Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse shed tears at Raging Fire’s press conference during the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival on 14 June as the actors remembered the late director Benny Chan. The latter passed away after completing his directional duties.
At the press conference, a director's chair representing the late director was placed on centre stage. Seeing this set-up, both Yen and Tse shed tears, and their red eyes were still visible in the group photo.
Tse revealed further that he had not had the chance to participate in any action movies in recent years and jumped at the opportunity when approached to star in a film with Yen. “Donnie Yen is my idol. I watched all of his movies, and I imitated his moves, wrecking a few houses over the years,” Tse shared.
While the pair had worked together in 2006 on the movie Dragon Tiger Gate, they did not have the chance to trade blows on the movie. “He was my brother in the movie, not my opponent. I have wanted to trade blows with him to learn from him,” Tse let on.
When asked if his dreams came true with Raging Fire, Tse shared that Yen is a good actor and hence, would “stop his blows a second before hitting me, so I am only half satisfied.”
In return, Yen joked that Tse has a knack for getting hit and often tells him to give it his all. “I said, ‘You can’t get hurt. How are we going to continue filming if you are hurt?’” Yen also revealed that the duo could have worked together in Shaolin, but he had to drop out of the 2011 movie due to scheduling conflicts.
Raging Fire is the posthumous work of director Chan, who had passed away in August 2020 from nasopharyngeal cancer. It was revealed that he had fallen ill during the movie’s production and was later diagnosed with cancer. The director had completed his directing duties for the film but could not take part in the film’s post-production due to his illness.
In the highlights shown during the press conference, there was a fierce gun battle scene in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui area and an ultimate showdown between Yen and Tse’s characters. Yen recalled director Chan’s last moments, sharing that all he had on his mind was completing the movie. “He was suffering through chemotherapy, and he was so thin. He couldn’t even eat much, but he was always in high spirits. He never stopped talking about Raging Fire. Even though his cancer spread after working on the movie for a few months, he still continued to direct.”
Tse shared that Raging Fire is the movie he is the proudest of amongst his works in the last 10 years. He called the late director Chan his mentor, saying that he first acted in Chan’s movie when he was 19. “I was eating when director Chan told me to ‘keep the faith’. I think about this every time I eat.”
Raging Fire will be premiering in Malaysia on 30 July 2021 and Singapore on 31 July 2021.