Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Rabu, Mac 11, 2009

#242. Cinema : Heroic pairs in Dragonball: Evolution

Odd partners Bulma (Emmy Rossum) and Yamcha (Park Joon-hyung).

A spunky cast brings to life cult manga characters in the comic book adventure Dragonball: Evolution.Emanuelle Grey Rossum (better known as Emmy Rossum) and Park Joon-hyung play a most unlikely couple in Dragonball: Evolution but it somehow worked wonders.Rossum and Park really got along like a house on fire. They seemed to know each other so well that one would start saying something and the other would complete the sentence.

Rossum plays Bulma, a scientist and inventor intent on retrieving the mystical dragonballs to create an indefinite source of power.Park plays bad boy Yamcha, a thief who turns over a new leaf and joins Bulma on her quest.Recalling how she prepared for the part of Bulma, Rossum said she got to know Dragonball through the American TV cartoon series.

“When I got the chance to audition, I started buying the manga and reading them to get an idea of who Bulma was and her original essence. I think she’s a very fiery, very spicy, know-it-all funny, sexy girl,” Rossum said at a roundtable interview in Bangkok recently.

The 22-year-old American actress is also a singer/songwriter who has appeared in 20 operas and sung in five languages.

Tall and buff, the 36-year-old Park is best known as a member of the now-defunct boyband G.O.D. The Korean actor who speaks perfect American English made his Hollywood debut in Speed Racer (2008) as a bleached blonde Yakuza driver.

Rossum, whose screen credits include The Day after Tomorrow, The Phantom of the Opera and Poseidon, gushed about the physical requirements of her role. “I’d never done an action movie before and I had to learn how to fight. I had to learn how to shoot a gun and ride a bike and not kill anyone while I was doing both those things.

“I had just two weeks to learn to ride a motorcycle and I had Chow Yun-fat (who plays Master Roshi) and Justin Chatwin seated at the back. I was really nervous the first time I did it because I’d only ridden a motocycle a few times so I forgot to put the brake on and we kind of slid downhill a bit.”

Park, who dressed casually to play down his rock star persona, added, “I was really flattered to be picked to play a role that I admired as a kid as I grew up watching the anime and playing with the games and toys.

“I’m a newcomer to acting, especially in Hollywood films. I was very excited but also a little pressured because there was such a huge following of the Dragonball empire.”

“Oh! He’s just being humble. Joon Park’s a massive star in Korea, when we got off the plane, there were thousands of his fans waiting and they pushed us all away to the side,” said Rossum with a laugh.

Chemistry 101

Justin Chatwin and Jamie Chung share the same initials and play a couple in Dragonball: Evolution, but off the set, they have little else in common.

When quizzed about their seeming lack of sizzle, Chatwin (War of the Worlds) said they “did a lot of chemistry tests”. In fact, Chung and him could not even agree where they met for the first time – he said Durango (in Mexico) and she said Los Angeles.

Chatwin plays Goku, a heroic young warrior who protects the Earth from rogues bent on dominating the universe and controlling the mystical Dragonballs.

Chung plays Chi Chi, a pretty college student who is also an enthusiastic martial artist.

The 25-year-old Korean-American TV actress was quite excited about her big screen debut. “Going from small cable shows to a major motion picture with a big budget, everything is bigger so I just love it. For a first movie experience, it was the best.”

Chung had to train in kickboxing, karate and Thai boxing and was especially excited about one of her action scenes in which her character Chi Chi fights another ‘Chi Chi’. “I had to learn both sets of choreography and film both sides of the fight.

“There’s wirework training, conditioning, basic martial arts, fight choreography,” she spoke of the rigorous training regimen under the auspices of the premier stunt performance company, 87Eleven, which has executed action scenes in movies The Matrix, The Bourne Supremacy, Mr & Mrs Smith and 300.

So, did Chatwin’s Goku do the Kamehameha (Goku’s signature attack in the manga series)? “Yeah! It was really important for me to get it right. I only do it once in this movie. The fans were blowing and I had to do it.”

Apart from the physical demands of training for the fight scenes, the 26-year-old Canadian actor also had to deal with being a Caucasian playing the title character in a movie adapted from an Asian cult manga.

“For me, he’s not Asian, American or Canadian. Goku is an archetype and he lives in all of us. It’s a pretty big resposibility playing Goku since he’s such an iconic character.”

For the quintessential role of Goku, Chatwin was said to have tried out up to 40 different looks with subtle changes in the hair and outfit.

“The first thing I asked was about the hair. In the end, we used about 40 cans of hairspray and that’s about a quarter of the production budget,” he quipped.

A sequel titled Dragonball: Reborn is said to be in the works and Chatwin will feature next in Jeff Woolnough’s action-adventure Riding the Pine. Chung will next be seen in Stewart Hendler-helmed horror-thriller Sorority Row.

Dragonball: Evolution, distributed by Twentieth Century Fox, opens in cinemas nationwide on Thursday.

Source :
The Star

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