I recently got a chance to talk to Danni Huang about her role in Jason Statham’s new movie, ‘Safe’. Here, Danni talks about what it was like working with Catherine Chan on-set and what made her get into acting in the first place…
Hey Danni. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Safe’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The film’s title explains the plot as it has several meanings, Catherine Chan’s character (Mei’s) life is in danger as she holds the key to the combination of the coveted safe. Luke, Jason Satham’s character, holds the key to Mei’s safety and inversely, Mei also holds the key to saving Jason, inspiring him at the lowest point in his life.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play Ling, she’s an ally of Mei but also the girlfriend of the head of the Russian mafia, who is willing to take extreme measures to extract the safe combination from Mei. On the other hand, she also sees how special Mei is and genuinely wants to help Mei out of a dangerous position so she gambles with both sides not knowing how deadly her own situation is.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
My agent and manager Pat Yorks and Frank Rossi called me really excited about ‘Safe’ and about the role of Ling, after the audition process, I was thrilled when they told me I would be a part of the project and from that point on, Pat started to tag our emails with: “Stay Safe”
How would you say this film is different and unique?
The rich fusion of Russian, Chinese, and American culture make it a very uniquely defined story.
The film stars Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, James Hong, Anson Mount, Chris Sarandon and Joseph Sikora – with Boaz Yakin onboard as director, produced by Lawrence Bender – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
As an action film, there was as much action behind the scenes as there was in front of the camera… it was exhilarating to be surrounded by carlifts, weapons, beer bottles, etc.
It incredible to work with Boaz Yakin, a writer and director that has a tremendous gift to give life to powerful stories he tells. And with an opportunity to work with a legend like Lawrence Bender who’s produced the ‘Kill Bill‘ franchise and ‘Good Will Hunting’, I feel very grateful to have been invited to be a part of the project.
The cast and crew were very welcoming, it felt like a huge multi-cultural family and Catherine Chan was like a lovely little sister to me, very playful and energetic, introducing me to everyone on set.
Let’s talk a bit about you Danni. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I started out modeling for print and that set the stage for commercials and TV. I love the fact the industry’s fluid nature, leaving room for shifting from one title to another while staying a part of the industry and finding the area that best suits you personally.
AND the fact that the entertainment industry harbors some the most interesting characters that you thought could only imagine seeing in a movie.
You’ve had a number of roles in different films and TV series – which actors have been your favourites to work with so far and why? Any good stories?
One of my favourite shoots was with Adrien Brody, we did a spoof on ‘Dirty Harry’ – called ‘Flirty Harry’ in the upcoming film ‘InAPPropriate Comedy’. The director gave us a lot of freedom on set and it was really exciting to improvise where every take was fresh and different from the previous ones. Even though we started early and ended up in over time, it was a shoot that I never wanted to end.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- Sigmund Freud, I’m a big daydreamer and nightdreamer.
- Yogi Bhajan, spiritual Leader
- Lucy Liu, she has incredible presence and personality and she’s a trailblazer for Asian Americans.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Indian food, clothing, spiritual practices and culture as a whole are all very alluring and exotic to me, so I would say India.
What is your favourite word?
Onomatopoeia, I try to use every chance I get – but unfortunately I don’t get many chances to use it…
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
‘Late Autumn’ just had its 2012 release in theatres across China, ‘InAPPropriate Comedy’ is set to release at the end of the year. I’m at CCTV News’s as the Weather Girl, and I’m also working on a series that bridges the gap between the Chinese and US worlds through music called ‘Who Run It’, more details to come!
Thanks for the interview!