Taiwanese actor Derek Chang wins big with mahjong comedy 'Big Three Dragons'

  • Movies
  • Sunday, 24 Mar 2019

Taiwanese actor Derek Chang meditates on mahjong in comedy flick Big Three Dragons. photo: handout

Taiwanese actor Derek Chang got his big screen break with a winning role in Big Three Dragons early this year, after featuring in half a dozen Mandarin TV dramas from Taiwan and China.

Big Three Dragons was a big hit in Taiwan where it opened during the Chinese New Year and grossed over TWD30mil (RM3.98mil) at the Taiwanese box office.

During a recent phone interview from Taiwan, The Prince Of Wolf star said he hoped the movie would do well in Malaysia too.

“If the box office collection is as good in Malaysia, and I get the opportunity to visit, I would like to go and try the durian. I’m very curious about Malaysia as I’ve never been there before. So, I am especially excited to meet fans and experience the cuisine there,” said Chang, 26.

In the movie, Chang plays a carefree young man named Sheng Xiao Bai who is the heir apparent to a mahjong empire. Although he is first in a line of succession, Xiao Bai somehow gets cheated out of his inheritance by his flamboyant uncle Nan Feng (Michael Huang). Despite falling on hard times, he meets a money-minded young woman named Shen Wu Que (Ella Chen of Taiwanese girl group S.H.E.), who spurs him to win back everything he lost.

The rising star who hails from Taipei revealed that he did a lot of research to study his character’s personality and to better understand a rich man’s lifestyle.

Taiwanese actor Derek Chang Big Three Dragons.
Taiwanese actor Derek Chang meditates on mahjong in comedy flick Big Three Dragons. Photo: Handout

Making his film debut in a Taiwanese festive comedy like Big Three Dragons, Chang said he felt very fortunate for the opportunity to work with many experienced seniors and veterans from the film industry such as Chen, Huang, Peng Chia-Chia, Lotus Wang, Daniel Lo and others.

“Ella was very bubbly, which helped to keep the mood light so shooting the movie was fun and very enjoyable even though we had to pull several all-nighters. She also loves to improvise and keeps surprising us with spontaneous scenes which I have to quickly give appropriate reactions to.”

“Michael performs with such varied expressions on his face. Although he plays the role of an evil villain, he is not really that hateful. I really have a lot to learn from him. In future, if I get the opportunity to take up the role of an antagonist, I’d like to be able to show such contrasts in my character too.”

Big Three Dragons was directed by Nancy Chen (Prima Donna, 2012) and produced by veteran actor/director Peng Chia-Chia (Lion Dancing, 2014), who was the resident mahjong expert.

Apart from mahjong playing scenes, Chang also had boxing scenes, which he found to be quite challenging.

“Luckily, we got to do a fair bit of training before we started shooting. Without proper training and rehearsals, someone could get injured. Accuracy is very important, because if we missed each other during a fight scene, then we may end up hitting one another.”

Despite having to put in extra work, Chang says he is looking forward to doing more action-oriented roles. “I’d like to take up that challenge, as I feel good performing action scenes.”

Big Three Dragons is now showing in GSC cinemas nationwide.

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