It’s all com­ing up Rosie

Never one to back down from a chal­lenge, Irene ang takes on new ones in bul­letsoverPe­tal­ingStreet.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ - By SETO KIT YAN en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

HERE in Malaysia, Irene Ang is def­i­nitely best known for her por­trayal of Rosie Phua, the colourful and colour­fully­at­tired wife of Sin­ga­pore’s most beloved con­trac­tor, Phua Chu Kang.

It is a role that she has played for some 15 years; from Me­di­a­Corp’s TV sit­com Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd (1997-2007) and ntv7’s Phua Chu Kang Sdn Bhd (2009-2010) to Phua Chu Kang The Mu­si­cal (2005) and Phua Chu Kang The Movie (2010). The role even won her Best Com­edy Per­for­mance By An Ac­tress at the Asian Tele­vi­sion Awards in 2002.

Hence, it came as no sur­prise when Ang de­cided to crack a joke about her most recog­nised role in her lat­est movie, Bul­lets Over Petaling Street.

“I like work­ing with di­rec­tors who can ac­cept in­put and are will­ing to try out al­ter­na­tive ideas. Even if it doesn’t work out in the end, at least we tried,” mused Ang, who en­joys adding her own take to the roles she plays.

In the made-in-Malaysia movie, Ang plays a well-to-do lady named Jun Po whose el­der son Xie Da Xiang (Chen Han Wei) is a restau­ra­teur and younger son Sa Pao (Wil­liam San) is a gang boss.

“Chen is only one year younger than me, and they cast him as the son and made me play the mother,” re­marked Ang, 45, in mock con­ster­na­tion, when asked com­ment on the the cast­ing.

While she is CEO of FLY En­ter­tain­ment, which man­ages more than 50 artistes, Ang does not mind sup­port­ing or mi­nor roles. “I don’t al­ways have to play the lead. What mat- ters to me is an in­ter­est­ing script or a chal­leng­ing char­ac­ter,” she said in an in­ter­view late last month.

Sip­ping red wine as she al­ter­nated ef­fort­lessly be­tween English and Man­darin, Ang chuck­led at how she had to speak Can­tonese in the ac­tion com­edy. “When I started in show­biz, I could only speak English well. When people crit­i­cised my com­mand of Man­darin, I just took the chal­lenge head-on and did more shows in Chi­nese. I’ve never spo­ken as much Can­tonese as I did in this movie. I hope ev­ery­body en­joys it.”

Jointly di­rected by Hong Kong-born movie pro­ducer Samp­son Yuen and award-win­ning lo­cal stage di­rec­tor Ho Shih Phin, Bul­lets Over Petaling Street re­volves around a fash­ion-lov­ing ac­tress named An­gel (Deb­bie Goh) who un­ex­pect­edly finds her­self at the helm of a lo­cal triad and learns to deal with gang­land power strug­gles.

When asked who was the fun­ni­est char­ac­ter on the set, Ang im­me­di­ately pointed to beauty queen-turned-ac­tress Goh. “Deb­bie was so funny that she made ev­ery­one laugh and kept things light-hearted dur­ing the shoot. The thing is she ex­udes such star qual­ity yet she is so ‘real’ and down-to-earth.”

Ang then pointed to a few im­ages in her smart­phone show­ing the girls play­ing Goh’s bum­bling body­guards hav­ing a breather be­tween takes. “There’s a bed for us to rest on while we wait for our scenes, and you won’t be­lieve how these three girls would take up all the space on the bed. It was re­ally quite amus­ing to see how Deb­bie has to squeeze in with them. Some­times, she would just end up sit­ting on the floor.”

A joint project by Juita Vi­den, Golden Screen Cin­e­mas and The Star, the RM3.3mil ac­tion com­edy is pro­duced by Juita En­ter­tain­ment and dis­trib­uted by GSC Movies with Star RFM 988 as the of­fi­cial ra­dio sta­tion.

The movie also fea­tures Steve Yap, Berg Lee, Ernest Chong, Fred­die Wong, Kelvin Leong and 988 dee­jays KK Wong and Ch­eryl Lee.

Bul­lets Over Petaling Street is now show­ing in cin­e­mas na­tion­wide.

Hav­ing her say: Irene ang en­joys work­ing with di­rec­tors who ac­cept in­put and al­ter­na­tive views from per­form­ers. —arT CHen/The Star

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