Fans of Ang Lee's martial arts fantasy Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are flying high with anticipation over The Touch, an upcoming Miramax film teaming Tiger badass Michelle Yeoh with director Peter Pau the cinematographer behind the Oscar-winning epic.
However, co-star Ben Chaplin who plays Yeoh's love interest tells TV Guide Online that although Touch is being billed as a martial arts romance, it's not a Tiger clone. "It's a very different film," he says. "I mean, there will be quite a lot of action sequences, but it's not the same focus on flying. It's much more floating and punching.
"It's more of a family film than Crouching Tiger... more of an adventure," adds the 32-year-old actor. "It's not period either it's contemporary Chinese."
The Touch which is slated for release in late 2002 or early 2003 marks Chaplin's first stab at action-adventure. Best known for 1996's The Truth About Cats & Dogs and 2000's Lost Souls, the brooding English thesp admits that he was just "barely" up to the project's physical demands. "We shot in high altitude in Tibet and... I was quite good in the altitude, but I wasn't very flexible," he says. "That is not my strength. I can only kick about chest high, which is not very impressive on film. But I was up to the flying and stuff like that."
Chaplin who can next be seen opposite Sandra Bullock in the cat-and-mouse thriller Murder by Numbers (opening April 19) says shooting The Touch was a dream come true. "It's the kind of film that you watch as a kid and you think, '[That] would be fun to be in,'" he marvels, "but you actually believe it's real."