I’ve always believed that an actor could embody any role.
Eddie Peng has left quite an impression with his dashing smile and his chiseled features. During his first few years of debut in the entertainment industry, Eddie could be seen playing several roles on Taiwanese TV dramas and coming-of-age films, among them popular classics which paved his way to success in the film industry.
<Operation Mekong>, a crime and action film produced in China-Hong Kong, which premiered last year, earned Eddie Peng critical acclaim and brought forth new challenges for the young actor. Eddie’s character is a spy in the Golden Triangle drug ring. In a war-fire setting accompanied by thrilling operations, this film clearly steers Eddie away from his usual on-screen roles as he had had to undergo new styles for every scene which depicts his networking with other characters. Eddie also had to strengthen his linguistics for his role, as he needed to converse in different languages such as Thai, Burmese and English.
While it might seem like a basic crime-action film, perhaps the most intriguing selling point of this movie is the way it carefully depicts human nature and the way each character handles his personal life. For purposes of fully embodying his character, Eddie has done extensive research and preparation with the help of the crew to emulate a realistic and personal experience.
Eddie Peng has recently made a name for himself in the Chinese film industry, be it historical martial films or spy movies. He has taken a turn from coming-of-age dramas to a range of impressionable films, thereby upgrading his acting career.
While he has been labeled by many as an actor stereotyped into ‘dramas’, ‘martial arts films’ or even as the archetypal ‘Mr Perfect’, but Eddie has always reasserted that he is just an ordinary actor. Having worked with several professional martial artists, Eddie considers himself to be far from their standards but has taken opportunities such as these to understand how far he has come in self-development.
He maintains the idea that an actor should be versatile in handling any role, which is also part of the fun of acting. Eddie sees his physical stamina as an accessory and would strive to enhance it where the role requires so. As an actor, he tries to embody and give life to his on-screen character.
Throughout KingsSleeve’s interview with Eddie Peng, it’s not hard to see that Eddie has a passionate outlook towards his profession.
What prompted you to take up a role in <Operation Mekong>?
I personally like the theme around which the film plot is built, and as an actor I don’t believe in restricting myself to a particular design of character. The film genre of Operation Mekong was able to muster a sense of righteousness within myself as the setting of the movie requires so. It’s not a very common story plot, so when one seizes upon the opportunity, I suppose one should give his best.
What’s the most unforgettable moment throughout the shooting of the film?
Perhaps the most unforgettable scene would be the scenes with vigorous exchange of fire or the use of grenade launchers. While we didn’t use real grenade launchers, it really made me realize the fragile nature of human life. There were a couple of times when the remnants of the grenade launchers exploded into our ears and on our faces, which was a very surreal experience. There were also scenes where we had to do our own stunts, strapped with heavy equipment, and this enhances the acting experience.
How does it feel like to work with Zhang Han-yu?
Han-yu is like an older brother who is exceptionally good at delivering his lines, and there were times when I would ask him for help on that particular area during shooting. We have a lot of common interests so it’s not difficult to get along with each other.
In retrospect of all your roles, which character would you like to become?
Be it Fang Xin-Wu or Joe Lee from Cold War, I think every character holds a special place in my heart, the reason for which was the basis of my undertaking of these roles in the first place. There are many great qualities in each of the characters that I would like to consider embodying in real life, so it helps with self-development.
What other roles would you like to try out next? What breakthrough do you seek to achieve?
I think an actor should develop himself with every different role he takes on. My current idea is that as long as I am able to work with a director I like, I would continue my acting career as far as my growing age allows me to. In fact, I think a great part about growing up, while having a profession in acting, is that it extends the list of characters one could play on-screen without having to make additional changes.
There are many other genres which I have yet to challenge, but I do believe in seizing the day and being an opportunist when it comes to probabilities. The most important thing for me to consider is that the process of landing a role in a film should be natural and supported by continuing effort.
Operation Mekong will premiere on Astro Channel 322 on the 14th of May, 9p.m.
Further Reading : Gordon Lam’s Moment of Glory: A Milestone in 30 Years