Tony Leung’s heart aches over “missing” scenes; ‘The Grandmaster’s rough cut was 4 hours

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Yesterday, actors Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen and Max Zhang Jun continued to promote the film ‘The Grandmaster’ in Beijing. Today, the team will return to Hong Kong for the premiere. ‘Hero’ director Zhang Yimou who was in Beijing also showed his support for ‘The Grandmaster’ and met with Wong Kar-wai, Zhang Ziyi, and Chen Daoming after the premiere for a brief chat and photos. Tony Leung revealed after the premiere that his heart ached the most over many “missing” scenes.

Yesterday Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen and Zhang Jun all wore sunglasses for their interview, saying that they wanted to salute the director. Wong Kar-wai revealed that the film’s rough cut was 4 hours, and finally he cut it down to a 130 minute version. For the completeness of the story he had to make choices and cut many actors’ scenes. 

Tony Leung had the most screen time but also had the most scenes removed. Suffering the most “cuts” from editing, he said that every time after watching Wong Kar-wai’s movies he felt the same way as he questioned where did his scenes go? Every time he had to watch the film two or three more times before he was able to get into it. Then he would think where did Zhang Ziyi and Xiao Shenyang‘s scenes went? Why would scenes that had finished voice work were not included? Leung admitted that he would remember these few years for a lifetime, aside from learning something new he also created a new character. In addition he has been a kung fu fan since childhood, he never imagined that he would study kung fu in his 40s. However he still enjoyed it and thought it was a lot of fun. He said that he has never been so positive and optimistic in a Wong Kar-wai movie, as he was full of positive energy.

In the same manner, Zhang Ziyi said that she thought a scene in which she expressed her inner loneliness was very sad but very powerful would be kept in the film. Her hope finally died when the end credits came up on screen as it was truly removed; however, she understood that with only 2 hours and 10 minutes, Wong Kar-wai indeed had a hard time with the decision. As an actor, she like the audience had no idea what Wong Kar-wai’s completed film would be until the very end.

Zhang Ziyi also appeared on a Chinese Mainland television program. She demonstrated her well practiced Eight Diagram palm and won thunderous applause from the audience. She recalled that she had no complaint despite the trainer’s hellish training. Everyone was concerned with when she was getting married, Zhang Ziyi admitted that she will definitely wed and even revealed that her best dish was egg and tomato.

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