Wang Baoqiang stars in Stephen Chow's Chinese New Year film

Director Stephen Chow
Director Stephen Chow

BEIJING • When Chinese actor Wang Baoqiang started out with bit parts, he found solace in Stephen Chow's King Of Comedy (1999), about the rocky path to fame.

Wang, who has since made good in the industry, is now the star in director Chow's upcoming Chinese New Year release, The New King Of Comedy.

Speaking to the media in Beijing over the weekend, Chow said: "Our story is about extras, so we had to find a man who is a big star now, but had early experience as an extra. Wang fits the job description perfectly."

According to china.org.cn, Chow's message in the movie is that there are no short cuts to success, with Wang revealing that, for one scene, he had to do 50 takes.

Chow also walked the talk that support must be given to those willing to work hard to pursue their dreams. He recruited girl group Flurry Girls, who did not triumph in 2018 reality show Produce 101 China on Tencent Video, to record the movie's theme song.

"I heard that they had failed, but that doesn't matter, for who hasn't failed?" he noted.

Chow himself has a stellar record at the Chinese New Year box office, with Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons (2013) netting US$205 million and The Mermaid making US$525 million in 2016.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2019, with the headline 'Wang Baoqiang stars in Stephen Chow's festive film'. Print Edition | Subscribe