Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jet Li says his new movie about autism will offer alternative to Chinese kung fu epics

From The AP. In the picture, Chinese actor Jet Li , background, waves as he promotes his new movie "Ocean Heaven" by visiting the dolphins at Hong Kong's Ocean Park with a small group of autistic adults.

HONG KONG — Jet Li says he hopes that his new movie about autism offers a refreshing alternative to the historical and kung fu epics that dominate the Chinese industry.

The veteran action star plays an aquarium worker who cares for his autistic son in the low-budget "Ocean Heaven" — his first Chinese-language production since the 2007 release of "The Warlords."

"Nowadays everyone is making blockbusters. Making a 7 million Chinese yuan ($1 million) movie requires a lot of sincerity," Li told reporters in Hong Kong. "This movie is about sincerity. It shows that in this day and age that filmmakers are willing to do something for society."

The actor promoted the movie by visiting the dolphins at Hong Kong's Ocean Park with a small group of mentally handicapped and autistic adults.

"I hope everyone can examine what is the most important relationship in life — the relationship between parent and child," he said.

A noticeably thinner Li said he lost 18 pounds (8 kilograms) from a thyroid condition.

Like Jackie Chan, a fellow kung fu star who crossed over to Hollywood from the Hong Kong movie industry, Li also now juggles careers in Chinese and American films.

His recent Hollywood releases include "The Forbidden Kingdom," which costarred Chan, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" and "The Expendables."