Exclusive Interview: Rising Martial Arts/Action Star Ken Zheng Talks about His New Action-Thriller INSIGHT!
By: david j. moore
Born and raised in Jakarta, Ken Zheng spent his formative years in Beijing, and began a lifelong devotion to training in the martial arts. With skills in kendo, Sanchou kickboxing, Muay Thai, silat, and various other disciplines, Zheng eventually teamed up with his sister Livi, who would direct him in his first starring role in the feature film Brush With Danger (2015), and then they would team up again for their belated follow-up Insight, which is out on March 12th from Gravitas Ventures.
In Insight, Zheng plays Jian, a young clairvoyant counter-terrorism agent whose special abilities make him a target for a high tech criminal mastermind (played by Sean Patrick Flannery), and in the process he makes an ally in an LAPD detective named Abby (played by Madeline Zima), who helps him along the way.
Several summers back, freelance film journalist david j. moore was invited to the Los Angeles set to observe filming of Insight for a day, and over the course of the shooting he conducted interviews with several members of the cast and crew, including star Ken Zheng. Just before conducting this interview on the roof of a building in downtown L.A. with a helipad, david observed Ken in several interior scenes that had him and his co-star, played by Madeline Zima, being chased by a half a dozen goons in suits, which also involved some close-quarter fights. Ken appeared to be a formidable martial arts dynamo in the scenes, and he held nothing back with his skills and physicality.
1) Ken, tell me a little bit about your background in martial arts.
2) Are you into Silat at all? Silat is coming out a lot right now in films from Indonesia.
3) Your sister has been with you every step of the way. Talk a little bit about working with her – personally and professionally.
4) It’s very rare to see something like what you and your sister have accomplished. You both have come such a long way, and now you’re here in Los Angeles making your second action film in a row with her. It’s amazing. It’s a one in a million.
5) You previously did another movie with your sister called Brush With Danger. Say something about that one.
6) Was it an obvious step for you to begin starring in martial arts action movies?
7) Talk about some of the action in the film. There’s a big fight in the film on a helipad. It’s a showstopper, I hear.
8) You mentioned Muay Thai. Tony Jaa is really bringing that in a big way in movies these days. Have you followed him at all?
9) Tell me about your character in Insight.
10) How does the leading lady in the film – Abby, played by Madeline Zima – relate to the story?
11) What’s different about your style of action than any other martial arts action star?
12) What are you shooting today?
13) What are your hopes for the film? Who’s the audience for this film?
Insight hits select cinemas, Digital and VOD on March 12th from Gravitas Ventures! Watch the official trailer below!