Online martial arts instructor and debut actor Master Wong kicks it up some thereafter with a quick fight interlude promoting his latest feature-length endeavor on The Real Target from acting/production duo David Cheng and Yolanda Lynes while Kenny Wong lenses Stephanie Vovou’s Big Sis Beatdown with Dan Carter and Warren Hull, and stunt player Luc Antoine headlines his latest get-together with UK Fight Design for La Main De La Mort.
It’s funny that when chatting with actor and stuntman Kenny Wong a little over a week ago that he didn’t mention at least one of his other new indie ventures to me. It probably slipped his mind or maybe he was worn to secrecy. Not sure, but either way, it was pretty delightful to be caught by surprise with his latest appearance in the new shortfilm from directors Kwaz Fraser and Jacquees Thomas titled Ichiban, with lead actress Kimmy Suzuki portraying a downtrodden sweatshop worker who rebels against her abusive boss, played by Wong.
Both are stunt performers by profession, with Suzuki initially getting her feet wet in voice-over acting at the age of 12 while living in Japan, until moving on to do stage work and commercials, a maneuver that ultimately aided her entry into NYU. Before she knew it and despite leaning more heavily into ballet, a chance meeting with actor Danny Aiello nearly six years ago would eventually be a major stepping stone for Suzuki into a prominent career in stunts for TV and film, a skill set that continues to earn her much-deserved praise in my book.
Ichiban was my own introduction to Suzuki as an actress and I personally look forward to whatever surprises await to arrive in time. Meanwhile, the new shortfilm is about to hit the film festival circuit this weekend, beginning with the events during this Saturday’s Art Walk Festival at the Art Factory from 11:00am to 7:00pm. For more information on location and other details, visit their official website.
A brave artisan is stuck in the monotonous world of conformity and harsh labor. The conditions are brutal as she works under an abusive inconsiderate chain-smoking boss. One day she defies him and refuses to work. She is restless and tired of being treated poorly. A fight scene in the warehouse where she is employed breaks out between her and the boss. She is unable to overpower him, but manages to escape. She fights her way out and ends up on the street playing her flute and wondering aimlessly until she is met by a helping hand. Her underground lair is revealed; where she trains vigorously and begins to create her own designs.
She no longer fears her thoughts of diversity and embraces her individual strengths and style. Once ready she returns to the warehouse. As she approaches the overpowering building she sees the owner looking down at her from a fire escape smoking a cigarette. He recognizes there is a formidable change in her presence. He has the fear of war in his eyes.
Watch Ichiban now – featuring the end title song by co-star and hip-hop artist Willie B., and don’t forget to peep the links in the description.
Having first landed my sights on the West coast for all things related to action films and stunts, it’s still pretty cool to know that there are some folks who share my interests here on the upper East, including actor and stuntman, Kenny Wong. And this week, Wong has taken to the internet to showcase his latest reel. So, I spoke to him for a little bit this week, and I asked him what he enjoys most about performing stunts on camera.
“I never stop training and learning new things in life,” he says. “I am much more aware about myself and being more assertive to improving myself as a person. And I don’t mean it in just the physical way. I’ve learned so much through the martial way, acrobatics, and stunts that it reflects back to my every day life that it grounds me. Sure it’s fun and I cross paths and end up welcoming such incredible people that open up new worlds of wisdom and encourage you. The life experiences I walk away with and the bonds I make are the most rewarding and humbling parts about doing stunts for me.”
Fifteen years into his profession, Wong has worked with quite an array of action veterans from various areas of film and stunt training, including mentor, actor and stuntman Roberto Lopez (Once Upon A Time In China And America) and director and Shaw veteran Robert Tai, to currently training with stunt coordinator and actor Chuck Jeffreys, and working with bonafide action star Gary Daniels. And if you have a good eye, you might recognize in a few of these shots now featured in the new reel which you can check out in the embed below.
You can catch Wong in a few more credits later this summer in Scott Derrickson’s upcoming paranormal thriller, Deliver Us From Evil on July 2, followed by actor Taylor Lautner’s new PG-13 parkour thriller, Tracers later this year.
2014 Stunt Reel from Kenny Wong on Vimeo.
Photo: Mitchel Gray