Telling a story through a film takes great skill, but imagine taking a story and adapting it for the small screen. That’s exactly what they’ve done with The Myth.
Imagine an epic story – twins, Da Chuan and Xiao Chuan, are separated when Xiao Chuan gets sent back 2000 years in time to the Qin Dynasty. He embarks on the adventure of his lifetime, joining the volunteer army and fighting to overthrow the Qin and welcome in a new era. At the same time Da Chuan is being stalked by a mysterious man in black and eventually finds clues to help him get his brother back. Of course, throw in a bit of love and you’ve got a gripping story that’s not to be missed.
Though he may not be well-known at the moment, that’s all about to change for Hu Ge, lead actor of The Myth. Hand-picked by Jackie Chan himself to star in the TV-remake of the movie, he talks to inSing about time travelling, love and fighting tigers.
Your television serial The Myth was adapted from Jackie Chan’s 2005 movie of the same title. Have you seen that movie? How different is the TV series from the original movie?
Of course I’ve seen it! I thought Jackie Chan was most dashing in the movie. The biggest difference between the two is the concept of time travel. In the movie, modern-day Jackie is no longer General Meng Yi of the Qin dynasty but his reincarnation. However, in the TV series, Xiao Chuan and Meng Yi are the same person. Although the time spans across a thousand years, the television production enriched the story and made it more complete. We were able to explore the romantic relationship between Meng Yi and Yu Shu, as well as detailing how Xiao Chuan became a real man with a sense of responsibility. You can also see the development of friendship, love as well as the impact of changes in history.
You’ve been in a lot of martial arts movies. What fresh insights did you get out of The Myth?
In the past, martial arts movies have never explored time travelling. Xiao Chuan is from the 21st century, born in the 80s, and so he has a lot of modern ideas, mannerisms and speaking lines even though he’s travelled back to ancient times. This makes him a little awkward and out-of-place in the Qin dynasty. On the other hand, he also understands history from a modern man’s perspective. And so, the thought of changing history through one person’s efforts surfaces. Therein lies the drama.
How did you manage the two different roles? When Xiao Chuan travels 2000 years back to Qin dynasty, did his personality change?
The two characters are actually the same person – Xiao Chuan in present day and General Meng Yi in ancient times. One wears modern clothes while the other wears period costumes. When a modern man travels back to an ancient world, he has to adapt and blend into the society. In the process, Xiao Chuan matures a lot. He used to be a playboy but learned to be faithful and monogamous to only one woman. He didn’t used to be responsible but had to lead a whole army as a general. All these, are really the works of history and fate, pushing a person to fulfil his destiny.
Is there anything in common between you and the character?
I can always find a little of me in every role. The only difference is, Xiao Chuan puts romantic love as his top priority in the later part of the series. I am probably more sensible in this area.
You’ve worked with Bai Bing both in The Myth and Bitter Coffee as a couple. How was it like working with her? Better rapport after two productions?
Bai Bing’s personality is exactly like her name – pure and intelligent. In The Myth, we both fell for each other. But in Bitter Coffee, I was secretly in love with her and pursued her fervently. We are great friends. I didn’t tell her I was in The Myth while we were shooting Bitter Coffee. So when she came on the set, she was fairly surprised and asked me, “What are you doing here?”
Love plays a big role in The Myth. Which do you long for – the modern-day or the ancient-time kind of love?
I believe in love-at-first-sight. I like the kind of love where we both share a lot in common. Perhaps I am more inclined towards the ancient-time.
You had to fight a tiger in one episode. Was it scary shooting that scene?
I was terrified! When I saw that it was a real tiger, I kept thinking about what to do and where to escape if something went wrong during the shoot. When the camera started rolling, I knew there was no way out despite of all those plans. It was so frightening that my knees kept trembling. That’s real fear! Luckily, the tiger was quite obedient to the animal keeper. I still feel shaken every time I recall shooting that scene.
What do you think is the biggest attraction of The Myth? Why would the audience like it?
The script is really well written and the director is very thoughtful. Everyone contributed their best efforts during filming. A TV series of such high quality ought to be appreciated by the audience.
Jackie Chan and Kim Hee Sun sang the theme song in the original movie. You and Bai Bing re-interpreted the same duet Beautiful Myth and made it really popular. How do you feel about the song?
The song is probably one of the top hits in recent years. We were really excited about singing the duet. The lyrics were re-written a little bit to fit the TV series better. When we first sang it, we had not even started filming. Later, we made special arrangements to re-record the song in a studio. As we sang, my mind was filled with vivid images of our filming days. It was a wonderful feeling.
What was the hardest part of filming this TV series? What kind of satisfaction did you get out of it?
The long hours and extended filming period was the most difficult part. Still, being able to fully flesh out the character Xiao Chuan gave me more satisfaction that any hardship was worth it.
The Myth is currently showing on SingTel mioTV Mei Ah Drama Channel (Ch 73). Catch the show at 8.30pm every Monday to Friday.