A new look

A-niu says good­bye to crooked teeth.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By AMANDA SEE

Malaysian singer-ac­tor a-niu’s lat­est Chi­nese new year com­edy will be the last time you see his trade­mark crooked teeth on the big screen.

a-niu says he had 16 of his crooked teeth re­moved af­ter wrap­ping up the film­ing for his lat­est flick, Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat!, di­rected by Tan Boon Huat.

a visit to the den­tist had re­vealed that his teeth were de­cay­ing, says the 38-year-old.

He re­vealed he was wear­ing tem­po­rary den­tures and will do so un­til he can get his tooth im­plants – a process that might take 15 months, in­clud­ing time for his gums to heal.

in Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat!, which opens to­day, he plays autis­tic kam­pung youth ah Huat. While ah Huat can­not ex­press him­self well, he has a knack for brew­ing good cof­fee. He goes through a se­ries of events in or­der to achieve hap­pi­ness and suc­cess, while stay­ing true to his hon­est, down-to-earth na­ture.

While he is of­ten cast as sim­ple-minded char­ac­ters, a-niu says he now wants to take on dif­fer­ent roles.

“i want to try new roles. i can take on dif­fer­ent roles. i am will­ing to do a lot of things,” he says.

Hong Kong singer-ac­tress Joyce Cheng, who plays the fe­male lead in the film, adds: “i think af­ter he straight­ens out his teeth, he can try out stylish and hand­some roles.”

While a-niu is seek­ing more stylish roles, Cheng, 26, had gone in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, sport­ing a bad do, thick eye­brows and even a mous­tache in the film as his love in­ter­est Xiaop­ing.

Cheng’s will­ing­ness to “uglify” her­self is pre­cisely the rea­son she was picked for the role, says a-niu.

Cheng, the daugh­ter of vet­eran ac­tor adam Cheng and the late come­di­enne ly­dia sum, has been work­ing on her singing ca­reer in Hong Kong in re­cent years.

in De­cem­ber last year, she re­leased an al­bum, The Voice Of Love, with Can­tonese tracks.

Huat Ah! marks the first time she is act­ing in Man­darin, as well as a sin­ga­pore-Malaysia co-pro­duc­tion, and she says that she was ner­vous about do­ing it. as she was not fa­mil­iar with Malaysian cul­ture, aniu had to take her around to visit the coun­try’s kam­pungs.

On her first time work­ing with a-niu, Cheng says she had thought ini­tially that he had a “hy­per­ac­tive” per­son­al­ity from watch­ing his pre­vi­ous shows.

“af­ter meet­ing him, i re­alised that our per­son­al­i­ties were the op­po­site of each other,” she says. “it turns out that i’m the hy­per­ac­tive one and he has a ‘zen’ qual­ity, just like a big brother.”

sin­ga­pore artiste Mar­cus Chin, who has worked with a-niu pre­vi­ously in another two films, The Wed­ding Di­ary (2012) and The Wed­ding Di­ary II (2013), is also in the movie, play­ing a-niu’s grand­fa­ther.

One of a-niu’s favourite scenes is a heart-wrench­ing one, in which Chin tries to stop his daugh­ter from aban­don­ing ah Huat.

Fam­ily to­geth­er­ness, un­like in the film, comes first for the two leads this Chi­nese new year. a-niu, who is di­vorced, went back to his home­town to spend time with his 13-yearold daugh­ter. “i’ve been busy for the past one to two years. sud­denly, i re­alised my daugh­ter is a teenager, taller than me and in high school. it’s scary.”

sim­i­larly, Cheng says: “There are some rel­a­tives i haven’t seen in two years and they’re all in Hong Kong now, so i feel i should spend time with them. Fam­ily is very im­por­tant to me.” — The straits Times, sin­ga­pore/asia news net­work

Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat! opens in cine­mas na­tion­wide to­day. iT is an ex­cit­ing time in the lo­cal movie scene.

af­ter be­ing bowled over by Kolumpo and Laga, now movie fans will be treated with some­thing fresh and dif­fer­ent in Kami His­te­ria.

The movie tells the story of a strug­gling girl group, Kami His­te­ria, who are try­ing to find their big break. The girls move into a run­down apart­ment in a se­cluded area near a jun­gle where they record their new song.The five friends are as­tounded when they hear an eerie, ban­shee-like wail­ing on the back­ground of their new song. They de­cide to up­load it on youTube any­way.

Un­ex­pect­edly, the song be­comes a hit and the girls be­come an overnight sen­sa­tion, but lit­tle do they know their lives are about to change for­ever.

Kami His­te­ria, which is bud­geted at RM2mil, stars Diana Danielle, Mila Jirin, nad Zainal, sara ali, Umie sal­wana Omar and nur Faruza.

Though shamyl Oth­man is a new name in the film scene, the di­rec­tor has gained ex­pe­ri­ence in show­busi­ness pro­duc­ing Red Com­mu­ni­ca­tions dra­mas, in­clud­ing Blog­ger Boy, Waktu Re­hat and Sadiq & Co. He has also dab­bled in di­rect­ing when he helmed TV shows like My Ghost Story Asia 1 & 2 and Oh! My English: Hello Amer­ica.

“Work­ing on Kami His­te­ria was fun, and as a di­rec­tor, it was easy to di­rect the screen­play writ­ten by Rafi­dah ab­dul­lah be­cause she put all the de­tails to­gether on how to ex­e­cute cer­tain scenes. it def­i­nitely made my job a lot eas­ier. as a di­rec­tor, i found work­ing on the movie in­spir­ing,” shamyl said.

He also added that the ac­tresses gave their full com­mit­ment, in­clud­ing tak­ing mu­sic lessons (so that they can play mu­si­cal in­stru­ments) from mu­si­cian-singer­song­writer loque of Monoloque.

ac­cord­ing to Rafi­dah, the idea for the the film came about five years ago when she was in­volved in a project which was held in an old apart­ment build­ing lo­cated at a re­mote area where res­i­dents claimed to have heard strange noises at night.

Tak­ing a year to de­velop the screen­play, Rafi­dah has her very own unique way of blend­ing sim­ple, light-hearted com­edy with el­e­ments of horror.

Rafi­dah said when she wrote the script she didn’t plan it as a com­edy but is happy with the fi­nal re­sult. — Azhariah Kamin

Kami His­te­ria opens in cine­mas na­tion­wide to­day.

Stars (clock­wise from left) Sara Ali, Diana Danielle, Nad Zainal, Umie Sal­wana Omar and Mila Jirin.

New chal­lenge: While he is of­ten cast as sim­ple-minded char­ac­ters, A-niu says he now wants to take on dif­fer­ent roles.

Hu­atAh!Hu­atAh!Huat! also stars Joyce Cheng.

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