Daniel Wu takes on Mother Nature in Geostorm
Before we see American actor Daniel Wu possibly kicking butt alongside Lara Croft in next year's Tomb Raider reboot, he is grappling with a bigger enemy on the big screen - Mother Nature.
In new movie Geostorm, the 43-year-old plays the Hong Kong-based supervisor for the Dutch Boy Program, a global network of climate-controlling satellites created by world governments.
But when it malfunctions and starts attacking Earth, it is a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything.
Currently showing here, the movie also stars Gerard Butler, Abbie Cornish and Jim Sturgess.
Geostorm combines a compelling conspiracy theory thriller with a disaster film of epic proportions. Which aspects of the story did you connect with?
I am a big fan of both, so this is the perfect combination. There are two stories running concurrently - one set aboard the International Space Station and another on Earth - and both are compelling.
Your character Cheng is an expert on the technology used to control the weather. Before beginning work on the film, did you do research about weather satellites and technology?
Having lived in China for the past 20 years, I have picked up a few things about weather.
For example, it was supposed to rain during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but the Chinese government shot ions into the clouds and made it rain a day earlier and not during the ceremony. That was the first time I realised it was possible to at least partially control weather.
What was it like working amid all the practical effects and stunts?
It was amazing. I have worked on over 60 films in Hong Kong, and I have never been on a production where five blocks of the city - a section called Mong Kok - were shut down for filming.
Most, if not all the crews in Hong Kong worked on that sequence.
I also did about 90 per cent of the driving where Cheng races through the crumbling streets. That was really exciting.
What challenges and opportunities does working on a large-scale movie such as Geostorm present you?
It is challenging because you do not see the visual effects during production, so the performance is based on your and the film-makers' imagination, which have to be aligned.
The car chase scene was particularly challenging because I had to imagine the road splitting in front of me and then suddenly veer off to the side to avoid falling in the crevice.
Traffic cones marked the cracks in the ground that would be added later with visual effects.