Julian Cheung and Charmaine Sheh at "Triumph in the Skies" press conference in KL.
Famous Hong Kong stars Julian Cheung Chi-lam (張智霖) or better known as Chilam and Charmaine Sheh Sze-man (佘诗曼) star in "Triumph in the Skies" a film adaptation of the famous Hong Kong TVB series of the same name that has already spawned two seasons. The movie takes place a few years after the end of the second season of "Triumph in the Skies" series.
Directed by Wilson Yip and Matt Chow, the film stars some original cast from the series such as Julian Cheung, Francis Ng, Kenneth Ma and Elena Kong, with the additional cast of Louis Koo, Charmaine Sheh, Amber Kuo and Sammi Cheng.
Julian Cheung and Charmaine Sheh used to act together as lover in the Hong Kong drama series "Return of the Cuckoo" (十月初五的月光) and "Point of No Return" (西關大少). "Triumph in the Skies" is the first movie that the two have collaborated together, but not as a couple.
During the press conference, the two Hong Kong stars revealed some details regarding their new film and also that the duo are currently working on the movie version of "Return of the Cuckoo".
Julian and Charmaine are a lovely pair.
What did you both do during Valentine's Day?
Julian: I was in Hong Kong so I checked out the box office earnings of our movie and I think that it has been doing quite well and I'm sure that everyone had been waiting for a nice romantic film for Valentine's Day.
Charmaine: I arrived at Malaysia on 14 February and I secretly went to the cinema to see how the movie performed. I found out that it was a full house and the tickets sold out within 10 minutes.
What are your characters like in the movie? Are they any different from the series?
Julian: There's no difference actually, it's the same character. The movie setting takes place a few years after the second season of the series where Jayden Koo (Julian's character in the movie) decides to become a pilot for a private jet.
Charmaine you are a new character in this movie. How do you feel taking on the role?
Charmaine: I am very happy. Being a stewardess is actually one of my dreams when I was young. I love their uniform and the job feels very professional. I am very grateful that I got to be one of the cast in the movie.
Charmaine Sheh smiles at the camera.
How about Julian? Have you always yearned to be a pilot?
Julian: No, I won't choose to be a pilot as my career. The job is difficult. There are a lot of complicated problems that you need to handle and it is kind of a hassle.
I like something simpler like a football player or something. Sports is a lot easier. The responsibility of a pilot is huge because every passenger will have to rely on the pilot to take them here and there safely.
Are there anything unforgettable moments during the shoot?
Charmaine: There is this one scene where Louis Koo and I ride on this antique plane which is aged around 100 years old. The scene was very sweet and romantic; it was one of my most favourite scenes.
Julian: For me, it was when we shot the film in England and coincidentally it was during the Moon Cake Festival. All of the cast and crew went to eat dinner together. I think that moment is something worth remembering and it was really great.
There's a report saying that during the bathtub scene between you and Amber Kuo, you guys shot the scene for almost 8 hours, is that true?
Julian: Yes, my skin was all wrinkly. It was a really tiring scene.
Can you explain further?
Julian: The scene includes both of us drinking wine in the bathtub. It was really awkward and embarrassing. There are a lot of emotions in that scene, it was cold and both of us wished that the scene would finish faster; we even broke the wine glass when we tried to cheers with each other and we had to hurry up and change to new glasses of wine. There are a lot of problems we need to take care of.
Honestly, when we shot the scene, it wasn't as romantic as you saw in the film; there are a lot of problems during that scene.
Julian smiles sweetly to the press.
How do you feel working with Taiwanese actress Amber Kuo?
Julian: I think she's a very energetic person. She is very easy to work with and she easily gets along with everyone there.
So, Charmaine, your scene with Louis has some moment of conflict and sweetness and there is also a scene where you both were filmed in a swimming pool. How was the process of shooting?
Charmaine: It was very cold because we shot that scene in England. But the scene looks really pretty in the film because the director wanted the scenery, atmosphere and surroundings to look romantic. So the crew placed a couple of big lights inside the pool.
During that time, there was a man swimming in the pool and Louis asked, "Who is that in the pool?" Turns out, the man is the person in charge of placing the lights in the pool. He was wearing a rubber suit and both of us were wondering why we we're not provided that suit? We were kind of afraid that we'd get electrified.
Julian and Charmaine listen to the questions from the press.
Even though "Triumph in the Skies" is a movie for Valentine's Day, it is also listed as one of the big movies for CNY. There are a lot of other CNY movies competing at the box office. So what are both of your views on other CNY movies? Do you feel pressured that your film can't perform as well as the others?
Julian: Actually I only focus on "Triumph in the Skies". All the way till the end, that's all I care about. I don't really know what other CNY movies are out there.
Charmaine: We have to see the Malaysian and Hong Kong's box office performance. At the Hong Kong box office, the movie has exceeded HKD 2 million. With this result you already know how we feel.
There is this one scene where you and Louis Koo were on the London Eye, the scene where you both break up. The space on the Ferris wheel carriage is quite small and cramped. Plus, you have to include the cameraman on it as well. Was it hard shooting that scene?
Charmaine: Well it doesn't matter how small the space is, we'd still have to shoot the scene. Moreover, that scene was the first one of the day and since it is a sad scene, after they had put on my make-up I have to immediately cry. Both of us have nothing to say, all we do is cry.
Also, the Ferris wheel keeps turning and turning, I can't even remember how many rounds we had turned. We waited for so long and they still didn't yell "cut!" So, we kept on crying and crying. We're not sure if we're doing it right because the director was not in the Ferris wheel. But thank God the scene turned out great!
If you get the chance to play another character in the film, who would you like to play?
Julian: I would love to play Sammi's role. I've never played a rock star before and I think her character is really cool and interesting.
If there's a second movie will you both participate in it?
Julian: Definitely. It is really wonderful getting to work with such a wonderful cast and crew. I'll be anticipating for the second movie.
If you get to choose, which actor or actress would you like to be your partner for the second movie?
Julian: Jun Ji-hyun or Song Hye-kyo because my character is kind of playboy-ish. So I don't think he will stick with the same girl if there is a second movie.
Charmaine: I think I'll stick with Louis because our characters are faithful toward each other so you can't ruin their relationship.
Julian and Charmaine do the prosperity toss.
Cinema Online, 19 February 2015