The real-life martial arts figure Ip Man, who would become famous later on for training Bruce Lee who helped popularize martial arts in the West, is a coveted role for many Asian actors to play. However, the most famous has become a series of films that starred Donnie Yen. When he took on the role in the first film in 2008, Yen described the is as the most emotionally and mentally difficult in his career. While skilled in many styles of martial arts, for months he trained solely in Wing Chun (Hoping to bring out the special traits of Wing Chun) while keeping to a strict diet which consisted of eating one meal a day. He also learned more about Ip Man through his two sons. This was all in the hopes of portraying an erudite and cultured Ip Man. Yen even went as far as to stay in character after filming, wearing his costume and changing his voice and movement patterns.
It all paid off as Yen went on to play the character in a series of critically and commercially successful films, with sequels that followed the original in 2010, 2015, and 2019 with that last films serving as the finale to the series. In addition, Yen is credited by many for contributing to the popularization of Wing Chun in China because of these films...truly following in the footsteps of the legend he brought back to life. Stay tuned!