"I always have a very good impression of Singapore when I'm here," said Donnie Yen right at the start of his press conference yesterday (Dec 10) at Mandarin Orchard.
"My family comes here often for our vacation too. I don't need to say it but we all know how good Singapore is."
Oh my, can we expect another international superstar to set up home on our humble little island? (Jet Li did it.)
After all, reports emerged a while back that he was spotted house-hunting in Singapore.
So AsiaOne asked if he was doing just that during our interview with him.
Alas, the martial arts actor replied: "Not at the moment because it takes a lot of time and effort to manage a home. Not to mention, money. And Singapore's houses are not cheap.
"I didn't really look into [house-hunting]… Some of my friends wanted to look at houses [in Singapore], so I just went along. Like, I like looking at nice things. It's like you're walking in a department store, you're standing outside of a show window, and you look at it."
Donnie Yen house-hunting in Singapore?
Donnie Yen 甄子丹 was spotted house-hunting in Singapore; are we getting another international superstar in our neighbourhood? He tells us, and also shares more about his latest movie Ip Man 4: The Finale. #DonnieYen #IpMan4 #SingaporePosted by AsiaOne on Wednesday, December 11, 2019
OH HOW WE LOVE YOU, DONNIE
Bummer. Well, if he ever changes his mind, he already knows how much the people in Singapore welcome him.
Hundreds swarmed Shaw Theatres Lido last night to catch a glimpse of the dashing 56-year-old at the gala premiere of his latest and last kungfu movie, Ip Man 4: The Finale.
Donnie's promo visit also included a trip to Our Tampines Hub on Monday (Dec 9) to open the Ip Man Pavilion. There, he was greeted by an uproarious 5,000 people.
The pavilion will be open until Jan 6, and features a movie set where iconic scenes from the previous three films are displayed. These include Ip Man's living room with the wooden dummy, pictures of Ip Man and his family on the walls, and the round table where Ip Man sparred with his nemesis Hung Chun Nam.
FACING RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AS A CHILD
In Ip Man 4: The Finale, the Wing Chun grandmaster travels to the United States to seek a better life for his son, but meets with racial discrimination.
Cue lots of awesome kungfu scenes courtesy of the legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Wo Ping. The movie, which sneaks here on Dec 19, also stars Wu Yue, Danny Chan (as Bruce Lee!), Vanness Wu, and Scott Adkins. Advance sales for the tickets will begin this Thursday (Dec 12) at 10am.
Donnie, who moved to the States from Hong Kong when he was 11, admitted he, too, resorted to fisticuffs with his American bullies during those formative years. By then, he had already started learning kungfu.
"Young teenagers deal with situations very bluntly without fully understanding what the best way is or the consequences of the action," he said.
And did he win?
He seemed mildly amused at our question before replying: "Yes, I think so."
NO MORE KUNGFU
Donnie recently left fans and the media horrified when he announced at a Beijing press conference that Ip Man 4 will be his last kungfu film. Yesterday, he reassured all that this isn't the end of his high-kicking days.
Kungfu movies are only a subset of action films, he clarified.
"There have been action films since the silent movies from Charlie Chaplin, because they used body language to convey messages. The genre developed into cowboy flicks, war movies and even Marvel films.
"Kungfu movies contain elements from Chinese culture and are usually set in the early Ming dynasty. You won't see Chinese kungfu in a modern police movie. Ip Man 4 is a great point in my career to say goodbye to kungfu movies."
So what he's saying is: no to kungfu movies, yes to action films.
In fact, he recently completed an action-comedy Enter the Fat Dragon, which will be released during Chinese New Year next month, and also a cop thriller with Nicholas Tse titled Raging Fire, out next summer.
Disney's live-action Mulan remake scheduled for a March release will also see Donnie starring as the heroine's mentor, Commander Tung.
Watch our video for more of Donnie's interview!