Directed by Wong Kar-wai and starring Tony Leung, “The Grand Master” has met with countless obstacles from the start. Seven years ago, Tony Leung started learning Wing Chun from Master Yip Man’s son, Yip Chun, to prepare for the movie. However, Wong Kar-wai kept delaying the film.
Last year Raymond Wong took over with his version of Ip Man, starring Donnie Yen. Not only did producer Wong’s version do well at the box office, it also garnered many awards.
Undeterred by it, Wong Kar-wai stated that he will shoot his version in August/September. To prepare for the role, Tony has been training relentlessly. During a practice fighting session, he was kicked in the left arm, which broke on impact.
Bulking up with martial arts and training at the gym
To prepare for the movie, Tony has begun training since October 2008. Besides practicing Wing Chun, he has also been working out at the gym to build up his body. As filming was scheduled to start in August/September, he has steadily increased his training sessions. Starting early morning he will train with different Wing Chun masters to practice his fighting. With such an intense schedule, something finally went wrong.
Practiced fighting with five Wing Chun masters
Tony began training as usual with five Wing Chun masters. Tony appeared very strong in his attack, going towards one master at full force. The master was surprised by him and naturally reacted in self defense, using his own force to counter attack and kicked Tony’s left arm. Tony’s legs then buckled and he painfully held onto his left arm with his right arm. Since his arm had no strength, he went to the hospital for a check up. After x-rays were taken, it showed that one of the bones in his left arm was broken. The doctor suggested that Tony’s arm be put in a cast, but Tony refused saying that muscle atrophy will set in and all the work he spent building the muscles in his arm will be wasted.
Hasn’t notified wife Carina
As broken bones take about 5 to 6 weeks to heal, the doctor has told him not to move his arm at all costs. Not only can he not practice Wing Chun, he’s not even allowed to go jogging. But Tony is very anxious to get back to training as he’s afraid that if he doesn’t practice, his martial arts skills will decline. The only thing he can practice now is his leg work. Tony said that he was prepared for injuries when he signed on for a martial arts film. He knows that the actual filming process will be even tougher. Getting injured now at least gives him preparation for what’s to come.
Has he notified wife Carina, who’s currently filming in Hengdian? He replies, “It was too sudden. I went to the hospital right away and didn’t have a chance to notify her.”