‘The Grandmasters’ turns Chang Chen into a master


The new martial arts film from Wong Kar-wai, ‘The Grandmasters’, will not open until early next year in China. Actor Chang Chen trained hard in kung fu for this film. Earlier he participated in the national Bajiquan contest in Changchun and won a top prize. He went from studying kung fu for a movie to truly winning a martial arts award.

For half a year before filming began in ‘The Grandmasters’ in 2009, Chang Chen visited Master Wang Shiquan and he was asked whether he truly wanted to study or only make kung fu poses for the movie. Chang Chen said that he truly wanted to train and began his journey of studying Bajiquan for three years. In a small Beijing forest everyday for three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening he trained in all types of weather. He had to stretch and he was in so much pain that he was in tears. Chang Chen joked that he held back in front of Tony Leung and did not show him his best. Earlier Chang Chen participated in the national Bajiquan contest in Changchun under the order his master. He wanted the experience and participated. He practiced his routine almost 10,000 times. The film’s martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping not being impressed with his kung fu before, but during this shoot he would discuss and accept his opinions.