TZE MIU INTERVIEW

conducted via email February 20 - March 5 2009

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After your role in Champions and appearance on Dragon Dynasty's DVD for My Father is a Hero, there's been a bit of buzz around the internet wondering if you're going to be appearing in more movies. Do you have any projects in the works?

Iím currently preparing to star in a Chinese TV series. There's no English title as yet. It's a kung fu show, of course! These are very popular in China, and we actually produce more martial arts TV series than films these days. My last one was Legend of Shaolin Kung Fu 2, which also stars Yuen Biao, who made many films with Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. I am also discussing various film projects with different producers at the moment.

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Following up on the last question, do you have any plans to try and break into the western market, or are you concentrating on Asia?

I would be very happy to consider a role in an international film if I was offered one. My biggest challenge is that I donít speak English! If I was offered such a role, that would be a very good motivation for me to learn. I don't have any special plan to work in the west, but I'm available if anyone wants to cast me!

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You were very fortunate in My Father is a Hero to have worked with Jet Li, Anita Mui, and Corey Yuen. What are some stars and directors that you would like to work with in the future?

I would love to have the honor of working with great martial arts idols like Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen. Actually, I was supposed to work with Jackie once before, but the schedule clashed with that of a TV series I was starring in, and so I couldnít do it. I would love to work with Ang Lee. I think he is an amazing director, and capable of doing any kind of film.

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Yu Rong-Guang is one of my favorite actors, and he appeared with you in both My Father is a Hero and Champions. What is he like to work with?

He is a very nice man. I have seen him many times since we made My Father is a Hero, because we have both worked on television series in China, and, of course, we worked on Champions together. He never seems to get any older, does he? He is a very sincere person, and he takes his work quite seriously. When we first worked together, I was very young, but he was very patient with me. I learned a lot from him. I hope we can work together again some time soon!

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The producer for My Father is a Hero, Wong Jing, is one of the more colorful characters in Hong Kong cinema. Did you see him much during the filming?

He would come and visit, yes. From what people told me, I think he comes on the set more if he is worried about the director, but, with Corey Yuen, he had a lot of confidence, so we didnít see him that often on My Father is a Hero. When we were making New Legend of Shaolin, he was always very warm and kind to me, because he knew it was my first film.

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Speaking of the filming, how involved were you with the stunt work? Were you hurt at all?

I did as much of the action as they would let me. I hadn't had that much experience in film-making, so I also had stunt doubles for some of the more complicated movements. These days, I pretty much do it all, though. If you make an action film, youíll definitely get some bruises. But, on My Father is a Hero, I didn't get anything worse than that, luckily!

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This question may be too personal, but a lot of people wonder how much Chinese actors are paid versus their American counterparts. Would you mind disclosing how much you were paid for acting in My Father is a Hero?

I don't mind telling you, but I honestly can't remember! I was still a new face at that time, so I guess not much. I don't remember ever asking anyone about how much I was being paid. I was just excited to work with Jet Li. I'm sure that, in general, unless it's someone like Jet or Jackie, we get paid less than they do in Hollywood.

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What do you think of the current state of Hong Kong and Chinese movies? Do you think they can compete with Hollywood productions?

In terms of the physical action -- the Wu Shu and stunts -- yes, we will always be able to compete with Hollywood. We've been making kung fu movies in Hong Kong and China for so many years, I think we still do them better than anyone else. When I see a Chinese martial arts film like Ip Man, Iím very proud to be working in this industry. I thought the action in Champions was very good. I would say that, when we do this kind of film, we can do it very well, so we should make more of them. In terms of special effects and big productions, it's harder for us to compete with Hollywood.

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Do you still practice kung fu? If so, which style and how often do you practice?

When I'm not filming, I do basic Wu Shu exercises and forms, as well as other exercises, every day. On the set, I always work with the stunt men and action choreographer to learn new movements. In fact, I would say that this is how I study kung fu now -- by making martial arts movies!

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Finally, what do you do in your spare time? Do you have any favorite hobbies?

If Iím not working, I like to spend time with my family, go to movies, sometimes travel. Just the usual things.

Dragon Dynasty's version of My Father is a Hero, The Enforcer, is now available from most major retail outlets like Amazon.

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