Jay Chou: I had to grit my teeth and do it

Jay Chou was willing to risk life and limb while filming his latest movie, The Viral Factor, all because of "face".

The Taiwanese singer-songwriter-actor, who turns 33 tomorrow, was in town with Hong Kong director Dante Lam yesterday to promote the action flick, which opens on Thursday.

The US$17 million (S$22 million) movie, which was filmed in Jordan, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia, also stars Hong Kong stars Nicholas Tse and Andy On.

Chou plays international police agent Jon, who has two weeks left to live after taking a bullet in the head during a mission.

He goes to Malaysia to look for his long-lost brother, Yang (Tse), and gets embroiled in the latter's illegal activities.

In the movie, Chou took on insanely difficult action scenes involving explosions, gunfire, car crashes, hand combat and jumping off a seven-storey building.

Lam said in a press conference yesterday that action scenes take up 80 per cent of the movie.

The New Paper asked Chou why he did most of his stunts and risked hurting himself when every part of his body is supposedly worth a fortune.

He shook his head several times, as if to humbly deny his worth, before saying: "The stuntmen weren't around and my fans were watching me".

What he meant was that he did the scenes to save "face", as he told Chinese website DBW in an earlier interview.

"My fans were taking photos during filming. If the photos are circulated online and people know I had used a body double, it'll be very embarrassing," Chou revealed.

"So I had no choice but to grit my teeth and do it. I could only hope the scene is long and viewers can see it's me (and not a stuntman)."

He also told the website that he saw Tse do a similar stunt in the movie and was in awe of him.

When his turn came two weeks later, he was confident of doing the stunt himself.

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