×

Busan: Stress and Sexuality on the Agenda for Stanley Kwan, Sammi Cheng

Stanley Kwan and Hong Kong star actress Sammi Cheng spoke Friday at the Busan International Film Festival of the physical pain of performance.

The director and co-star of “First Night Nerves” reminisced about Kwan’s previous Busan title “Everlasting Regret,” some 13 years ago. “Last time I was here, I was quite sick. I think I threw myself in too deeply to the film and the character,” said Cheng. “Since then. I’ve had time to recover.”

“In ‘Everlasting Regret,’ Sammi got too far into the film and suffered both mentally and physically,” Kwan said.

But with “First Night Nerves” portraying a transgender stage director and containing multiple LGBT plot points, the conversation returned several times to sex, homosexuality and gender identity.

“My friends ask me if this film means that I want to be transgender. No. I prefer to live as a man with femininity and sensitivity. I’m a hermaphrodite,” said Kwan. “My biggest rival is myself. In the film the women have their own pain.

“In some ways the character of the director (played by Kam Kwok-leung) is trapped inside herself. In other ways she is more disappointed by herself,” said Kwan.

Kwan spoke eloquently about the relationship between the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese movie industries. “Ten years ago, when Hong Kong directors were only beginning to work in China, the Hong Kong industry was well-established, and had the upper hand over China in terms of commercial movies. Now it is interesting to see how far the Chinese industry has come. Its box office is set to overtake America’s and commercial films are so well made that Hong Kong people are being pushed to the edges of the industry now.”

Despite that insight, Kwan, Cheng, Gigi Leung, Angie Chiu and mainland actress Bai Baihe all felt unable to deal with a question about the tax and financing scandals that are currently overwhelming the Chinese film industry, in the wake of the Fan Bingbing tax evasion confession. “It is somebody else’s problem,” said Bai.

Kwan further defied credibility with his response to Variety’s question. “The other actresses don’t know much about it, because they mostly work in Hong Kong.”

More Film

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content