Action film director John Woo is a softie at heart

Pictured (from left) are director John Woo, Actress Zhang Ziyi, actor Tong Dawei and John Woo's daughter Angeles Woo at the press conference of the movie The Crossing, which is being screened as part of the Singapore International Film Festival on De
Pictured (from left) are director John Woo, Actress Zhang Ziyi, actor Tong Dawei and John Woo's daughter Angeles Woo at the press conference of the movie The Crossing, which is being screened as part of the Singapore International Film Festival on Dec 4, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Hong Kong director John Woo may be known for his swashbuckling action films, but he is a real softie at heart.

For his latest romance war flick The Crossing, he incorporated a memory of himself and his wife into the movie, through a passionate waltz scene between China actor Huang Xiaoming and South Korean co-star Song Hye Kyo.

"When I was young, my wife and I loved dancing. I remember swirling with her on the dance floor.

"I'm a shy guy, I don't really know how to express my feelings. On the way home, I would pluck flowers for my wife and give it to her," reveals the 68-year-old Woo.

He was in town with the cast to promote the two-parter movie, which revolves around the fates of three couples in war-torn China and is also based on the sinking of the Chinese steamer Taiping in 1949. The first part opens in cinemas here on Friday, and the second part is expected to be released in May 2015.

Woo was joined by his cast - famed Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi , Chinese actor Tong Dawei and Hong Kong actress Angeles Woo, who is also the director's daughter.

They will be walking down the red carpet for the Singapore premiere of the first part of The Crossing on Thursday night at the Shaw Theatres Lido. The movie is screened as part of Singapore International Film Festival. Fans can catch a glimpse of the cast and director at the event at the Shaw House Urban Plaza at 7.30pm.

The film's star-studded cast includes Taiwanese-Japanese Takeshi Kaneshiro and China's Huang Xiaoming. Woo's daughter Angeles has a bit role as the sister-in-law of Kaneshiro's doctor.

The younger Woo, 33, provides a rare insight into her dad's lovey-dovey side.

She says: "Sometimes my dad (is romantic), but I don't see it all the time. He's very caring and never brings work home. He makes dinner for everyone. That's just another way of showing his affection.

"In this film, he uses some memories from the past to illustrate the love story. That's a very nice touch."

nggwen@sph.com.sg