When Hong Kong actress Venus Wong sustained a bloody gash on her face from a broken bottle, she decided to keep the cameras rolling for added realism.
Wong, 28, plays an aspiring actress named Lam Yu Fu who is struggling to get her big break in Hong Kong martial arts film Unleashed, also known in Cantonese as Dei Ha Kuen (Underground Boxing).
The action-packed film, which opened in Hong Kong in early June, stars several real-life martial arts champions: Sun Zhenfeng (Nanquan/Southern Fist), Zheng Ziping (Sanda/Freestyle Sparring), and Ken Low (Muay Thai/Thai Boxing).
The film’s main selling point was genuine hand-to-hand combat, so Wong performed all her own stunts just like the others.
One of the scenes required Wong to have several bottles broken over her head by co-stars Wiyona Yeung and Raymond Chiu. Unfortunately, Wong ended up with a gash on her face during the scuffle.
In typical Hong Kong fashion, Wong did not call for a halt, but opted to continue shooting by capitalising on the facial injury for realism.
After sustaining the injury, Wong quickly disinfected the wound and returned to the set to complete her scenes.
That particular scene saw the film director (played by Chiu) take revenge on Wong’s character after she rejected his advances.
Feeling offended, he arranges for the lead actress (played by Yeung) to break several bottles over Wong’s head.
“Injuries are inevitable during action scenes,” Wong told reporters in Hong Kong.
However she pointed out that it would be better for both parties performing the stunt to have relevant experience for the scene to work.
“The one who is breaking the bottle over someone’s head, and the one having the bottle broken over her head, both require enough experience to be able to gauge the amount of force needed to make the candy glass bottle break on contact,” said Wong, adding that the crew became more worried than she was when her face got scratched.
(Glass bottles used as props in an action film are actually candy bottles made out of sugar glass as they break convincingly and are much less likely to cause injuries.)