Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen is a martial-arts master and one of the top leading men in the new style of Hong Kong action cinema. Born in China, Yen moved with his family to Boston, where his mother, a tai-chi practitioner, opened a martial arts studio. When he dropped out of high school to pursue martial arts full-time, his parents sent him back to China to study the wushu style of fighting with the Beijing Wushu Team. After completing his training he traveled to Hong Kong to meet Yuen Woo-ping, who choreographed Jackie Chan's early films as well as "The Matrix" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Shortly after, Yen started working as a stuntman and made his way up the ladder to better roles. He got his break appearing with Jet Li in "Once Upon a Time in China II," which included an epic battle between the two actors in the movie's final scene. With movie-star looks and an undeniable mastery of many fighting styles, there seemed no limit to Yen's possibilities. He teamed up with Jackie Chan in Shanghai Knights in 2003 and began choreographing movies for other directors, including Wilson Yip on "Flash Point," which brought an award for Best Choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards. By 2008 Yen seemed on top of the world, that year starring in "Ip Man," the top-grossing film of all-time in Hong Kong and China.