Vic Chou couldn't open his eyes while filming in 'rotating barbecue grill' for drama Danger Zone

Vic Chou in Danger Zone.

SINGAPORE - Danger Zone turned out to be a rather appropriate title for a new crime thriller. The cast had various minor injuries during filming and home-grown actor Christopher Lee had a small accident on the first day on set.

Lee, 50, plays a shaggy-haired detective trying to solve a string of homicides in the action-packed iQiyi series premiering on Friday (Sept 3).

In a virtual press conference from Taipei, he says: "My very first day on set, I was very excited because it's been a long time since I'd done an action scene."

He was chasing after someone in a truck and was supposed to jump out of it when it stopped.

"But there were problems on the road and we were stopped unexpectedly. I thought that was my cue, so I jumped just as the truck started moving again. Luckily, it wasn't moving fast and I didn't jump from too high so all I got were some abrasions."

Co-star Vic Chou also had a car accident, albeit one that was scripted. The 40-year-old Taiwanese actor had to be in a vehicle that flipped over in a crash. He is best known for his roles in the seminal idol drama Meteor Garden (2001 to 2002) and cop series Black & White (2009).

Christopher Lee in Danger Zone.

"There's a machine that we call the rotating barbecue grill, because it can hold the car up and flip it around. It was really tough filming that because it takes a long time to film and I was upside down most of the time, to the point that the blood was all rushing to my head. In some scenes, I had to open my eyes and it was hard to even do that," he says.

Chou plays an extremely intelligent imprisoned lawyer who offers to help with the police investigation into a serial killer.

His last Taiwanese production was the historical drama Home nine years ago and the script for Danger Zone sealed the deal for him. He says: "I stayed up all night to read through it and that shows how solid the script is. I had also just wrapped a more romantic project and was looking to do something more masculine that didn't revolve around a love story."

The first on-screen pairing of Lee and Chou is highly anticipated as both stars have won the Golden Bell Award for Best Leading Actor in a Television Series. Chou won in 2013 for Home, while Lee did so in 2014 for A Good Wife (2013). Prior to their collaboration, they had only met once at an awards ceremony.

The cast includes other Taiwanese names like Sandrine Pinna (Trinity Of Shadows, 2021), and promising young actors Berant Chu (The Magician On The Skywalk, 2021) and Tseng Ching-hua, who played Birdy in the hit romance film Your Name Engraved Herein (2020).

Lee says: "My impression of Vic is someone who's introverted and a good boy. That's true, but he's also very mature now.

"Everyone is serious on set but the way he handles his character makes me feel how completely invested he is in the role, even during break times, which makes me not want to interrupt him. He also has the toughest lines in the script and I really respect the effort he put in for that."

Berant Zhu (left) and Christopher Lee in Danger Zone.

Chou also sings Lee's praises. "When Christopher came on set, he immediately made you feel like he's someone world-weary and steeped in personal history."

He also jokes that Lee's role was more fun than his. Most of Lee's scenes take place in a police station, while Chou's character is in prison for much of the series.

Chou says: "He must have such a positive energy. I kept hearing from other people how bustling and fun it was on their end, it's as if no one wanted to get off work. Then on my side (in prison), it's like so dead and quiet."

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.