Viet Nam News
HCM CITY— Vietnamese movie star and music producer Ngô Thanh Vân, known as Veronica Ngo in English, plays the role of a killer named Tien in a US film starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace.
Vân, who is fluent in English, arrived in Los Angeles late last year to begin filming her scenes in the US$90 million Bright, a production directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis.
The two men were involved in the hits End of Watch in 2012, Fury in 2014 and Suicide Squad last year.
Vân competed against many Asian candidates for the role.
The fantasy thriller is about a policeman, played by American actor Smith, and a humanoid called Orc, played by Australian actor Edgerton, who work together to protect a magic wand from evil forces.
Distributed by Netflix, the film will be in cinemas later this year.
Bright is the second US film in which Vân has appeared.
In 2015, she played one of the supporting roles in a sequel to the 2000 Hollywood blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend.
The film, directed by Yuen Woo-ping and written by John Fusco, starred Michelle Yeoh, who performed in Ang Lee’s 2000 edition Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Donnie Yen.
Produced by The Weinstein Company, the film was based on the fifth and final novel in the pentalogy, known in China as the Crane Iron Pentalogy by Wang Dulu.
Vân learned kung fu with experienced martial artists before filming her scenes in New Zealand and China.
"I’m confident of my ability to work beside foreign colleagues," said the 39-year-old Vân.
Returning home from Norway to Việt Nam, Vân began her career on the catwalk in 2000, becoming one of HCM City’s top fashion models. Three years later, she became involved in the music industry as a pop singer.
In 2004, Vân played one of four leading roles in Rouge, a 13-part TV series by renowned Singaporean director Jonathan Foo. She was selected from 400 candidates from Asian countries.
The work was broadcast on MTV Asia, a cable TV channel broadcasting international music. It opened the door for her to become a movie star in the region.
In 2006, she played a leading role in Dòng Máu Anh Hùng (The Rebel), a kung-fu film directed by Vietnamese-American Charlie Nguyễn.
The film won the Grand Jury Award in 2007 Sharing Visions, a biennial international film festival for Vietnamese filmmakers, held in Los Angeles.
She has also performed in quality films by Vietnamese and Việt kiều (overseas Vietnamese) directors.
In 2015, she developed her talent as a movie producer in the comedy film Ngày Nảy Ngày Nay (Once Upon A Time), a co-production between Vân and her partner, Canadian-Vietnamese director Cường Ngô.
Last year, she directed her first film, Tấm Cám-Chuyện Chưa Kể (Tấm Cám-The Untold Story), a fantasy work based on a fairy tale best known as the Vietnamese version of Cinderella.
She invested a big sum of more than VNĐ20 billion (nearly U$900,000) in filming.
Tấm Cám-Chuyện Chưa Kể was released in 37 cinema complexes in Hà Nội, HCM City and provinces, earning more than VNĐ70 billion ($3.1 million) in ticket sales.— VNS