The search for young ‘Chong Wei’ con­tin­ues

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

AF­TER two au­di­tions with some 700 hope­fuls, there is still no sign of a tal­ent suited to play the young ver­sion of bad­minton hero Datuk Lee Chong Wei for the up­com­ing biopic Rise Of The Le­gend.

How­ever, its di­rec­tor, Teng Bee, whose pre­vi­ous works in­cluded Ke­pong Gang­ster and Paint My Love, was hope­ful that he would even­tu­ally land the right youth in the last leg of the au­di­tion, to be held in Kuala Lumpur on Satur­day.

The first two au­di­tions were held ear­lier this month in Pe­nang and Jo­hor.

“We’re look­ing for a lo­cal aged be­tween 13 and 16, and must at least have some ba­sic bad­minton skills.

“I am ex­pect­ing more to turn up for this Satur­day’s au­di­tion and hope­fully we will find one who fits the bill,” he said, adding that he al­ready has an ac­tor in mind to play the adult ver­sion of Lee.

Teng, how­ever, said that dur­ing the Pe­nang au­di­tion, he was es­pe­cially im­pressed by a nonMalaysian hope­ful.

“He was a Tai­wanese teen who flew in all the way from Taichung. How­ever, there was no way we could take him in since we want a Malaysian to play our hero.”

Based on Lee’s 2012 book Dare To Be A Cham­pion, Teng said he started toy­ing with the idea to put out the film three years ago af­ter watch­ing one of Lee’s bad­minton matches on tele­vi­sion.

In­spired by Lee’s fight­ing spirit and pos­i­tiv­ity in the face of chal­lenges, the 36year-old di­rec­tor set out to write the screen­play.

“I hope the film will in­spire young­sters to dream big and to never give up,” he added.

Film­ing will be­gin in July and it will be shot in Pe­nang and the Klang Val­ley.

The film chron­i­cles the Pe­nang-born Lee’s steady rise in the bad­minton arena. It will also fea­ture the love story be­tween Lee and his wife, for­mer na­tional bad­minton player Datin Wong Mew Choo.

Film­ing is ex­pected to wrap up in Au­gust.

It is slated for a Lu­nar New Year re­lease.

Pro­duced by CB Pic­tures Sdn Bhd in as­so­ci­a­tion with MAHU Pic­tures, the film costs RM6 mil­lion. Shar­ing the pro­ducer’s chair are Josiah Chieng of Sayang You Can Dance and Great Day fame and Lee’s elder brother Chong Hoon.

Teng also hoped to have the man him­self in the film even if it was just a cameo. “There’s no con­fir­ma­tion whether Lee would ac­tu­ally make an ap­pear­ance in the film due to his busy sched­ule.

“But we’re hope­ful that he would want to.”

The Satur­day’s au­di­tion will be held at Pi­o­neer Sports in Sun­suria Av­enue, Kuala Lumpur from 11am to 3pm.

Teng Bee

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