But Kaige doesn't limit himself to epics, in 2002, Chen made his first, and to-date only English-language film, Killing Me Softly, a thriller starring Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes, though it proved to be both a critical and popular dissapointment.
Chen has also acted in several films, including Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987) and his own The Emperor and the Assassin.
ChenKaige found inspiration for the script in a reality TV episode centered around the big-city odyssey of a father-son duo.
What intrigued Chen was the dynamics between a father who is overly solicitous of his offspring's talents and a son who wants to explore other career paths.
We must assume that ChenKaige, of all people, was also drawn to the parallels with present-day China -- a communist regime that has been forced to embrace capitalism in order to preserve its authority and influence.
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