Ip Man 3: Donnie Yen looks back on his confrontation with Mike Tyson


Donnie Yen, best known for being the face of Ip Man in the movies, returned to his confrontation with Mike Tyson in “Ip Man 3”. The actor remembers a very special meeting …

A fantastic actor

Longtime Chinese actor, Donnie Yen is one of the most famous comedians specializing in martial arts. While it is exported more and more to Hollywood, and that it was lately in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he remains above all the unshakeable face of Ip Man, the master of Bruce Lee.

He begins his film career in the mid-1980s, and connects Chinese productions. It appears in particular in Once upon a time in China II or in Iron monkey. Then, in the early 2000s, he started his career in Hollywood, turning in productions like Blade 2. But it was in 2008 that he really became known to the general public when he plays the famous Ip Man in Wilson Yip’s film.

Ip Man (Donnie Yen) – Ip Man © Golden Harvest Company

The feature film is a major critical and popular success, which pushes the filmmaker to embark on a saga. The last opus, Ip Man 4: The Last Fight was released in 2019. Soon, his fans will be able to find him in the cast of another famous franchise: John wick 4.

Donnie Yen vs Mike Tyson

During the Shanghai International Film Festival, Donnie Yen reconsidered his meeting with Mike Tyson. Indeed, in Ip man 3, Donnie Yen fights against the famous American boxer. Released in 2015, and still directed by Wilson Yip, Ip man 3 take the master of Bruce Lee to face the talented Mike Tyson, in the role of boxer Frank. The Hollywood Reporter reported that the shoot with Mike Tyson was an intimidating experience for Donnie Yen. Even if the latter is totally a fan of the boxer’s career, he revealed that he is more of a sportsman than an actor. He remembers that in no way did he want to let his guard down against Mike Tyson:

I had to treat this clash like a real fight in a boxing ring. With him it was a matter of life and death. I couldn’t afford to be distracted in any way. Otherwise I would have taken a knockout. It was very dangerous. I literally felt the air move when he punched. He was like a truck coming full force towards me. His fist was huge, and he hit my hair.

Ip man 3
Ip Man 3 © Golden Harvest Company

I have to say that Mike Tyson is an imposing actor. This former boxer, who also appears in Hangover, still knows how to fight and move around in a ring. What strongly intimidated Donnie Yen, who is not yet a martial arts blue. But this confrontation has paid off. Fans have fond memories of this streak, and Ip man 3 reported more than $ 157 million in box office revenue, for a budget of $ 36 million.

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