Writer: Thomas Ng Jun Tong
Upcoming Malaysian Kung Fu comedy, "Petaling Street Warrior", that's directed by James Lee, has recently begun its principle photography at Siputeh, Ipoh. With the reported budget of RM3 million, "Petaling Street Warrior" which stars Mark Lee, Yeo Yann Yann, Jack Neo, Frederick Lee, and also Namewee, is expected to release next year!
Interview conducted recently at "Petaling Street Warrior" shooting site in Siputeh, Ipoh.
(Left to right) Namewee, Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Yeo Yann Yann, unknown actor and Frederick Lee dine together during our interview session.
Q: Tell us about your roles in "Petaling Street Warrior".
Namewee: I play the role of a tapioca powder seller who's secretly a Kung Fu expert. My real identity is actually as a secret bodyguard for See Du Yew (Mark Lee), because he's the last emperor. I sell tapioca powder in the morning and secretly protect See Du Yew every night.
Mark: I play the last emperor, but I don't know about it until someone tells me. I marry Zhung Li Chun (Yeo Yann Yann) and we sell Hokkien Mee together. I'm 35-years-old but act like I'm a 15-year-old boy. Although she's my wife, she never lets me touch her.
Yeo: I'm See Du Yew's wife and also the protector who needs to protect him. I need to fulfil my father's wish so I make the sacrifice to marry See Du Yew.
Frederick: In this film, I am an antagonist. I'm a powerful eunuch from China and my mission is to steal the treasure from See Du Yew and the gang. When I first arrive from China, I hunt for the treasure and fight them.
Q: Namewee, is this the first time you play a lead in a feature film?
Namewee: Yes. Previously I was just directing short films but never acted in feature films before.
Q: Thus far, has anyone met with any problems or obstacles while shooting?
Namewee: To be honest, I have no martial arts background in real life. Therefore, I needed to extensively train for a week before the shooting started.
Yeo: Yes, for those who don't have martial arts background, they need to train before shooting. The training sessions are not exactly real Kung Fu, but it just provides a psychical momentum that's useful for the movie.
Mark: Namewee has a bigger problem than all of us. At night, he doesn't exercise, but just sits in a corner to write song lyrics. (Laughs)
Yeo: Sometimes, a crane is needed for some fighting scenes to lift us up. Namewee always faints due to dehydration, but I have to admit that the weather is very hot.
Mark: Because of this, we need to buy a lot of cold drinks. The uncle who sells cold drinks by the corner is so happy because we're his loyal customers. (Laughs)
|Candid shots taken during the interview session.
Q: Namewee, are there any new films that's on your plate to direct in the near future?
Cinema Online, 23 May 2011
Namewee: Yes, there are plans and the names will remain a secret at the moment. I can say that the only problem now is the budget problem so for now I'm still looking for budget support.
Q: It seems that you are very interested with directing, singing and acting, which one do you prefer the most?
Namewee: For me, music is just like water, as I need to drink it everyday. Singing is my dream job. Acting can be a bridge for me to learn something from the director, as I can gain experience in directing through that.
Q: Since Mark Lee says that you write song lyrics at night and don't exercise, are there any upcoming new songs?
Namewee: I have prepared two theme songs for this film. I didn't plan for it at first, but I was inspired during shooting so I decided to write songs for it. Mark: Yes, I have listened to the songs and they are rather good ones to be featured in the movie!
Okay, thank you and all the best!
All: Thank you!
"Petaling Street Warrior" is currently in production and is scheduled for Malaysian & Singaporean release next year!