Awesome Asian Bad Guys unite on the red carpet


The Awesome Asian Bad Guys reunited last night to celebrate the release of their film, Awesome Asian Bad Guys, with a screening and Q&A for the audience and moderated by producer Phil Yu aka Angry Asian Man. Prior to the screening, the cast and crew walked the red carpet for photos and to answer some questions regarding the film.

Directors and stars of the film, National Film Society’s Stephen Dypiangco and Patrick Epino, spoke about the process behind the film and how it all came together. Epino explain, “We came up with it together. We had a YouTube video which was two minutes long and at the end of it, we thought it’d be great if we actually made something like The Expendables but with Asian bad guys. So, fast forward, we decided to start the whole thing, brought the whole team on board, and it’s taken off since.”

With a project like this, they definitely needed some Asian bad guys like Dante Basco. Basco, who plays a bad guy in Awesome Asian Bad Guys, recalls being offered the role created specifically for him, “The directors – Stephen and Patrick – are friends of mine and the Asian American community in Hollywood is a small, close-nit community. So, them doing a project and with Phil Yu, so of course, you want to come out and support and you’re flattered because they wrote something in the movie for you. So that’s the initial, but then really, I work with a lot of these guys. Throughout the cast, I know a lot of them – Tamlyn, George, Takahashi. I work with all of these guys. We know each other. So coming back, doing a project, and celebrating our history in Hollywood in a new way is very, very cool. So that’s kinda how I got into it.”

’80s stuntman and iconic bad guy Al Leong knows a thing or two about playing the bad guy. When he was asked to play the role, Leong was worried about his acting due to his health condition. He explains, “It was fun and I think they did a great job with it. I mean everything they did was great, the only problem was me. I had two strokes and I couldn’t remember any dialogue, so these people were telling me dialogue at the very last second.” Even with Leong’s condition, fans and cast members thought Leong was the best part of the film. Producer Milton Liu expressed Leong will always be his favorite bad guy: “Al Leong is my favorite. I mean, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and Big Trouble in Little China were great.”

What’s an Awesome Asian Bad Guy without an Awesome Asian Bad Girl? That’s where Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid II, Joy Luck Club) comes in while kicking some serious butt. She plays a tougher version of herself hellbent on revenge against Aaron Takahashi’s character for killing her sister. When asked how it felt to play a badass character, Tomita responded, “This is a blip on a long line of history of badass men and women. I’m just proud to be there, especially in this small film. I am the lone woman, besides Jasmin who plays the Jet Li part. But it’s really empowering and super duper fun and hopefully it will inspire more badass women characters.”

Randall Park (Larry Crowne, Dinner for Smucks) seems the least likely bad guy on the team, but the actor actually likes the idea of playing a villain:

“I like playing both. I could do either. There is something fun about playing a bad guy, for sure. I mean, in part, when people look at me they don’t think bad guy. They think the guy next door, I guess. That’s fun.”

On what villain he’d like to play, he adds, “I would play Dracula. An Asian Dracula. The traditional one with the cape and the widow’s peak. I hope I’m a vampire in the next one [Awesome Asian Bad Guys II]. That’s my desire. These guys can make it happen.”

With the film being released on Video On Demand this month, Epino expressed what he wanted most from audiences watching the movie:

“First and foremost, we want them to laugh. We want them to be entertained by it. We want them to just really, really appreciate that these dudes have been in movies for such a long time and they would never get their due, and it’s like ‘Oh, I know that guy,’ so we want them to appreciate these guys for who they are and what they’ve done and the groundwork they laid for actors, especially Asian actors who come after them.”

Awesome Asian Bad Guys is out on VOD today. Click here for more details to purchase the film and check out the extra features.

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