tell us more about his experience there.
His previous historical drama was 2006 series The Legend and the Hero, which starred Fan Bingbing and Steve Ma. This time around, he was mostly involved in battle scenes, which took place in grassy fields while he was on horseback.
Given that it was summer while he was there, daytime temperatures soared to highs of 40 degrees while they plunged to around 10 degrees at night. Apart from the layers of padding and battle gear he had to put on, he also had to wear a thick coat to look the part. Wearing up to four layers in the sweltering heat caused him to perspire endlessly, with Ping Hui sharing that his entire outfit “weighed about 15kg in total”.
Chuckling, he shared, “It wasn’t me who had a hard time – it was my horse! I weigh close to 90kg and with my outfit, I probably weighed around 100kg. I spent around eight to nine hours on it on a daily basis – isn’t the horse pitiful?”
Given that the last time he rode a horse was over a decade ago, he production team asked if he needed a body double for the horseback scenes but Ping Hui declined as he wanted to take on the rare opportunity. He was given 15 minutes of rehearsals before the cameras rolled and an accident happened out of the blue during his very first scene.
The scene involved Ping Hui leading around 70 men on horseback to storm a town, with all of them needing to fit through a 10-metre wide gate. “This is the first time I’ve ridden so fast with that many horses. Everyone was in battle gear and holding weapons so it was pretty dangerous because any of us could easily fall down and get trampled by all the horses riding past,” he explained.
As the leader of the group, Ping Hui was riding in front with only one hand holding on to the reins as his other was carrying a large blade. His right leg got hooked onto something and he fell from his horse. Everything happened too fast that he didn’t have time to panic, with his first instinct being to use both his hands to protect his head.
Saying that it was a blessing in disguise to have been donning the “impenetrable armour” that he was wearing, he shared that he did not suffer any scrapes or cuts on his back and does not have any fear of riding horses even after the incident. The scene took two to three days to complete as the director required multiple shots of the battle.
The drama is slated for a release early next year, with Ping Hui sharing that he is unsure if he will be flying back to China to promote the show. If given a chance, however, he shared that he would love to return to meet the cast and crew he filmed with for over a month.
As for his plans for the rest of the year, he shared that he would love to film a movie in the near future, citing his dream role as “someone who’s traversing between the realms of good and bad”.
Photos: The Celebrity Agency, Tay Ping Hui
This story first appeared on toggle.sg/ch
Story by Camelia Ting