There are many great fight scenes in the movie. Do you have a favorite?
It would be my first kumite fight. Do you know something funny? I was bashed by Lisa [Marie Henderson] in the face during our fight rehearsals. Lisa, the actress I fought against, her style was krav maga. There’s this moment where I’d go for her waist and she’d smack me with her elbow on my back.
Well, I was a micro-second too slow bending down for her waist, and she smacked me right in the face with her elbow. It hurt. The next day my face swelled. We managed with makeup, etc. I guess if you don’t have injuries, you ain’t really in the ring.
One thing that shooting fight scenes has taught me is that you have to zone in 100 percent. Your mind is focused solely on your opponent, and you have to just zone in to be completely in the moment. Otherwise, accidents happen. It’s actually really liberating when your attention is that razor-sharp-focused.
The climactic fight with Jane Jones (Amy Johnston) was a long battle. How long did it take to practice it? How long to film it?
That was chaotic actually! So much unnecessary tension and drama behind the camera. Obviously, they didn’t schedule enough shoot days for the big fight scene, and thank God Chris [Nahon, the director] asked for more.
From memory, it ended up being four days of shooting for that fight scene, and it was rushed. I had weeks to learn the choreography for Ling’s first onscreen fight scene, which was 45 seconds, and one day to learn this four minutes of choreography, which was the most important fight scene in the film.
Actually, I didn’t even get to learn it. They just showed it to me the day before shooting and then sent a video of the choreography through WeChat for me to get familiar with it overnight. It wasn’t even the entire fight choreography, so I wasn’t too happy about that. Most of the finale fight was taught to me on set while shooting. I mean, by that stage of shooting, there was so much exhaustion amongst the crew, as opposed to the wild enthusiasm at the start, that I guess a lot of the crew were just burned out.
It’s like running a marathon or, as I have been told, like having a three-year relationship in the framework of three months. You go through your infatuation stage, then a breakup and a makeup. People who hate each other at the start are best friends at the end, and people who loved each other at the start can’t stand the sight of each other by the end.
Around the shoot for the finale fight scene, we must have been at the breakup stage, especially amongst the different production departments. There was a lot of tension and so many disagreements regarding how this big fight should be. And poor Amy was under a lot of pressure.
Truth be told, I don’t think the big fight scene was good enough, especially for what it could have been given the skill set of the people involved, but it was pretty damn good for what we pulled off given all the hurdles and limitations. So big applause to the creative team for that.
You fight with weapons and empty-hand techniques in the movie. Do you have a preference?
Not really. It depends on the story.
Would you like to make another action-martial arts movie in the future, maybe Lady Bloodfight 2? Is there an action-martial arts superhero part that you are dying to play?
I’d love to. I’ve always loved action movies. I started my film career working with Jackie Chan. I don’t think that’s an accident. So definitely yes to another martial arts movie. Also, all great stories have action, and that action comes in many varied forms. I don’t think there’s a Lady Bloodfight 2 in the works, but there’s no reason why some of us girls won’t work together in another movie. Amy and I are in constant contact, so I’d love to do another fight scene with her, hopefully topping that finale fight we had in [Lady Bloodfight].
A superhero part? Well, now that Tony Stark has died, maybe I’ll take on his armor. Actually, I don’t mind taking on a version of Spider-Woman in, let’s say, the live-action version of something like Into the Spider-Verse. Time shall tell, ha, ha!
What is your dream project?
I recently watched Dune on the big screen and loved it. If I could ever be in the second installment of Dune, that would be a dream come true. I also was recommended to watch Brand New Cherry Flavor — loved it, too. Stylized masterpieces with clever narratives are always up my alley.
What will your fans see you in next?
Too early for me to divulge anything just yet — I don’t think I’m allowed — but there are things in the works. I’m pretty active on my Instagram, so when the time is right, announcements will be made, and I’ll probably splash it across my socials. So you can follow me to stay up to date.