Entertainment

Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen

One of Hong Kong’s most prominent actors, Donnie Yen is now making his mark as a producer and director

Profile


Donnie Yen is one of Hong Kong’s most famous faces thanks to his starring roles in dozens of films since the late Eighties, including in celebrated local productions such as the Ip Man series and international blockbusters like Disney’s live-action Mulan and the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One.

But Yen has been as influential behind the camera as he has been in front of it. In 1997, he founded his own production company, Bullet Films, through which he has produced several successful Hong Kong action films, including the 2021 hit Raging Fire. He is also an in-demand action director in Hollywood, where he has used his extensive knowledge of martial arts—including tai chi, Muay Thai, wushu, boxing, judo, jiu jitsu, wing chun and taekwondo—to choreograph fight scenes for movies such as Blade II and Shanghai Knights.

Yen is particularly passionate about preserving the art of Hong Kong action filmmaking—and pushing it in new and innovative directions. “I want to use my influence to discover some young talents—hopefully they can carry the torch and pass on this unique form of filmmaking,” he says. “I believe we still have the edge—I have a very strong team and they are all over the world, involved in a lot of American films, but when I call on them, they come back to work for me. It’s kind of a back and forth, the Hollywood filmmakers are influenced by the Hong Kong action filmmakers and by my films. At the same time, I borrow a little bit of what they do best—to create a new kind of product.”

Yen is married to Cissy Wang, with whom he has a daughter, Jasmine, and a son, James.

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