For this year, BOSS Eyewear retains its reputation for sophisticated craftsmanship with a collection of frames and sunglasses with an added cork insert on the inside of the aluminium temple. Known for its highly elastic and water-repellent properties, the lightweight optical frames fuse with a metal-acetate front that increases comfort, and gives the frames a modern look – a look that the brand’s ambassador Eddie Peng pulls off seamlessly.
We speak to the Taiwanese actor on working with BOSS Eyewear’s campaign photographer for the year, Karim Sadli, and his acting porfolio past and future: the big production Chinese period fantasy film, The Great Wall, alongside Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe, and the upcoming lead role in The Tales of Wukong.
How do you think your personal style aligns with the latest Boss Eyewear collection?
It has always been somewhere between smart casual and sporty when it comes to style for me. I don’t usually spend much time on what I wear, unless I’m making a public appearance at events; I’m happy with whatever that is comfortable and smart looking. So the styles from the Boss Eyewear 2017 collection work well for me, as the designs are modern and innovative, yet at the same time, understated and comfortable. I’m quite impressed with the current season’s feature of corn and aluminium materials, which looks urban, current and elegant.
What is the perfect fit for you, when choosing a new pair of glasses/sunglasses?
Versatility is key for me, as I prefer eyewear which I can wear for work during a film shoot, and after when I meet up with my friends. Something that doesn’t look out of place, you know. In fact, if the eyewear is suitable for the character that I am playing on screen, I wouldn’t mind adding that extra touch of style in the film.
How was it like working with Karim Sadli, one of the more notable fashion photographers out there today, for the recent Boss Eyewear 2017 campaign?
After three years as the ambassador for Boss Eyewear, the chance to work with the best fashion talents in the world is one of the best things about working with the brand. Every season’s shoot is an eye-opener for me. It was our first time working together, Karim and me, and it was such a great experience for me on set—it didn’t feel like a fashion shoot at all! He is an extremely passionate and intelligent person, and he exudes a nice rhythm, especially when he works, what with his open and direct styling and art direction. He likes his subjects to be natural on camera, so we chatted with each other while shooting. I thought that was a nice approach to things, as I felt more relaxed and more of myself during the shoot; there wasn’t any pressure on how he wants me to look.
It must have been a great leap in your acting career to be involved in the Zhang Yimou blockbuster, The Great Wall last year. How was it like for you, especially when working with Hollywood stars like Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe?
It was very much different from the usual Hong Kong films I worked in, because everything was magnified. Working with a legend like Zhang Yimou, as well as the top Chinese and Hollywood talents, there was definitely a real pressure to keep up! I am a huge fan of Matt Damon, so I was very nervous yet excited about meeting him, not to mention, having to share some screen time with him. However, when I finally met him, I realised just how normal and down-to-earth he is; he was always cracking jokes and laughing on set. It was an absolute privilege to be a part of such a big film production, and I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be in this profession.
You are cast as the lead role of Sun Wukong in the upcoming The Tales of Wukong.
There have been many renditions of this beloved character in the past, how do you think your portrayal of Sun Wukong stands out from the rest?
Even though it’s a periodic fantasy piece, I try to bring a more contemporary vibe and energy to the character. Sun Wukong is such an iconic character, and he has been played by so many brilliant actors. So the challenge lies in bringing something refreshing to the role, without losing any of the characteristics the audience knows and expects, like his rebellious and stubborn nature that got him into so much trouble! The movie is an adaptation of Jin Hezai’s bestseller, The Legend of Wukong, and how he envisaged the character. I think there will be many qualities in him that the modern audience will find easy to recognise and even identify with.
Besides the iconic mythology character, you will also be in the upcoming Hong Kong thriller The Great Escape, a war film about Fang Gu, a key figure during the Japanese Occupation in Hong Kong, under the directorship of Ann Hui. How do you hope to carry yourself through the second half of this exciting year?
Everyone keeps saying that 2017 is going to be a challenging year, but I believe that it is important as well how you yourself look at the world. It’s never wise to view your every day with uncertainty and negativity. We need to be confident and optimistic, and set out to make each day brighter and better than the one before. That is what I hope this 2017 campaign, as well as I myself am putting forth into the world: a celebration of confidence for a better tomorrow.