SINGAPORE, July 6 — The 33-year-old Taiwan-born actor has enough versatility — and looks, of course — to play both good and bad guys, but he shines particularly as Joe Lee, the villain in the Cold War series of films. Peng was in Singapore to promote Cold War 2, the follow-up to the 2012 police thriller Cold War, in which he stars alongside Aaron Kwok, Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung Ka Fai.
In order to play Joe Lee, Peng studied the film A Clockwork Orange, Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Night, Anthony Hopkins’ in Silence of the Lambs and Edward Norton’s in Primal Fear. And, he stated emphatically, it’s much more fun to play the bad guy.
“You always want to be a pirate, right? Pirates are interesting, right? You get to do a lot of different stuff,” he said, including “abnormal actions that people never imagine you can do.”
For example, he said, he created a sinister finger-snapping gesture for his character. “If you’re a normal police guy and you do this snapping thing, it will be like, ‘What are you doing?’ (But) it works because I’m a villain. People don’t know what you’re going to do. It’s like a boxing game. You want to throw a jab, you want to throw a hook, to surprise the audience. You don’t want people to know what’s your next move.”
That, of course, is on top of the fact that “pirates have the coolest s***, right? And cool tattoos. But if the pirate dies early, I’ll play the policeman,” he quipped.
The testosterone-laden Cold War was a fun ride for him because “all boys like action movies, right?” he said. “To get the chance to hold a real gun and to shoot real bullets was amazing. And you can shoot at Aaron Kwok on set! Why not! But the part that sucks is that you can never get him. You can’t shoot the screen god,” he laughed.
Working with Kwok and Leung, and being in the same film as Chow, was “a dream come true” for Peng. “I watched their films growing up. In secondary school, I even parted my hair in the centre like Aaron Kwok’s. I soon realised it wasn’t an easy look to pull off,” he sniggered.
The bromance that has developed amongst the cast is evident. “Usually, I do the talking, but with them, I don’t have to. They are more interesting than I am. They can tell a million jokes on set,” Peng said. — TODAY
*Cold War 2 opens in cinemas July 8.