SINGAPORE - Danger Zone turned out to be a rather appropriate title for a new crime thriller. The cast sustained various minor injuries during filming and home-grown actor Christopher Lee had a small accident on the first day on set.
Lee, 50, plays a shaggy-haired detective trying to solve a string of homicides in the action-packed iQiyi series premiering on Friday (Sept 3).
In a virtual press conference from Taipei, he says: "My very first day on set, I was very excited because it's been a long time since I'd done an action scene."
He was chasing after someone from a truck and was supposed to jump out of it when it stopped.
"But there were problems on the road and we were stopped unexpectedly. I thought that was my cue, so I jumped just as the truck started moving again. Luckily, it wasn't moving fast and I didn't jump from too high so all I got were mild abrasions."
Co-star Vic Chou also got into a car accident, albeit one that was scripted. The 40-year-old Taiwanese actor was in a vehicle that flipped over in a crash. He is best known for his roles in the seminal idol drama Meteor Garden (2001 to 2002) and cop series Black & White (2009).
"There's a machine that we called the rotating barbecue grill, because it can hold the car up and flip it around. It was really tough filming that because it took a long time to film and I was upside down most of the time, to the point that all my blood rushed to my head. In some scenes, I had to open my eyes and it was hard to do even that," he says.
Chou plays an extremely intelligent imprisoned lawyer who offers to help with the police investigation into a serial killer.
His last Taiwanese production was the historical drama Home nine years ago. He says it was the script for Danger Zone that sealed the deal for him. "I stayed up all night to read through it and that shows how solid the script is. I had also just wrapped up a more romantic project and was looking to do something more masculine that didn't revolve around a love story."
The first on-screen pairing of Lee and Chou is highly anticipated as both stars have won the Golden Bell Award for Best Leading Actor in a Television Series. Chou won in 2013 for Home, while Lee clinched it in 2014 for A Good Wife (2013) and has been nominated for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for Workers (2020).
Prior to their collaboration, they had met only once at an awards ceremony.
The cast includes other Taiwanese names like Sandrine Pinna (Trinity Of Shadows, 2021), and promising young actors Berant Chu (The Magician On The Skywalk, 2021) and Tseng Ching-hua, who played Birdy in the hit romance film Your Name Engraved Herein (2020).
Lee says: "My impression of Vic is that he's someone who's introverted and a good boy. That's true, but he's also very mature now.
"Everyone is serious on set but the way he handles his character makes me feel how completely invested he is in the role, even during break times, which makes me not want to interrupt him. He also has the toughest lines in the script and I really respect the effort he put in for that."
Chou also sings Lee's praises. "When Christopher came on set, he immediately made you feel like he's someone world-weary with a complicated personal history."
He also jokes that Lee's role was more fun than his. Most of Lee's scenes take place in a police station, while Chou's character is stuck in prison for much of the series.
Chou says: "He must have such a positive energy. I kept hearing from other people how bustling and fun it was on their end, it's as if no one wanted to get off work. Then on my side (in prison), it was so dead and quiet."
Danger Zone premieres on Friday (Sept 3) on iQiyi International.