The Hangover Part II’s Jamie Chung plays Lady Silk in ‘The Man With Iron Fists’. Producer Marc Abraham explains Lady Silk’s role in the action-adventure: “To buy the freedom of his beloved prostitute, the Blacksmith does what he has to do and builds weapons for bad guys. He’s not proud of it, but he’s justified it. In the end, he decides to free himself from all this and to do the right thing: to destroy those weapons and the people who have forced him to make them, and to hopefully free the woman he loves. Ultimately, Jamie’s character is in love with him, but not so much that she would sacrifice her freedom. She wants wealth, power and to get out. She’s used him to some degree, but he’s touched her.”
What did you think of the script when you first read it?
To be honest, when I first read the script, I didn’t quite get it. Then I met with RZA and I was totally sold on it once I saw his vision.
What was it about RZA that convinced you to be in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS?
His enthusiasm. This is something he has wanted to do for his entire life. When he finally got the chance to do it, he partnered up with all of his buddies. You couldn’t say no to something like this.
Who is Lady Silk?
She is kind of the driving force for RZA’s character, the Blacksmith, because he needs a reason to make all these weapons and save all this money. In a way, she gets the torch passed on from Madame Blossom, Lucy Liu’s character, and is the next one inline as part of Madame Blossom’s sort of female society, known as the Black Widows.
What do you like about your character?
I like that she is seductive, but at the same time very selective. She is only with the Blacksmith.
Were you a fan of martial arts movies before getting involved in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS?
I grew up watching films like Bruce Lee’s ENTER THE DRAGON. To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with many of the vintage kung fu movies that RZA put me up to, but I’m glad he did!
What do you believe RZA’s vision has added to the martial arts genre?
We have recently seen beautiful ballet-style martial arts films like CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON but they are nothing like this movie. THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS has resurrected a new style of cinema.
Quentin Tarantino has been involved in this project. How would you compare THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS to his previous work?
People can compare it to Quentin’s previous work, but THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS is kind of its own thing. Everything about this movie is just so cool!
And what can you say of Eli Roth’s role as a screenwriter and a producer?
Eli is lovely. He is quite the character and was really important to have on set. I believe Eli, being an experienced director, was able to help RZA stay on track. He knew what shots he needed and how to handle the logistics.
Speaking of the logistics, were you impressed with the sets in China?
They were beautiful, representing old-school China. For instance, the set decorators took an abandoned building and turned it into Madame Blossom’s House of Ladies.
So, what was the experience of being in Shanghai like?
Shanghai is an amazing port city and it’s quite eclectic. Everyone speaks English and there are lots of cultures. We stayed in a little town west of Shanghai where no one spoke English, so we spent a lot of time together, even though we tried to sneak into the city whenever we could.
Hong Kong director and legend Corey Yuen designed the fight sequences. How was it to work with Corey?
I have done stunt work before. There were so many professional fighters on this movie so it was easy to catch on. I was really impressed with Lucy Liu because she barely had any time to rehearse her stunts and she killed it!
What can you say about Lucy Liu?
She is so beautiful, talented and such a true artist. I aspire to be like her.
And how was Russell Crowe?
I barely got to work with him, but that was perfect because his character is quite intimidating, though very charming.
RZA wrote, shot and starred in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS as the Blacksmith. Do you think that was a lot to tackle on his directorial debut?
You’re talking about a gentleman. RZA is absolutely lovely! And it’s interesting because he is so confident and outgoing on screen, but then very Zen and shy in real life. He has so much going on in his head that you have to trust him because there is a reason for everything he does.
What was the energy like on set then?
Yes, there was a lot of joking around. Every day was an adventure!
And what did you think of the film when you saw it finished?
I thought, “RZA, if I ever questioned you, please forgive me because this is everything thing you said it would be and cooler!”
Did you enjoy the music?
I think it’s fantastic! RZA has some incredible people collaborating in the soundtrack. He has worked with so many great artists in the past, that to finally ask for that favor back for his own film was pretty amazing.
What have you taken back from this whole experience?
I am just in awe with how well it all came together!
“The Man With The Iron Fists” is released and distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corp.
Showing on January 30. Nationwide!!