Taiwanese actor Eddie Peng takes potshots in interview

SINGAPORE - The intense training for his new boxing movie Unbeatable may have punched the manners right out of Taiwanese heart-throb Eddie Peng.

During a phone interview with the local media yesterday from Hong Kong, where he was promoting the flick, the 31-year-old actor, who was 20 minutes late, sounded disinterested and condescending.

When asked to elaborate on his tough mixed martial arts training which reportedly had him vomiting after, Peng (right) said in Mandarin: "It was very tough and tiring." Upon prompting from the reporters, he added: "We filmed intensively for 10 hours a day. I vomited during the training, not during filming."

In the action film directed by Dante Lam, Peng stars as the boxing disciple of an exconvict and former boxing champion (played by Hong Kong actor Nick Cheung). Both actors show off their acting chops and muscular build in the movie, which opens here tomorrow.

In a recent interview with The New Paper, Cheung was candid and friendly, describing in detail the training and restrictive diet he had to undergo.

In contrast, Peng's answers were short and curt.

"My abs are still here," he said, when asked if he "let himself go" after filming wrapped.

(Cheung, 45, had revealed that his eight-pack abs have since disappeared.) An awkward silence followed, before Peng added: "I have the habit of exercising, so it's not that hard to maintain."

One reporter prompted him further by saying: "I read that you ate a lot of ice cream right after filming ended", to which he gave a simple "Yes".

Peng's behaviour was the opposite of what this reporter remembers of him from two previous interviews, which saw him promoting his album here in 2010 and his movie Hear Me in 2009.

Back then, the handsome rising star was earnest and media-savvy, giving a detailed response to each question. He did not even flinch when asked about his rumoured girlfriend, Taiwanese superstar Jolin Tsai.

Instead, he smiled and handled the question professionally, saying that Tsai was merely his very good friend.

Fast forward three years, and Peng comes across as a changed person.

It makes one wonder if fame has gone to his head since he took on meatier roles in more prominent movies such as the Hong Kong action- thriller Cold War (2012).

The interview continued for the next five minutes at a slow pace, punctuated with many moments of dead silence.

When asked if he plans to go down the "hot bod" route as he had shown off his chiselled physique in Taiwanese movie Jump! Ashin (2011) and the Unbeatable, Peng couldn't resist adding a dash of sarcasm: "Well, (I am) not sure if you have been watching my other shows because if you did, you would know that I can play many other roles as well. I have done other shows from 2011 to 2013, if you realise." By then, both sides seemed to have had enough of each other.

The seven-minute interview ended when he said in a patronising manner: "I hope my answers are fine with you." No, they were not - not that Peng really cared in the first place.

jocelee@sph.com.sg

Get The New Paper for more stories.