Talking with the Talented Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe #RogueOneEvent #RogueOne

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Did you know that ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters nationwide in this Friday?!?! I had the fortunate opportunity to travel to San Francisco for the press junket on Rogue One, which included talking with the stars of the movie.

I previously shared with you our interview with Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso) and Diego Luna (Cassian Andor). This week, I am bring you exclusive talks with Alan Tudyk (K-2SO), Mads Mikkelsen (Galen Erso), Ben Mendelsohn (Orson Krenniz), Donnie Yen (Chirrut Imwe), Riz Ahmed (Bodhi Rook) and ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY director Gareth Edwards.

Continuing on, we sat down with the talented Donnie Yen (Chirrut Imwe). A little bit about Donnie Yen before we get started. He is an actor from Hong Kong who comes with an extensive amount of martial arts history in his family. His mother is a Tai Chi grandmaster, while his father is a newspaper editor – talk about a unique dynamic. He has appeared in films since 1984 and has made quite a name for himself internationally. We asked him a bit about his character in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, Chirrut Imwe.

Chirrut (is) blind, but, he’s spiritual.  He’s the spiritual center of the team.  He’s the Force believer.  He preaches this and he(s) got a little bit of a sense of humor.  He beats up all the Storm Troopers.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story..Pao BTS image..Ph: Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm..©2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

There is a scene in the movie in which Yen really performs and has fantastic moves. We got to see this during the footage screening. We asked him more about it. He noted that Chirrut was not originally supposed to be blind.

I don’t want to take any credit if it’s gonna perceive it as something that is like a contribution.  I think it’s the collaboration of both.  That’s the nature of being an artist.  You express your takes on your character.  So in the beginning when I was discussing about my character with Gareth (Edwards), I just felt it would be so much cooler to make him less of a cliché character, like, warrior monk, you know. 

How serious is that, right?  How about give him a little bit of vulnerability…How about being blind?  And a little bit (of a) sense of humor?  That (has) always been my persistence of keeping him grounded. Having that sense of humor so the audience can relate to him a lot more.  So I suggested it and he’s cool with it and Disney loved it and here we are.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story..L to R: Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen)..Ph: Jonathan Olley..©Lucasfilm LFL 2016. 

As I told you earlier, Donnie Yen has had much success internationally. We asked him about his expertise in martial arts and acting.

Q: You have an amazing fan base of, of fans that love seeing how you stretch yourself to the limits with your martial arts.  Do you set yourself, do you set a ceiling as to what you’re gonna do in movies or do you just go with it?

Donnie: That’s (a) funny question, right?  Because I’ve been in  business for quite a while, uh, 70 movies, right?  And a lot of audience, my fans in particularly, I have different set of fans.  (I have) straight action fans and Donnie Yen fans.  

Without realizing the changes of every film in the past decade of my films, it wasn’t so much of what I’m gonna do with my body each time, but different character that I try to take on.  Besides action movies, I’ve done comedies, romantic, all kinds.  I played a monkey king where I insist on not recognizing my face.  I just wanted to take challenges as an actor.

I don’t look at myself as ‘oh, this is (a) guy who does really good, you know, he specialize in the action field.  Right?’  I wanted tobe perceived as a good actor and striving to be a better actor each time.  I never played a blind person before.  That was another reason why I wanted to do something completely different, challenging.

When asked on his weapon of choice, light saber or bowcaster:

It’s funny, when my fans found out that I was gonna be in this movie, everybody thought I (was) gonna be a Jedi and have a lightsaber and go against Darth Vader.  But it eats me up.  I couldn’t really say anything so I couldn’t tel anyone that there would be no Jedi in the movie. 

Donnie was such a joy to interview. He stated that when he asked his young children if they wanted him to be in a Star Wars movie, the response was priceless.

 ‘You gotta be in Star War!  You gotta be in Star War!’  I realized that I’m making history here, you know?  So I’m so glad.

Be sure to come back tomorrow and read my next interview!ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY takes us to a time before the Death Star was built! Lucasfilm’s ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, and tells the story of unlikely heroes who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY arrives in theaters everywhere on December 16th In RealD 3D and IMAX 3D!

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Interview Photo Credit: Louise Bishop

Disclosure: I was provided with an all-expense paid trip as part of a press Junket with Disney to cover this and all Rogue One: A Star War Story media.

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54 thoughts on “Talking with the Talented Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe #RogueOneEvent #RogueOne

  • What a fun and exciting opportunity this must have been!

  • How cool, can’t wait to see it.

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  • I am really looking forward to seeing this! What an interesting experience!

  • What an awesome opportunity to be able to do this interview. Good for you it’s great. Thanks for sharing.

  • I really enjoy Star Wars, and any and everything related, so I really appreciated the article. I thank you so much for sharing the information.

  • the movie sounds really great i love to see this cant wait he sounds like a wonderful actor being able to play blind

  • This sounds like a great interview. Will have to see it when it hits netfix.

  • This sounds like a great interview. I am so happy you shared this with us. I can’t wait to see this

  • This sounds like a great interview. I am so happy you got to do this and share with us. I can’t wait to see this. Thank you so much

  • I hear that this is really a good movie. It will be interesting to revisit the time of the very first Star Wars.

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  • This sounds like a great action movie cant wait to see on Netflix.

  • this sounds like a great action movie cant wait to see

  • It will be fun to see his martial arts moves. This sounds like such an action packed movie.

  • Star Wars always comes up with the best characters. This looks like another great movie!

  • I don’t know who any of these people are. Never seen the movie.

  • I just saw the movie and he is really great in it!

  • I can not wait to see this fun incredible movie. It looks like such a good movie and I like this actor. He looks like he is going to be so good in this movie!

  • I’m not familiar with this actor but your interview makes me interested to see him. I didn’t know there wouldn’t be any Jedi in the film…sounds like he would have made a great one. Playing blind though should really show off his acting abilities.

  • I haven’t seen a star wars movie since original lol,I’d be totally lost on plot. But sounds like his role was exciting, especially since character was blind.

  • Sounds like an action packed character.

  • Sounds like a cool character.

  • Sounds like his role is action packed.

  • the movie looks really good

  • I was 12 when the very first Star Wars came out (later it became Part IV.) I have loved anything Star Wars every since!

  • This is so cool. I never even heard of these people. I must be living under a rock. Thank you

  • I haven’t seen a Star Wars movie in such a long time. It would be an awesome job to act in a Star Wars movie. Playing the role of a blind person has to be tough!

  • Sounds like his role is action packed.

  • This movie looks awesome! 🙂

  • What a really awesome actor! He is acting as a blind person in this movie. That takes a lot of skill to learn. It is not easy to do. I can not wait to see this movie!

  • interesting character cannot wait to see the movie

  • I’m taking Tae Kwon Do right now, so it’s cool how you can combine martial arts skills to do acting. I guess it’s not surprising though.

  • My sons want to go see this movie when it comes out.

  • I loved star wars as a kid what a great person love to see him in this movie

  • Sounds like a great experience talking to an actor

  • I don’t really watch movies. I haven’t seen this.

  • What a great interview and movie! I will be seeing this movie and the characters are amazing!

  • What a neat experience! I can’t wait to see this movie!

  • I’d love to have been able to talk with these actors! You’re so lucky!

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  • What an interesting interview. This is a must see movie.

  • Sounds like a great experience talking to an actor.Must have been fun.

  • i bet that was fun i seen africa blog there wow

  • That is amazing! How cool!!!!

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  • Sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot about his character.

  • That would be an amazing thing to be able to talk to an actor!

  • How cool you get to talk with some really neat actors. I cant believe he has been in 70 movies!

  • What a cool character! I am sure it is difficult pretending to be blind.

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