Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chow Yun-Fat Wants to Play Lead Role in Hollywood Movie

International action star and heartthrob Chow Yun-Fat, who plays the pirate lord Captain Sao Feng in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," says he'd like to snag a leading-man role in a Hollywood drama or romance but is getting lost in translation.

Chow, whose acting range and stature in Asia have been compared with that of Robert De Niro, voiced frustration at racial barriers that persist in America's movie industry.

"Honestly, I prefer (to do) more dramas. In American society ... Asian actors are not accepted as leading men," he said in an interview last week for the "Pirates" publicity tour. "Maybe we have to wait for a few more years."

"Pirates" director Gore Verbinski said that as soon as the writers decided the plot would take the film to Singapore, he knew he would try to cast Chow.

"Once we knew that, there was nobody else," Verbinski said. "Yun-Fat is a living legend."

The 51-year-old Hong Kong actor is known to Asian audiences as a cross between Cary Grant and James Bond, but in Hollywood he has had trouble moving beyond the period films like "Anna and the King" and martial arts fare like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" that U.S. audiences know best.

"He has experienced a glass ceiling in Hollywood," said filmmaker Jeff Adachi, who explored the topic in his PBS documentary "The Slanted Screen."

"The tragedy is that there are roles that should be offered to Asian leading men but people are not used to seeing that ... so it's something that studios are not willing to invest in," Adachi said.

Source: Reuters

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