Matt Damon's culture shock in China

Beijing - Zhang Yimou's upcoming fantasy epic, The Great Wall, stars not just Matt Damon and Andy Lau, but also Lu Han, one of the most wildly popular pretty boys in China now.

At an all-star press conference for the movie on Thursday, Hollywood leading man Damon spoke of his shock one night at a hotel when he realised the overwhelming fame of his co-star, Lu, a Chinese former member of K-pop group EXO, said NetEase website.

"I think the first night before we started shooting, there were something like 400 flower arrangements. It took up the entire hallway," Damon said.

His Hong Kong co-star Lau interjected: "That was for me."

The US$150-million (S$ 202.2- million) film, which is slated for worldwide release on Nov 23 next year, is the biggest China-Hollywood co-production and Zhang's first movie primarily in English.

The film, which revolves around an army of warriors pitted against otherworldly creatures, is being made to appeal to audiences at home and abroad.

The cast includes Hollywood actors Willem Dafoe (from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies) and Pedro Pascal (television's Game Of Thrones), and Chinese "little fresh meat" - or idols - Chen Xuedong (the Tiny Times films) and Wang Junkai (pop group TF Boys).

The shoot started in China in March and will finish next month.

Lu, who stars as a soldier in the movie, said being in a Hollywood production had been overwhelming too. "Lots of people, lots of trailers, lots of locations, lots of studios and lots of delicious food."

This article was first published on July 4, 2015.
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