Gym Rats pumps it way to some big laughs with a story about a bunch of fitness junkies whose plan to open a boutique health club hits the wall when they realize they may have accidentally killed one of their customers. We have a chat with American writer-director Mackey Landy about life in Shanghai and shooting his latest film and see if he knows the secret to getting that perfect six-pack.
EastIndie: How long have you been in Shanghai and what are you doing here when you’re not writing and directing films?
Mackey Landy: I’ve been in Shanghai for about two years. I’d been studying the language on-and-off for a while and just found myself drawn to life here. I’m currently here because of a master’s program at Shanghai Theatre Academy. I wanted to be associated with an artistic community and found that the program brought me to a place with such creative energy.
EI: What has your experience at STA been like so far?
ML: It’s been great. Again, just being around so many people working on so many things—I love that. I’m someone who is very affected by my surroundings, so I felt it was vital to be in a creative place in order to feel creative. I didn’t know much about what was happening in less mainstream Chinese art—and specifically in Chinese independent film—and STA has been a great place to get to know that community. It’s an exciting place and you can feel that.
EI: You’re latest project, Gym Rats, follows a group of overly-enthusiastic workout nuts whose tendency to get carried away lands them in some deep trouble. Where did you get the idea for the film?
ML: My friend Patrick Ip (who also appears as one of the actors in the film) is quite a gym-savvy person and the few times I went to the gym with him, it was like he was the king there. He was always the guy to psych people up and make them work harder. He’s loud. Plus, he was born and raised in Hong Kong, so people always joke around with him about his accent. There was just something funny to me about it and the idea grew from there…
Read the whole article on Eastern Independent here.