Asia’s biggest actor-director pairing is back with their most challenging project to date.
Also featured - with even more prominence, thanks to a controversial move by Wong that left many of Tony's scenes out of the final cut - is Chinese screen siren Zhang Ziyi. The Golden Globe-nominated beauty plays the daughter of a martial arts clan leader.
When asked to comment on reports that Tony was unhappy with the director for editing out so many of his scenes, Tony refuted the claims, saying, "I'm perfectly fine with whatever Wong chooses to do with his work. I respect all of his decisions, and it's up to him to decide how he wants to tell his stories."
In a separate roundtable interview with xinmsn, he further explained, "As an actor, I've done the necessary. Besides, you learn a lot from every role you take, and this one was no different."
Referring to a statement he made at the press conference on martial arts being more than just "fights and moves", Wong hopes that audiences will take home something from the movie's philosophy and spirit too. "This movie has themes that most people can relate to. Perhaps there are lessons and quotes you can share with your friends, or apply to yourself."
So is there really no bad blood between the two most well-respected names in Chinese cinema? Well, as Wong quipped not long before ending our interview, "Right now our biggest conflict is choosing what to have for dinner tonight - bak kut teh, or Hainanese chicken rice?"
The Grandmaster (PG-13) opens in cinemas on Jan 31, with extensive sneak previews running from Jan 25 to 30.
Click through for photos from The Grandmaster press conference and gala premiere.