Chin Han is a film and TV actor who has appeared in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Night, Contagion, and – most recently – the pacy action caper, Skyscraper, alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Han, 48, plays a wealthy tech entrepreneur to Johnson’s ex-FBI agent who needs to rescue his family from a flaming skyscraper. Han lives in LA, and is currently writing his own scripts.
1. Tell me about Skyscraper, and your role in the film
Skyscraper is a throwback to the great disaster movies from the 70s and 80s like …. The Towering Inferno, Die Hard, The Poseidon Adventure…I would even say The Fugitive and Cliffhanger. It’s about security specialist Will Sawyer who comes to China after a personal tragedy to inspect this building that’s 225 stories in the sky, that has ever been built before and the architect and the owner of the building. The name of my character is Zhao and he is a visionary, enigmatic entrepreneur, technopreneur.
2. What were the most memorable moments on set?
The most memorable moment I think was shooting the climax of the movie with Dwayne because the backset piece was very complicated to shoot. It actually takes place in a hall of mirrors with a lot of holograms and projections and that took more than a week to shoot. It was very carefully choreographed and had multiple cameras and even more visual effect cameras. It was a full on dance of a scene to do because you don’t quite know whether you’re shooting at your enemy or shooting at a reflection of him or shooting at a reflection of a reflection of him. You have to make sure that you don’t shoot the wrong person either so that was a lot of a fun to shoot with Dwayne and Roland Moller.
3. What is it like filming an action film?
It’s a lot of fun. You get to do a lot of things that you don’t normally do in real life. There were so many things like shooting on the run, reloading with all kinds of different weaponry, attack formations and knowing the safety measures you take in any kind of emergency so I feel kind of well versed in most forms of self-defence.
4. What is it like to work with the Rock?
The Rock is such a pleasure to work with, people know him from all his action movies and his wrestling days but I think people also forget that he really is a fine actor as well. I think that his dedication to creating a role is on par with any classically trained actor I’ve worked with. We worked with the director Rawson Thurber at length to develop the relationship between these two seemingly disparate characters that actually have a lot in common, the will to live and to create something good.
5. Did you do your own stunts?
I did as much as I could do. I can say this, I did a lot of running. It’s a very tall building, lots of flights of stairs to take. So a lot of running, lot of gunning. The more intense sequences I always defer to the professionals. These guys are the unsung heroes of the industry.
6. Home is….
Wherever I’m filming. It really is the life of a, I keep thinking of these Vaudevillian troops of actors that travel from place to place to perform and I kind of feel like that’s my life and has been my life for the past 10 years while I’ve been here in Los Angeles.
7. Who is your hero?
There’s so many legendary actors. I was just invited to the Academy this year and that was quite a moment for me to take stock of all the work I’ve done over the years but also to consider the community I’m in. And at that point I started to think about that question ‘who are my heroes?’ and we’re all part of the collective brain of artists. I would say people like Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, before that you have actors like Marlon Brando and currently you have incredibly versatile and talented actors like Ryan Gosling. I’m spoiled for choice, there are many here who inspire me and some of whom I’ve worked with before as well. The late Heath Ledger, working with him on The Dark Knight was really one of the highlights of my career. These are the people and I enjoy it very much.
8. What superpower would you want?
I actually consider being Dwayne Johnson a superpower. I’d like to be DJ, I don’t know how he manages to pack as much work as he can into a 24 hour work day. He has a TV series on, working on how many movies, sportswear business and a movie ticketing business. To do all that and still come to set with the amount of energy that he has. Trying to keep up with him is crazy enough. I can’t imagine him sleeping. Ever.
9. Best thing someone in the street’s said to you?
‘Hey Jackie, I loved you in Rush Hour 1, 2 and 3.’ NI love Jackie Chan by the way, It is flattering to be compared to him.
10. If you could only be remembered for one thing?
I would like to be remembered for being a fabulous and great uncle to my nine nieces and nephews. I adore them but I don’t seem them enough.
11. What’s next for you?
I think as a natural course of action and I think it’s a natural evolution of an artist; I’ve suddenly taken an interest in writing and am currently developing a few ideas for movies. That’s where I am at the moment.
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