Lau Ching Wan (left) and Louis Koo (right) at the gala premiere of 'Out of Inferno' at Shaw Lido cinema (Photo: Shaw Asian Films)
“There are no water sprinklers here,” Hong Kong actor Louis Koo said as he surveyed the meeting room at the Marina Bay Sands Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The 42-year-old Hong Kong actor was in town to promote the movie ‘Out of Inferno’ with co-star Lau Ching Wan, and was demonstrating his newfound “skill” at the press conference.
In the movie, Koo plays a firefighter who later becomes the owner of a fire alarm system company.
He quipped that his role has trained him to be incredibly astute when it comes to judging how adequate the fire protection of a place is.
Directed by the Pang brothers (Danny and Oxide Pang) – known for their 2002 horror blockbuster ‘The Eye' – 'Out of Inferno' is the first 3D disaster movie to be filmed in Hong Kong, and was shot over a span of three years with a megabudget of S$25 million.
It opens in Singapore this week.
In their 12th collaboration together, Koo and Lau play estranged brothers forced to work together to get people out of a burning building.
‘Out of Inferno’ trailer
While the subject of the movie is no laughing matter, the two seasoned actors entertained with their wry humour as they recalled the challenges faced during filming.
Speaking to reporters in Cantonese, Lau, 49, said in his deadpan manner that the greatest challenge of filming had to be the lighting.
Both Lau and Koo have dark skin tones, which makes it a headache for the lighting department, especially when someone else was in the scene, Lau said.
“It is fine if it is just us. But when Sinjie (co-star Angelica Lee) was in the frame, the lighting team had a headache trying to make everyone look nice,” he added.
For Koo, the challenge was more than skin-deep, happening during scenes shot in water, especially one of them trapped in an elevator.
He said: “Water scenes are uncommon in Hong Kong films, so filming it was a great challenge for all of us…
“The space was small, there were many actors involved, and we all had to dive into the water.”
What worried him then was a young girl in the cast.
“We adults could get stand-ins, but even if we were to get a stand-in for the young girl, she would still be a young girl,” Koo said in mock frustration, eliciting laughs from the audience.
UNINTENTIONAL ‘ACTION STARS’
While the two actors have been applauded for doing many of the stunt sequences themselves, they never intended for it to be that way.
“We (just) never saw our stand-ins,” Lau said.
“They never asked us about stand-ins,” Koo chimed in, “I think the director just wanted us to do everything ourselves.”
When asked what their real-life response might be when put in a situation where they had to choose between their loved ones and the safety of others, Lau said he “never thought about that”.
“I think when the time comes, I will be the one needing saving, and not me saving other people.”