JuJu Chan on ‘Savage Dog,’ Scott Adkins by Uinterview

Actress and martial artist Juju Chan had just one complaint about her role as Isabella in Jesse V. Johnson‘s martial arts film Savage Dog – she doesn’t get to fight. “Of course I have an itch when I was watching [the fights],” she told uInterview exclusively,  “I was like ‘I want to punch and kick.’ So I did, I was kicking and punching on the sides when they [Chan’s co-stars] are doing theirs. So I did fight behind the scenes.”

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Savage Dog takes place in the late 1950’s in Indochina. It explores the fighting tournaments held for the entertainment of the wealthy in the notorious Den-Dhin-Chan Labor Camp, and the European prisoner who has become a champion in the scuzzy ring, former-boxer Martin Tillman (Scott Adkins). The story truly begins when Tillman is due to be released and the corrupt men running the prison, seeing how profitable the gambling on Tillman’s matches are, rather have him stay in place.

JuJu Chan, who is known for her role in Netflix’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny, plays opposite of Adkins as his love interest, Isabelle. Although she has no fighting sequences in the martial arts film, Isabelle is anything but weak. The actress described Isabelle as “the emotional drive in the film. But she’s a very strong emotional character. She has a strong character. Strong in her own will and her personality.”

Filming with her co-star Adkins was an easy experience. She was also impressed by artistry of his fighting skills. “Honestly, I admire his skills and his kicks are amazing, his spinning kicks,” she told uInterview. “Coming from a Tae Kwon Do background myself I really love his amazing skills, and it would be great to be able to perform with him in our next project.”

Fans who missed her martial arts performances in this film will be excited to know that Chan performs fighting sequences in her upcoming project. “It’s called Made in Kowloon,” she said. “In that one I play a villain role, and I have a really big fight scene with Max Zheng the actor in ‘SPL II’ and ‘Grandmaster,’ and opposite to Anderson Silver, the great UFC fighter.”


Q: What is your character's story is Savage dog? -

My character in 'Savage Dog'...I play Isabelle. Isabelle is the love interest of Scott Adkin's character Martin Tillman. It's a great character, Isabelle's, because Isabelle has a really— is the emotional drive in the film. But she's a very strong emotional character. She has a strong character. Strong in her own will and her personality, not really strong in the physical fighting side in the film. I love to play her, and I had a lot of fun playing her, definitely having a lot of great scenes with Scott Adkins and Keith David in the film, also Cung Le and Marko Zaror. So I enjoyed playing Isabelle a lot.

Q: What was it like to work with Scott Adkins -

Scott is really professional and a great martial artist, very easy to work with. Especially, I have a lot of intimate scenes. We did a lot of those scenes in one take or two takes so it's — yea. We're both really professional, and Jesse loved our performances. I think we have really good chemistry on camera, so I'm sure the audience will love it. You know, when you're into the character, into the moment, you're kind of playing the character right, totally natural. And it's great that Jesse loved our performance.

Q: Are you disappointed that Isabella doesn't have fight scenes? -

My character in the film — yea, I really don't fight. (Laughter). As a martial artists myself looking at all these martial artists having great fight scenes, of course I have an itch when I was watching them, I was like 'I want to punch and kick.' So I did, I was kicking and punching on the sides when they are doing theirs. So I did fight behind the scenes.

Q: Did You spend a lot of time with the rest of the cast? -

Yea, We're actually — we are really good friends, so we all would hang out, even go to the gym together. We went to Tony's, a gym with Marko as well. We went there to just train and spare. It's fun. I just hope next time I really have a chance to have a fight with them

Q: Do you think you could beat Scott in a fight? -

Honestly, I admire his skills and his kicks are amazing, his spinning kicks. Coming from a Tae Kwon Do background myself I really love his amazing skills, and it would be great to be able to perform with him in our next project.

Q: What projects are you working on now? -

I have 'Savage Dog' coming out and the other one I just wrapped two weeks ago. Its called 'Made in Kowloon. In that one I play a villain role, and I have a really big fight scene with Max Zheng, the actor in 'SPL II' and 'Grandmaster,' and opposite to Anderson Silver, the great UFC fighter. So it was a very exciting project since I was filming in Hong Kong for the last three months. Just finished two weeks ago and now I'm back in the states. .