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Interview of Vincent Sze : the French sidekick
The great comeback: SPL and Co 1/1 - Page 4
Author(s) : Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 13/3/2007
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Luc Besson
Abba Chan Tat Chee
Benny Chan Muk Sing
Jackie Chan
Jaycee Chan Cho Ming
Sammo Hung Kam Bo
Jamie Luk Kim Ming
Andy On Chi Kit
Tong Ka Wai
Nicholas Tse Ting Fung
Daniel Wu Yin Cho
Jacky Wu Jing
Simon Yam Tat Wah
Derek Yee Tung Sing
Donnie Yen Chi Tan
Miriam Yeung Chin Wah
Wilson Yip Wai Shun
Shawn Yue Man Lok
Movies :
Bullets Over Summer
Dark War
Dragon Squad
Drink, Drank, Drunk
Infernal Affairs
Invisible Target
Juliet In Love
Legend Of The Dragon
Sha Po Lang
Twins Mission
< Previous
Page 3 : The hard road to supporting roles
Interview conducted by Arnaud Lanuque at the Rideau in Hong Kong on March 13, 2007.

Thanks to Vincent Sze for his collaboration and to Mike Leeder for his help.

Thanks to Mélanie and Arale for the translation.

HKCinemagic : But you came back again to HK. Why?
Vincent Sze : I didn't expect anything at the time. I had no money, no real network, no famous or rich father to help me. It works a lot like that in HK. I didn't really give up because it has always remained a goal somewhere on my mind but I let things go. If that happened that was ok, otherwise never mind. And, at Lan Kwai Fong, I met againAbba Chan. He's a very very kind man. We had a glass of Bordeaux and he asked me what I was doing in HK. I told him I wanted to do films but without any network that was tough.

Luckily, Abba Chan told me "I'm going to finance a film called SPL ". He asked me what I could do. Me: “I have a black belt in Karate and Tae Kwon Do.” Him: “Very well, I want someone like that!” But in fact, he didn't offer me anything right away. Because well, with a glass of wine, you never know, he may have forgotten the day after. And a fortnight later, his secretary calls me. I go to the appointment the day after and Abba Chan shows me the script. At last an interesting role! An infiltrated cop. Moreover, after having seen Infernal Affairs, I tell myself it's an interesting part! And he asked me if I wasn't embarrassed to play a small part. But I didn't have the time to say no that he goes: “No, you don't want to say you're embarrassed, I understand, let's not talk about it anymore!” He's a funny guy Abba Chan, that's his way of talking. He supported me anyway. Unfortunately, meanwhile, there has been Wu Jing, who is famous and I think it has lowered the importance of my part. I was a bit disappointed but I was all the same happy to have been able to play with all those stars especially Simon Yam. He's a gentleman I really liked. I remember, I shot 3 days in China . And while I was having breakfast, he was shooting his scene. When he finished, he came to see me and asked me what I was eating. In China , it's not an ideal food, it's very fat. Simon Yam saw it and closed the box, threw it away, took me by the hand and said: “Come, we'll eat elsewhere”. We went to a 5-star restaurant and he invited me. We ate together and he told me: “Abba Chan doesn't have time to take care of you so I will”. He's really very nice. It has marked me a lot.

HKCinemagic : In SPL, did you play in scenes which were cut in the end ?
V S : Yes, my conversation on the phone with Simon Yam, just before he arrests the band of the house. It's a thirty-second scene.

In SPL, under the eye of the great Samo Hung

HKCinemagic : And Sammo Hung? How was it to work with him?
V S : Very friendly too. He makes everybody laugh. He asked me where I came from and when I told him France, he started saying: “Bonjour, bonjour!” (laughs). “Yeah, I went to Paris with Jackie Chan but we couldn't speak French, we were bored, Paris is beautiful”. He tells a lot of stories!
HKCinemagic : Is it thanks to Samo that you landed in Legend of The Dragon ?
V S : I just made a special appearance in the film. I didn't see the scenario, I didn't see the film. I was told that during the premiere gala, the producer was so disappointed that he went out of the room in a fury and started to tear up all the posters outside (laughs). He was so disappointed!

A cook from France ! (Vincent Sze – 1st left)

HKCinemagic : On the other hand, you appeared in a superior production, Drink, Drank, Drunk by Derek Lee in which you played a Frenchman along with Daniel Wu.
V S : Daniel Wu has a good reputation in Hong Kong and China , that's why he got the main lead. On the set, I taught him how to speak French. But Derek Yee didn't want to disturb me to give him lessons on the set and, eventually, there was a scene in which he runs after Miriam Yeung and there is a sentence, we don't even know what he's saying. I made some efforts on my part but it's not easy to teach French. Daniel's girlfriend [Lisa Selesner] also speaks French by the way and she could help him.
HKCinemagic : Was it a good experience to work with Derek Yee?
V S : Yes, it was nice. It was just a pity that I couldn't get the chance to play the main lead since I could have put more dialogues in French to really show the origins of the character. But it's the market's law.

With Chen Kuen Tai in Dragon Tiger Gate

HKCinemagic : The year after, you worked again with Wilson Yip in Dragon Tiger Gate .
V S : Wilson Yip is an intense man. But he felt ill-at-ease on the set. A bit like Jamie Luk on Dark War but with even worse pressure. When we watch Bullets Over Summer, Juliet in Love or SPL and after we watch Dragon Tiger Gate, we can clearly see there's something wrong. I saw some of Wilson Yip's facial expressions on the set which said it all. But I think he was directing with locks. All the same the film did well in China and not bad in HK. Not as well as expected but it was ok. On a personal level, I can't find the Wilson Yip that I knew in the film. It's a shame he didn't get more freedom to do the film.
HKCinemagic : And Donnie Yen ?
V S : He's a great choreographer. He always has new things to show us. In SPL for example, he put some ju jitsu in the fights. That really shows his talent. On Dragon Tiger Gate, he did a good job as usual.

A small styled appearance for Dragon Squad

HKCinemagic : You also did Dragon Squad.
V S : For Dragon Squad, there is a link with the film I'm currently shooting, Invisible Target by Benny Chan. The assistant director, whose name is Calvin [Tong], offered me 7 days of shooting for a part in Dragon Squad. And finally, it has become 3 days as an extra. After SPL, sorry, but I can't do that anymore. A special appearance at the most but no extra. After he apologized. I was disappointed but then I didn't sulk on the set, I did my job as a professional. And so Calvin apologized but I didn't hold it against him, it wasn't within his fault, he was only an assistant director, not a producer. Meanwhile, I shot Dragon Tiger Gate and did some festivals, Hong Kong Filmart, Cannes. I also did a little break and at the end of November 2006, Calvin called me. He apologized again and offered a part for Invisible Target, 30 days of shooting! “Ok, when do I start?” He tells me “on Monday”, it was Friday 11pm ! And we had no contract or anything. So I went to the production office the day after, we signed the whole thing and straight away started the fittings, etc.

On the shooting of 'Invisible Target

HKCinemagic : Is the movie «  Invisible Target  » going well?
V S : Yeah, great! Loads of gunfights! Not many martial fights on the other hand. I tried an AK47, a Colt Magnum and guns of Hong Kong policemen. I also give some blows. In the first scene, my punch really hit through a car window. Because the explosion [meant to break the window at the same time as the impact, Editor's note] wasn't well-coordinated. But it looks good on the screen. I am in Jacky Wu Jing and Andy On's gang, we are 3 brothers against Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yu and Jaycee Chan. By the way I had turned down Jacky Wu Jing's role in Twins Mission.
HKCinemagic : Undoubtedly, you're always competing with him !
V S : I don't see it like that. He's already a veteran even if we are the same age. He started in cinema in main leads much earlier than me. He already has a lot of experience and gave me much advice on the set of Invisible Target.
HKCinemagic : Any projects on the French side?
V S : I'd like to meet Luc Besson the next time he's in HK. I also had an offer to shoot in a French film, in France, in November. I'd love to work with Vincent Cassel.
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Page 3 : The hard road to supporting roles

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