For those who have seen Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle will certainly remember one particular guy aside from Stephen himself as well as Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, and Bruce Leung. I’m talking about Xing Yu who played Coolie, one of the three martial arts masters and defendants of Pig Sty Alley. In real-life, Xing is a real shaolin monk of the 32nd generation.
Xing Yu – whose real name is Zhang Shuwu – started his film career in the early 2000s mainly appearing in low-budget films before Stephen Chow noticed him and was impressed by his remarkable skills which led to him being casted in Kung Fu Hustle. In the film, Xing got to show his MA skills in one major scene alongside Dung Chi-Wah and Chu Chi-Ling – two other real-life martial artists – fighting a crowd of Axe Gang members. This was a breakthrough for Xing Yu who has since then got himself some decent roles working in bigger pictures and with bigger martial arts stars. He collaborated with Donnie Yen in Dragon Tiger Gate (he’s one of the Old Devils using double sais); Flash Point (as Collin Chou’s aggressive brother Tiger); Ip Man (Zealot Lam); and Bodyguards & Assassins as a Qing assassin (they didn’t share the same scenes though), Wu Jing in Fatal Contact and had a crucial role in Benny Chan’s Shaolin. He, again, co-starred with Wu Jing and also shared scenes with Jackie Chan (in a small role) and real-life wushu exponent Yue Hoi. He also got to fight veteran stuntman and action director Xiong Xin-Xin (Club Foot in Once Upon A Time In China 3 and the later sequels) in the finale using double swords. His next film to be released is The Five which is a contemporary action film co-financed by China and Thailand, and will be acting opposite his Flash Point co-star Collin Chou and Andy On.
But word have just gone out that Xing Yu is currently shooting the upcoming MA film Vajra King which marks his first film as a lead actor. The film is being helmed by Law Wing Cheong (Punished) and co-stars Yang Mi while Sammo Hung is handling the action choreography. It’s budgeted at 100 million yuan and the story will circle around the art of shaolin kung fu (something tailor-made for Xing Yu) pitting against several other MA styles from around the world; including Brazillian ju-jitsu, karate, hapkido and Western boxing. Shooting of Vajra King will last till September and is expected to be released at the end of the year.
Sorry to keep posting, but this was a good article. Xing Yu has been a strong screen presence for a while and I think this was long overdue, I hope he takes China into the new action era.
Thanks for this and for clarifying his identity.
I knew he might just be Club Foot because he looks so familiar. His role was underrated because he was such a good actor.
Finally he’s going to have his lead row which should be cool.
I’m not much of a fan of him but I will support him.
I like his acting in Flashpoint:)
Woo Hoo bout time!!
About time he gets to act as lead actor. One other thing they can stop doing to him is killing him off. Its becoming annoying to see him die whether his playing good guy or bad guy. I would love to see him in good guy roles but without the kill him part. Keep him alive please. He is my favourite Chinese actor. Don’t spoil things.
Good to know that he is finally getting his own leading role as he deserved. In the movie Flashpoint, where he fought with Donnie Yen, there was a scene where he really took a strong blow to his face by donnie. You could clearly see it was a really a strong blow to his face as the scene was slow-motioned. Then also he also took a backslam by donnie, and again u could see that he took that stunt himself!
I was impressed by him in Kung Fu Hustle just using his feet in fighting… was more impressed with his role in the Wrath of the Vajra King. Glad to have a genuine shaolin master rather than a choreography master.