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Archive for June, 2015

Liverpool Echo Feature on my Martial Arts debut

Liverpool martial arts expert Mayling Ng on landing a big screen bad girl role

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/real-lives/im-making-movie-debut-russian-9532662

I’m making my movie debut as a Russian psycho with one white eye and metal teeth!

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Actress and personal trainer Mayling Ng appearing in the film Lady Bloodfight

Growing up above her family’s Chinese restaurant in Liverpool, Mayling Ng watched Jackie Chan films and imagined one day following her martial arts hero onto the big screen.

Now one of Asia’s most sought-after personal trainers, she’s just landed her first major film role … as a Russian psychopath in a female remake of the Jean Claude Van Damme cult classic Bloodsport.

Mayling plays Svietta in Lady Bloodfight, a role which demanded an extreme makeover.

“I had to have a scar painted down my face, a set of metal teeth put in and a white contact lens which meant that during the fight scenes all the weapons would be coming at me and I could only see out of one eye!” she laughs.

“And Russian convicts have homemade tattoos telling their life story and their history – how many people they’ve killed and what prisons they’ve been in – so I had to have those painted all over my body too.”

Her opening scene is in the shower so those tattoos get plenty of exposure, but her other day job meant she didn’t have to worry about looking in shape once the cameras started rolling.

Not only does she travel all over Asia training clients and devising healthy eating plans for them, she also holds the Miss Singapore Bikini title.

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Mayling representing Singapore at Arnold Classic US in 2013

It’s all a long way off, she admits, from her days as a self-confessed “fat kid” who loved her kung fu classes but loved eating rice and noodles at the family restaurant just as much.

“I’d done martial arts since I was eight years old, with the Giam brothers who have the TMAS studios,” she says.

“My father owned the Mandarin on Victoria Street so we lived there before it was trendy to live in town and our playground was the car park across the road. I’ve got loads of brothers and no sisters my age, I’m one of 11, so I used to go there to fight with them. I just carried it on when they stopped.”

Mayling, who went to Calderstones school, says she was overweight until she was 28 when she started weight training and learning more about food. “Then my body got really in shape and tight,” she adds.

She began, like her brothers, working in the family business but – while they went on to open their own successful restaurants – she realised it wasn’t for her and 12 years ago she headed to Hong Kong with the aim of becoming a stunt woman.

“It turned out to be a bad time to go, though, because the film industry over there was in crisis and nobody was making movies,” she explains.

She ended up working with trainers and making valuable contacts, but film work was non-existent so she came home and decided to focus on personal training.

“I went to David Lloyd in Speke and joined their PT programme,” she says. “It took months to qualify, it was pretty intense, but I did it.”

After a brief spell living out in Spain, Mayling decided the time was right to return to Asia and use her skills to build up her own personal training business.

She now flies all over the continent, teaching wealthy clients and showing their maids how to cook healthily.

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Success in the Miss Singapore Bikini contest four years ago led to an agent to audition for her first small movie role.

“They were looking for a strong Chinese woman to play a mamasan in charge of a bar for a film called Mister John,” she recalls. “So I went to the audition and the director was an Irish guy. He just started talking to me and asking why I was in Singapore, and about my mum and dad, then when I was about the read for the part he said ‘do it in a Scouse accent.’ I was so happy because I thought, I’ve got this!”

It was through that part, and people she met during her first stay, that Mayling was contacted by film makers from Lady Bloodfight.

“They wanted someone to play a Russian special forces psychopath, someone who was really strong and domineering, and they thought of me,” she laughs.

There were just a couple of stumbling blocks initially, she admits. “First of all they asked if I’d shave my hair off, but I said no to that, and then they asked if I could do a Russian accent. I’d never done one before but I just said ‘yes, easy’ then I went on YouTube and 24 hours later I was doing it to everyone!”

Mayling sent off a martial arts video clip and a Skype audition with French director Chris Nahon clinched it.

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Mayling Ng getting inked up on the first day by Lady Bloodfight director Chris Nahon

 

Shooting was tough, even for an expert, and bumps and bruises were par for the course.

“The fight scenes weren’t done using special effects, everyone was whacking each other, full contact,” she explains. “Most of the girls had a martial arts background but it was hardcore and everyone went home with ice packs each night. But it was such a great experience, we all just got on with it.”

With Lady Bloodfight now in post-production and another part – this time in a vampire film – on the horizon, Mayling now has her sights set on making it to Hollywood.

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with Justin Bursch Producer, Abramowicz Michel Cinemaphotographer, Chris Nahon Director

“I loved watching the Jackie Chan films as a kid so that’s always been my dream,” she says. “And I’ve stayed in Santa Monica before and fell in love with it. In Asia the guys are intimidated by me because I can do a spring kick to their head, but in Gold’s Gym I walked in and they loved it. I thought, I like it here, I’m accepted!”
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