Acclaimed martial arts film ‘The Grandmaster’ held its New York City premiere on August 13. The film’s stars Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi attended the event along with director Wong Kar-wai. The film’s success at various international film festivals this year generated buzz ahead of its American release, attracting the attention of many Hollywood veterans, including Susan Sarandon and Samuel L. Jackson, who have nothing but praise for the film and spent much time socializing with its stars. Sarandon even traded phone numbers with Leung at the after party, asking him to stay in touch.
The premiere took place at the Regal E-Walk Stadium. Aside from Hollywood stars, well-known fashion designers Vivienne Tam, Anna Sui, and Jason Wu were also present. Wu took several photos with Zhang Ziyi, the two having collaborated earlier when Wu dressed Zhang for this year’s Met Gala.
To further ignite interest in the American market, famed director Martin Scorsese announced his support and granted American distributor The Weinstein Company the use of his name. The film will officially be released in the United States as “Martin Scorsese Presents ‘The Grandmaster’”. Speaking about this endorsement, Wong Kar-wai said, “Marty has always been a great inspiration. We are so thankful for his support of the film.”
Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi mingled with guests at the event, the two spent time chatting with Susan Sarandon and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson shared that he is a fan of Wong Kar-wai and had put aside time so he can attend the premiere. Sarandon had a great time talking with Leung, and invited him to chat more over a drink. At the after party, Sarandon praised Leung’s talents, saying that the effort the cast has put into the film is apparent. She later traded contact information with him, wanting to stay in touch.
The Grandmaster received great word of mouth and box office takings in Asia and caught just as much attention in the U.S. Wong Kar-wai edited the film anew so it would be easier for foreigners to comprehend. At the press conference Tony Leung revealed that the most memorable moment was working for 40 consecutive nights. He said that in the end he only had bronchitis and was lucky not to have pneumonia.
Zhang Ziyi appeared on Good Morning America for a live interview. She even admitted that a live program appearance required courage, luckily she was able to withstand the test. Zhang Ziyi’s English ability was made fun of before, thus she worked hard to learn English. Now she is able to fluently respond on a live program, she truly is a new and improved “International Zhang”.
New York is only the first stop among many as the team prepares for the film’s American release on August 23. Wong Kar-wai, Tony Leung, and Zhang Ziyi will continue to make appearances to support their acclaimed epic, with advanced screenings planned in Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.