- Associated Press - Thursday, January 27, 2011

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (AP) - Taiwanese pop king Jay Chou says his appearance in the action comedy “The Green Hornet” fulfilled a childhood dream to imitate Bruce Lee’s kung fu genius and bring his musical talent to the silver screen.

The film is a reprise of the 1966-67 television series in which Lee starred as the sidekick to masked Los Angeles crime fighter Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher who spends his nights fighting crime in a quest for vigilante justice.

It opened this month to mixed reviews but an exceptionally strong box office. Chou’s performance was praised by some, derided by others, with many commenting on his poor command of English.

The Taiwan-born Chou and leading man Seth Rogen were in Taipei on Thursday to promote the film.

“I tried hard to get this role,” Chou told The Associated Press. “I worship heroes. I admit I’m pretty childlike in my inner side and I like Batman and Iron Man. When I got a chance to play a hero, I told myself I couldn’t give up.”

This is the first Hollywood film for the 32-year-old Chou, whose fame as a rap and R&B artist is mostly confined to Asia. In recent years, he has appeared in a number of Chinese-language films, one of which he also directed.

Chou said his “Hornet” role as Reid’s assistant Kato was not meant to mirror Lee’s one-dimensional kung fu approach, but to be “more normal and closer to reality” and to provide a showcase for his musical talent.

“I hope to show Western audiences that Asians don’t just do kung fu, but also sing, write songs and play the piano,” he said. “So I put the musical element into my Kato.”

Chou said he initially wanted to make his first appearance in the film playing the bongo drums, but eventually yielded to director Michel Gondry’s suggestion that he come in riding a motorcycle instead.

Still, Chou did get a chance to play the piano in the film and said he was pleased that it ended with the “The Nunchucks,” a Mandarin language song he wrote 10 years ago about the martial arts weapon made famous by Lee.

Chou said Sony Pictures has decided to make a sequel to “The Green Hornet” and that he will reappear in the same role.

However, that appearance will mark the end of his Hollywood career _ at least for a time.

“After this, I will not do another Hollywood film but rather go back to my music,” he said.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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