Aug 29, 2016

    Eddie Peng's 'most risky' mission


    IN HIS career spanning 14 years, Taiwan actor Eddie Peng has played many romantic characters.

    But in the upcoming action thriller Operation Mekong, the idol star walked a different path.

    He took lessons in weapons handling and close combat training to play a daredevil government agent who hunts down criminals in the notorious Golden Triangle, one of Asia's biggest opium production areas.

    The film, set for a China release on Sept 30, is based on a real incident which saw 13 Chinese sailors brutally killed by a Myanmar drug-trafficking ring on Oct 5, 2011.

    In Beijing to promote the movie last week, Peng showed up in the military gear featured in the action thriller.

    He said Operation Mekong is his third feature directed by Hong Kong action master Dante Lam.

    The other two were Unbeatable (2013), featuring a boxing legend, and To The Fore (2015), which centres on cyclists.

    "Lam is a demanding director and always wants the scene to be as close to reality as possible," said Peng.

    Lam earlier revealed to China Daily that he researched some confidential files from the Ministry of Public Security to bring authenticity to the script.

    As most of the film was shot in Myanmar, Peng said the temperature was mostly around 45 deg C.

    There were mosquitoes and snakes.

    "Honestly, it was the most risky and toughest environment that I've ever worked in," said the 34-year-old.

    The cast also included veteran actor Zhang Hanyu, known for Tsui Hark's revolutionary epic The Taking Of Tiger Mountain and who stars as the leader of an anti-drug squad.

    He said weapons he used in the movie were real.

    "All these things - the costume and weapons - weigh more than 30kg. I have to run very fast wearing these in one scene in which I'm chased by a dog," he recalled, adding that the patriotic film will boost domestic recognition of the action genre.