How "Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend" found its star | News & Features | Cinema Online

How "Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend" found its star

Writer: Dini Azri

Tosh Chan as the titular athlete in "Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend".

"Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend" will be director Teng Bee's latest big screen effort, which will see the story of Malaysian badminton hero Lee Chong Wei brought to life on the silver screen.

Set to open in cinemas this 15 March, with a special early screening of the extended version on 9 March, "Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend" tells the untold story of the national hero from his days as a young boy brought up in a poor family all the way to when he becomes the badminton professional that he is today.

The movie mainly stars new actors and actresses, namely Jake Eng, Tosh Chan, Ashley Hua, and Agnes Lim. Veteran local actor Rosyam Nor is added into the mix as badminton legend Misbun Sidek.

At the "Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend" press conference held at Quill City Mall, Cinema Online managed to get producer Josiah Chieng to talk about the actor portraying the titular badminton champion.

Tosh Chan has big shoes to fill as he will be portraying our nation's number 1 badminton player.

Cinema Online: What was the process of getting your own Lee Chong Wei?

Josiah Chieng: We held auditions in three parts of Malaysia – Penang, Johor, and lastly here in Kuala Lumpur. There were approximately more than 2000 boys trying out for this role, which made it more difficult and time consuming for us. We went through all of that and just as we were on our last day of the audition, this boy came out of nowhere and auditioned for us. That boy was Tosh Chan.

Did he immediately get the part?

No, we did gather 30 other actors including him and have them live in a house for two weeks. This is for them to prepare themselves as rigorous training will come for the shortlisted actors. The training was acting classes and badminton exercises to get the feel of the movie. Then when Tosh Chan was cast, we trained him for another two consecutive months for him to get the sense of Lee Chong Wei's character.

Did Lee Chong Wei help choose the actor portraying himself?

Yes, he did! He personally helped us with the shortlisting of actors and finally agreed with us on Tosh Chan.

Producer Josiah Chieng (far left) with the cast of "Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend".

Are there anymore cast members that haven't been revealed yet?

Well, everybody knows that Lin Dan is Lee Chong Wei's greatest competition. So we had to include him in this movie. We're not going to introduce him just yet though. You'll have to watch the movie to find out.

For the extended version that is releasing this 9 March, what can the audience expect that day?

The audience will be part of history as we are going to attempt to break both the Malaysia Book of Records and the Asia Book of Records for the most attendees in a movie premiere. We are going to set up the Bukit Jalil National Stadium's football field into a giant badminton court to get the right feel for the movie experience because honestly, it would be weird if we used a football field as the venue of a movie premiere that's all about badminton.

And as for the movie itself, you can expect a heartfelt story about Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei and how he became the person that he is today. It is going to be an emotional ride for the audience, I can guarantee you that.

"Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend" is smashing its way to cinemas this 15 March.

Cinema Online, 20 February 2018

Related Movies:
Lee Chong Wei (Mandarin) (15 Mar 2018)

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