'I Want to Make History With This Film'

In Hero, Hong Kong actor/director Donnie Yen, the high-flying martial artist known for his rhythmic, graceful style, pits his gravity-defying leaps against Jet Li in a scene that will have kung fu fans roaring for more. Yen is fresh off success in the U.S. where Yuen Wo-ping's 1993 classic Iron Monkey, in which Yen plays a lead, was rereleased by Miramax and made $10 million at the box office. He spoke to TIME Asia entertainment correspondent Stephen Short. Edited excerpts:

TIME: How much pressure do you sense on this set?

Donnie Yen: I think [martial arts choreographer]...

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