Film legend Lin Ching-hsia threatened with swords, guns to take up roles in the past


The 69-year-old was in Taipei to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards on Nov 25. Photo: AP

Former screen goddess Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia was once coerced into filming by three men wielding samurai swords, adding that she also had people flashing guns at her.

The former actress disclosed this during an interview on Nov 26 with Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS’ Insight People segment.

The 69-year-old was in Taipei to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards on Nov 25.

On the programme hosted by presenter Georgina Fang, Lin revealed that she was approached to star in many movies at the height of her popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The film legend made her movie debut at age of 19 with the romance movie Outside The Window (1973) and went on to dabble in films of other genres in Hong Kong, such as crime action film Police Story (1985), spy thriller Peking Opera Blues (1986) and sword-fighting flick The Bride With White Hair (1993).

Her portrayal of androgynous pugilist Dongfang Bubai in Swordsman II (1992) made the character one of the most memorable in Hong Kong cinema.

She retired from acting after marrying Hong Kong businessman Michael Ying, 73, in 1994.

On the programme, Lin said many people would look her up at her old home in Taipei’s Yongkang Street to offer her roles then.

In one unforgettable instance, several men carrying samurai swords approached her on a film set in Yangmingshan on the outskirts of Taipei.

“I was filming Flag Of Honour at the time,” Lin said, referring to the 1987 war thriller directed by the late Taiwanese filmmaker Ting Shan-hsi. “The crew told me that three producers had come up the mountain to meet me about movies.”

Fang asked Lin if she has encountered guns in addition to swords.

“There were guns. How could there be no guns?” Lin said. “There should be no issue for me to say it now, since it has been decades.”

Lin said she did not want to take on so many movies at that time, but there was great pressure to do so.

“I would have no time to sleep if I had to film eight hours each day for every producer,” she said.

“But how could I not accept the roles if the other party threatened suicide? How could I not accept them if that uncle (producer) came to beg you to do it?”

Fang asked Lin how she coped with such a complicated industry, since she was still young at the time.

“I negotiated the salary, read the scripts, and did all the costumes, make-up and hairstyles by myself,” Lin said, adding that her family was also unfamiliar with the industry. “I would go out and buy clothes whenever I had a break in filming.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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