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Friday, August 29, 2014

Kimberly Chiang Interview (Exclusive!) (C) 2014 Danny Shamon - Dan's Movie Report



I have wanted to interview Kimberly Chiang for several years now, thanks to Celina Jade for mentioning her during our interview, I knew, the time was right. Kimberly is a stunt legend, she is an expert fighter, and can mix it up with anyone. Her quiet intensity, coupled with her patience to train the actors she works with become better fighters, makes her a sought after person in action film and TV. Kimberly takes a brief timeout from her hectic shooting schedule on 'The 100' to chat a bit about some of her on set experiences, exclusively on Dan's Movie Report. 

Share a story from working on 'The Tournament', and doubling Kelly Hu, some crazy fight scenes, any memories stand out?

'The Tournament' was an amazing experience.  It has definitely been one of the brighter highlights of my career.  That was my 2nd time doubling Kelly, and as always... she was grace under pressure, funny as hell, worked her tail off and took care of me and the rest of her team.  We spent many a Sunday nights, having family style dinners at her apartment.   



In 'The Tournament', the fights lasted longer than many films I have watched recently, were you given some creative input on them as well?

The action and fights on 'The Tournament' were designed by two of my idols in this industry.  Jon Valera and JJ Perry!!!  I was just happy to be in their presence and to be a part of their creativeness.  It also helped that I got to fight Scott Adkins!!!  JJ and Scott have worked together before then, and when you put those 2 together... the possibilities were endless.  Hence the really really long epic fight!!!  The local Bulgarian stunt men that I got to work with were and are world class.  (I probably know more Bulgarian words, than I do Chinese ones). The Stunt Coordinator Kala, kept me safe and took me into their team. 

Shifting to working on the 'Bloodrayne', I am sure you have some stories working for Uwe and with Natassia Malthe, (I interviewed Natassia for my site @ http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2012/01/natassia-malthe-interview-c-2012-dans.html Chat about Uwe I like him, he marches to his own beat.

Like Kelly Hu, I have doubled Natassia several times. Working with them on Bloodrayne 2 & 3 was always an interesting adventure.  Uwe definitely goes to the beat of his own drum, and Natassia is someone who I consider a friend, and we have been through some interesting times together on set.  

In general, do you enjoy working on lower budget films for the creativity factor or bigger budget do to the size and scope or the setting?

Every show is different. Never the same experience twice.  That is why I love my job...it doesn't matter what size or how big the budget is.  If the "gig" is good, and I get to do something cool and the director and everyone is happy...that is all that matters to me at the end of the day.

You have traveled the world for film work, do you have a favorite spot or setting you have enjoyed most?

I have been very fortunate in the fact that I have been invited to work in some amazing locations.  Most recently, going as far as Cape Town, South Africa to work on a movie for 2 months.  Growing up, and starting out in this business, I never really thought that I would ever be so lucky to get to see the places that I have.  It's hard to say which one was my favorite...each place has its own memories.  If I had to choose which one I wouldn't go back to... that would be an easier question to answer...Durango, Mexico!  Not that the film was hard, just the conditions of the town and the airport were not my favorite.

In 'Nikita' you doubled Maggie Q for a few episodes, correct,  please share a set story? 

I actually doubled Maggie for 2 seasons on 'Nikita'. (seasons 2&3)  I just haven't had the time to correct it on IMDB. (To be honest, I don't know how my resume gets updated on that site...I have tried, and have always failed. So someone else is keeping track of me I guess??) 

The Stunt Coordinator Brian Jagersky is a friend and it was a riot to work for him.  We spent a lot of time figuring out the stunt stuff so that Maggie was able to do a lot of it.  She is so physically involved and has such a knowledge of the stunt/fight aspect of the show, that most of the time I would be bringing her water. 

Do you watch the finished product of all of your films and tv shows you work on, I ask this as some people I chat with do not.

Nope, I don't. I think the only time I actually see any of it, is either on playback or when I am trying to update my demo reel :)

Let us shift the interview to more current material, Chat about 'Arrow', how did you get chosen to be one of the lead doubles and work on that show?

It was pretty simple actually.  I work with the team on 'Arrow' a lot...I am a part of a stunt group in Vancouver called Stunts Canada, (www.stuntscanada.com) and basically the Fight Choreographer, James "BamBam" Bamford called to ask if I was available...I said YES, and so I flew back from Nikita to work when ever they needed me to work.  That time was hectic!!  I remember doing a lot of red-eye flights between Toronto and Vancouver, just making it on time to be on set. I don't know how it always managed to work...But I am happy it did.

Chat about doubling and working with Celina Jade. She speaks so highly of you, meeting her is a game changer for me, I am sure you have stories that will never be told about bad experiences with actresses, but share a great one with Celina and her vivacious positive attitude. 

Celina is fantastic.  She is so gracious and talented... She really put so much effort into making it to fight rehearsals, even if it meant coming straight off the plane and being jet-lagged.  She comes from Martial Arts Royalty... And I didn't want to let her down.  She really motivated me to bring my "A" game when it came to her scenes, because that girl can move!!  I really wish her character was still on the show.  

Are you still working on 'Arrow'? 

As of now no, because Kelly and Celina aren't on the show this season at this point, which is a bummer. I am currently doubling and Assistant Stunt Coordinating a new CW show called 'The 100'. Actually I am doing this interview from the set of 'The 100', waiting for a big fight scene to go down!

I know you teach martial arts please give me the information about your dojo and or academy, links, and contact info.

I haven't taught in years, but I use to work for my Uncle's school which is called Martial Arts Canada.  I started training TKD when I was about 6 yrs. old and so it was just a natural progression into the whole teaching thing. Teaching for as many years as I have, has helped me a lot in how I approach teaching actors.  

Chat about goals in martial arts you have, new Belt status, new training.

Not really into training for belt status anymore.  If anything, on my days off...I'd much rather do the physical maintenance for my job... i.e. chiro, massage, stretch and sleep :)  Seriously, with all the kicking, punching and falling down I do during the week... I don't really want to do that on my days off.  

How about hobbies outside of stunt and action work?

I just got into long boarding in South Africa.  We were on nights for about 4 weeks...so in-between setups I'd skateboard.  Oh, and yoga...love yoga.

Wrapping up, I know it is time to get back to work, are there any future projects in the pipeline coming out that you are working on, that you can share with my readers?

There are a few things on the horizon.  Definitely, please check out 'The 100'. Season 2 premiers in October...this season is gonna be brutal and action packed!!!!

Thanks Kimberly, great interview. For my valued readers, Keep checking back on Dan's Movie Report for more info and exclusives from Kim Chiang, and make sure to watch 'The 100'  in October, it will be full of action!

Check out her Stunts Canada page: @ http://www.stuntscanada.com/kimchiang/

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