A scary and ex­cit­ing shoot

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

THE whole cast of Bul­lets Over Pe­tal­ing Street gets to go crazy with their char­ac­ters. “Ev­ery­one ex­cept me,” groused Chen Han Wei.

“Mine is the most nor­mal char­ac­ter you will find in the movie. I play a very or­di­nary, goody two-shoes sort of guy next door,” Chen, 44, of­fered about his role as mild-man­nered restau­ra­teur Xie Da Xiang, who op­er­ates Foo Tai Restau­rant in the film.

“He is also a very ro­man­tic fel­low, who still car­ries a torch for his childhood sweet­heart (played by Deb­bie Goh),” added Chen, for whom the most mem­o­rable scene was the one he dubbed “locks of love” which was filmed on a flight of stairs with Goh.

Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Goh for the first time, Chen was im­pressed by her com­mand of the script and her grasp of the char­ac­ter.

“Deb­bie is very clear about what she wants out of each scene and knows ex­actly what is re­quired of her, and de­liv­ers her best at ev­ery shoot, so work­ing with her was a breeze.

“Other cast mem­bers like Wil­liam San and KK Wong were also fun to work with. I es­pe­cially like that they are all straight-talk­ing folks,” said the mul­ti­ple-award-win­ning ac­tor (Sin­ga­pore’s Star Awards, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2010).

“Mak­ing movies in Malaysia is such an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence. Most no­table were the ex­cep­tional team­work and strong ca­ma­raderie be­tween cast and crew,” said Chen, who looks for­ward to more projects here and hopes that some weird and quirky roles will come his way.

Bul­lets also marked many firsts for Chen. Apart from be­ing his Malaysian film de­but, the ac­tion com­edy also fea­tures Chen speak- ing in a mix of Man­darin, Can­tonese and even Ba­hasa Malaysia for the first time.

Born and raised in Jo­hor Baru, Chen has been ply­ing his trade since age 18 in Sin­ga­pore, where all Chi­nese pro­duc­tions are in Man­darin, with an oc­ca­sional smat­ter­ing of Hokkien in movies.

For­tu­nately, the per­son­able chap has his Malaysian up­bring­ing to thank for his easy fa­mil­iar­ity with sev­eral Chi­nese di­alects.

“Un­like Sin­ga­porean pro­duc­tions which are only in Man­darin, Malaysians like to use var­i­ous di­alects and lan­guages. Luck­ily my mother is Can­tonese, so I learnt how to speak the di­alect,” he mused, al­ter­nat­ing ef­fort­lessly be­tween Man­darin and Can­tonese in a re­cent phone in­ter­view from Sin­ga­pore.

Chen also spoke of how film­ing on lo­ca­tion in Pe­tal­ing Street was a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence for him. “Run­ning around try­ing to film our scenes in Pe­tal­ing Street was no easy mat­ter as there were al­ways lots of peo­ple ev­ery­where.

“Plus it was scary and ex­cit­ing at the same time, as there was al­ways the pos­si­bil­ity of us bump­ing into real-life triad bosses!”

The lanky thes­pian re­called how he had to com­plete his scenes in 10 days, then rush back to Sin­ga­pore to film Yes We Can!, a Lu­nar New Year TV se­ries which is cur­rently air­ing on Sin­ga­pore’s Me­di­a­Corp Chan­nel 8 and Malaysia’s Astro Shuang Xing (Ch 324).

Chen, who made his film de­but last year in the Gil­bert Chan-helmed Sin­ga­porean horror flick Ghost Child, al­ready has some 80 tele­vi­sion drama cred­its to his name. Up­com­ing projects in­clude two more TV se­ries, a yearend block­buster, and some coach­ing clin­ics for new­bies. – Se­toKitYan

Chen’s most mem­o­rable scene from the film which he dubbed ‘locks of love’, filmed with Goh (left) on a flight of stairs.

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