#SHOWBIZ: Action hero Nicholas Tse thrills behind the scenes, too

HONG Kong action hero Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung is moving upwards in his 25-year showbiz career.

From a tough-guy on the silver screen, he is now an action director. And to mark his debut, he is presenting Malaysian fans with an explosive adventure that promises a suspenseful two hours on land, sea and air.

The adventure, which sees him co-star with Cantopop’s foremost Heavenly King Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau as his caring boss, is titled ‘Customs Frontline’, and marks Hong Kong cinema’s first close look at the brave lawmen of the territory’s Customs department.

Also starring Karena Lam, Cya Liu, Francis Ng, Michelle Yim, Carlos Chan, Michelle Wai, Melvin Wong, John Chan and Amanda Strang, ‘Customs Frontline’ is directed by Herman Yau and opens in cinemas today (July 5).


In a recent video interview at Dadi Cinema, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Tse, 43, said he will be visiting Kuala Lumpur on July 9 to promote the movie.

“It’s so good to be back in Malaysia, I really hope Malaysians will have a great time watching my latest movie,” Tse said.

“I have not been in an action film for the last eight years, and ‘Customs Frontline’ is just the story I’ve wanted.

“Not many people in Hong Kong know about the unsung heroes of the Customs department, who keep the country safe from armed and dangerous smugglers.”

Asked about his latest role as action director, Tse admitted that it was “a lot of hard work”.

“My team and I had to be meticulous in creating all the fight scenes.

“I had to make sure that the props and logistics were handled with care, and that everyone met high safety standards.”


Tse said Yau wanted him to ensure that the action scenes were “realistic, stylish and smooth”.

“I had to think of the viewers and what they wanted. My task was to give them a visual action feast.”

Tse admitted that he “pushed everyone to their limits” to come up with a worthy movie.

“To make sure that every scene was perfectly executed, we shot them on a small scale with a smartphone first.

“From there, we developed these scenes further, adding more action. “Every action scene had to be in tandem with the plot.”

Tse said everyone got “bruised in varying degrees” while filming the action scenes.

“I always believe in the age-old saying ‘no pain no gain’,” he added.

The most challenging scene involved a cargo ship that crashed into parts of Hong Kong’s main harbour.

“That took me a week. I had to make sure that the crash would shock viewers and push them to the edge of their seats.

“We had cameras at different angles of the ship and made full use of four 100-tonne cranes.”

Tse, who did most of his character’s stunts, thanked the Customs department for showing him and the ensemble cast “all that they needed” to know about it.

The department allowed the cast and crew to film at their North Point headquarters and the Ngong Shuen Chau Naval Base.


As for his co-star Cheung, Tse said the singer-actor was a gentleman.

“Jacky looks tough but is ‘soft’ inside. He is a very good listener and has a superb memory,” he said, adding that they have known each other for a long time.

‘Customs Frontline’ tells the story of Customs officer Chow Ching-Lai (Tse), who is an upright man.

With the guidance of his kindly mentor Cheung Wan-Nam (Cheung), Ching-Lai becomes a “star officer” in the department.

One day, Ching-Lai and his team encounter an unmanned cargo ship that is hiding a batch of lethal weapons.

He soon learns that these are missing weapons stolen in Thailand and the master criminal who has been smuggling them is Dr Raw (Amanda Strang).

Interpol and the Customs department soon launch a joint operation to find the stolen weapons, and Ching-Lai teams up with Thai agent Ying (Liu) in the Middle East to capture Dr Raw.


© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

Source link