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Better to be called something positive and inspirational than something negative.
For me, shooting, editing, and scoring rely on rhythm.
My action follows my characters. If a character is a cop, you cannot be posing all the time, you cannot fly off the roof because it doesn't make any sense - it's not practical.
When you watch my films, you're feeling my heart.
There's a lot of thinking when you choreograph something. You're not just choreographing some bodies, arms, legs flying around to look cool. It's a lot more complicated and sophisticated. You also have to deal with the connection of the whole film, so when I choreograph, I think of the movement itself, the camera angles, the characters.
Martial art is a form of expression, an expression from your inner self to your hands and legs.
I think action movies bring more excitement than tears, but I always want to take it to another level. I mean, I think if one appreciates anything in life to a certain degree, it could possibly bring tears to your eyes.
When you direct a movie, you're basically looking at a story, the way you want to look at it. You bring that director's vision, and I'm totally open for that.
Still, as much as I wish Ballistic Kiss could be a better film, the recognition it gained from critics and at festivals speaks for itself.
For years, I looked to Bruce Lee as a mentor as being a Chinese and Asian man living in this country.
I've always been in a rebel.
I got nominated for my second film as best young director in the Aikido Film Festival in Japan.
There is also a strong following among the urbanites on the East Coast when it comes to martial arts films.
From my experience as an actor, choreographer, action director, and producer, I understand the elements and the dynamics of being a film maker.
I'm a very emotional guy.
There are two types of Chinese growing up in America. One is the kind that does really well in school, with thick, thick glasses. And the other is involved with the gangs.
Bruce is the man. He was definitely ahead of his time.
I did a couple comedies to balance myself as an actor and balance how audiences see Donnie Yen as an actor, and I would even say as a celebrity or icon, to some fans. I want to show that I'm not Terminator.
It's a blessing to be given a variety of roles to what I call an iconic action actor like myself.
A lot of Chinese martial arts films were based on Chinese martial arts novels. And these novels created a world of putting history, calligraphy, and martial arts into one.
I think film, to me, as a director, is about telling a story.
I think a lot of people don't realize that martial arts are just an expression like anything else. It's just that most people are not trained to punch or kick, but you can walk or run or dance, which is also part of expression.
A period film, where you, for example, where you have a traditional wardrobes, you are bound to act a certain way. But in a modern film, a lot of body gesture.
If you're playing a cop in a modern film, you don't have to walk with your spine straight up and bow before a fight. There's a lot of free form of expressing yourself as an actor.
I spent a couple of years doing American films. I did a few.
I try to update my arsenal constantly. Learning different martial arts since childhood. To understand what's out there. To really be in tune.
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