The funeral for Hong Kong actor, Wu Mengda or better known as Ng Man-Tat (吳孟達) was held on the 7th March. The funeral was attended by his family and friends, some of whom are well-known in the acting industry.
While the funeral took place just over the weekend, many are still fondly remembering the actor. This time, the crew of “Clash of the Sea” stepped forward to share precious moments they had with Wu.
“Clash of the Sea” (or “Littoral Confrontation”, according to China Press) is a film about the anti-terrorism operations of the naval special forces. It is expected to be released in October this year in China. Wu plays the role of a marine scientist in the movie. The crew of “Clash of the Sea” stated that when working with Wu, the actor had two ‘without’ principles on set; ‘without a script’ and ‘without an assistant’.
The crew fondly recalled that Wu never had the script with him on set. He didn’t need the script, as he had already memorised it. When actors asked the director for the content of the next scene, the director would say, “Ask Uncle Da (Wu)!” The crew appreciated his dedication and professional attitude, but when praised, Wu would only smile and say, “Isn’t this the most basic cultivation of our actors?”
Wu was also insistent on not having a personal assistant. This made him approachable and gave him the ability to mix well with everyone, from the producer and director to the on-site staff. He also respected the crew and often told them, “Everyone has worked harder than me!” When asked about his insistence on not having an assistant, he wittily replied, “Isn’t every member of the staff my assistant?”
The crew revealed that Wu always treated the staff if he was on-set that day. They would have afternoon tea together, which could cost up to 10,000 yuan (about RM6325). When the crew thanked Wu in unison, the 68-year-old actor would smile happily. As he often said: “Our actors will be fine after the performance, and the crew is the most fortunate!” The crew also divulged that Wu did not complain, even when the work was taxing. He would tell the worried staff, “No problem, I’m still young!”
Aside from “Clash of the Sea”, another movie that Wu was rumoured to appear in was “Kung Fu 2”. Netizens were excited as its previous successor, “Kung Fu Hustle” was a collaboration between Stephen Chow (Xing Chi, 周星馳) and Wu. In 2019, Chow confirmed that he would make “Kung Fu 2”, although he was not specific about when.
According to the rumours, Chow would be writing, directing and performing in “Kung Fu 2” and the movie would be released on 30th September 2022. The post that sparked the rumours also claimed Chow’s willingness to step into the spotlight again is due to Wu’s sudden passing. The movie would be a way to remember his partner and would have pervious movie shots of Wu interspersed in the film. It was also reported that Wu Weilun, Wu’s youngest and only son, would be in the movie.
However, Chow’s staff was quick to confirm that the rumours were fake. Netizens were severely disappointed as some had wanted to see Chow back in action. Another netizen commented, “It’s a pity, I want to see Master Star (Chow) commemorating Uncle Da (Wu).”
Although we won’t get to see “Kung Fu 2”, fans of Ng Man-Tat can still enjoy the venerable actor’s skills in “Clash of the Sea”. As member of the “Clash of the Sea” crew summarised: “Behind Uncle Da’s persistence, what we see is the artist’s virtue, his respect for his profession, and his love for movies! I hope the movie “Littoral Clash” (“Clash of the Sea”) can live up to expectations and draw a perfect picture for Uncle Da’s (Wu’s) brilliant film career.”