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| Friday, December 22, 2006

Recently in the movie industry, there's a sudden trend of Golden Horse Film Awards' Best Actors taking up negative roles, after Golden Horse Film Award's Best Actor Aaron Kwok gambling father in After This Our Exile, Tony Leung Chiu Wai's devil cop whom murder his own grandfather in Confession of Pain, Andy Lau puts away his healthy heavenly king image to get a taste of an evil character.

Produced by Peter Chan, written and directed by Derek Yee, Andy will become a drug lord in the Lunar New Year blockbuster - Protege, to accomodate the role, he dyed his hair grey to go away with his handsome looks to become an uncle to do evil things. Under the guidance of director Derek, he acted out a realistic process of drugs manufacturing. If one is not doing, one should be doing it realistic, he said: "If the audience hate my character, this proves that I'm successful."

Other than being a drug lord in the movie, he's also an experience drug manufacturer, in normal days, he's the boss of an electronic goods store. As the story narrate him suffering from inherited diabetes, despite less than 50 years old, his hair is greyed. To look the role, the fit Andy specially eat high fats food, stop exercising for his muscles to sag, during a scene when he row up his sleeves to inject diabetes medicine, he didn't reveal any muscles to make it realistic.

With regards to become an uncle and an evil character, Andy doesn't mind as he like challenges. He was told by the director that among the 60 billion population, close to 20 billion people is addicted to drugs, it's like 1 person among every 30 person is taking drugs. Andy was shocked when told, he said: "If one day people like Andy Lau could become a drug lord, try thinking what this world will be turned to? I took up this character, if people hate me, that means I'm successful."

As he's supposed to be a drug manufacturer expert, of course Andy need to demo it in the movie. On the day of shooting, although without any professional guidance but director Derek whom had done several research was expert in the process as he taught Andy and the others the process of manufacturing drugs. Although it's just props and flour, but need to tag them as several scientific names and linking them up, even though how good on memorizing script, Andy is suffering headaches by remembering the names.

Opium is produced by "milking" latex from the unripe fruits ("seed pods") of a poppy rather than from the seeds as all parts of the plant can contain or carry the opium alkaloids, especially morphine and codeine. With some chemical need to be added, poisonous gases can be created, thus when Andy is manufacturing the drug, he need to wear a mask. All the process looked very realistic.

Director Derek spent three years in research for the movie, he also personally went to interview those whom are active in the drugs circle, therefore the drug manufacturing process and take drug procedure and response, ways of selling drugs are shot as real as possible. As drug is a sensitive topic, with all the realistic scenes, it's an headache for Derek during post-production as he want to have a balance of both sides, the movie does not need to be classified as Category III movie, anyway the movie should be a family movie during the Lunar New Year. "I've tried my best during shooting as I want to shoot the real ill-effects of drugs for everyone to understand," Derek said.

Undercover cop Ah Lek (Daniel Wu) was a gangster and transform to a drug dealer, spent 8 years to win the trust of drug lord Brother Kun (Andy Lau) and become his best sidekick. On one side, Ah Lek was searching and gathering the drug organization information and methods of manufacturing drugs, on the other side selling drugs. The movie had location shooting in Thailand, using realistic ways to bring the message of drug's ill-effects.

news from: Next Magazine