BY JOY FANG
WHILE he has made a name for himself as an excellent stunt man and action choreographer, Hong Kong martial-arts expert Donnie Yen is increasingly showcasing himself as leading- man material.
In his latest offering, 14 Blades, the 46-year-old takes on the lead role of Qinglong, the head of an elite squad of ancient secret agents from the imperial court of the Ming Dynasty.
However, he wants to move away from this territory, and to be taken seriously as an actor.
"I don't know why so many film-makers want me to play folk heroes or historical figures... My schedule is already fully packed this year, but I'm still getting new scripts - more than I can handle," Yen told movie web site Kung Fu Cinema.
Speaking to Chinese newspaper Global Times at the premiere of 14 Blades, Yen said he had reviewed his acting in An Empress And The Warriors two years ago, and realised that his acting skills had not improved over the years.
"I decided to drop action choreography and started placing emphasis only on acting," he said.
|Donnie Yen in 14 Blades, now showing in cinemas.
As a way to rebuild his image, he took on a comedic role as Yong in 2008 blockbuster Painted Skin, which raked in 200 million yuan (S$41.5 million).
He hopes to take on different roles in films which require different styles of acting.
He is set to star in upcoming martial-arts film The Legend Of Chen Zhen, a role made famous by Bruce Lee in 1972's Fist Of Fury.
"I hope that in every film, there is something new for the audience," he told the Global Times.
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