Stars Bow to 'The Grandmaster' at NYC Premiere

By DAVID WEINER

August 22, 2013

International stars Zhang Ziyi and Tony Leung jet-setted to New York City with Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai to premiere The Grandmaster, in theaters Friday, with film fan Samuel L. Jackson on hand to liven up the party. Watch the red-carpet highlights!

PICS:Stars Step Out in Same Style

Calling the martial arts film "sumptuous," Ziyi said that having to use her bare hands in fight scenes turned out to be even more difficult than she expected.

"I used to be in different action movies, but every single film I had weapons," says the former stars of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. "This time is obviously hand-to-hand, so for me [I thought it would be] easier to learn, but it's not. So we spent a lot of time to practice. .. It was really intensive."

On reuniting with her 2046 director Wong Kar Wai, she proclaimed, "I love this guy because he's so unique. It's a very special experience working with him because he has no script, so you have to build up the character together and you're always curious what happens next."

Related: 'Grandmaster' Star's Real-Life Battle

The epic film The Grandmaster is inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master Ip Man, who trained Bruce Lee and taught him some of his best moves. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China's last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts.

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