Photos: Dion Tang & Joanna Goh
Videos: Tan Shi Qi and Vina Chia
With actress Joanne Peh due anytime now (or early August, to be exact), Qi Yuwu turned up at yesterday morning’s 1965 media session sans his wife, who - according to Yuwu - was at home resting because they are due at the gala premiere in the evening and it’s now “harder for her to get sufficient rest at night”.
Yuwu shared in an interview with Toggle that they are more or less prepared for the arrival of ‘baby Qi’ and no specific date has been set as they would be opting for a natural birth.
Like most parents these days, they also intend to film the entire delivery process as a form of keepsake with the help of a female cameraman.
“I won’t be filming it as I think she needs me by her side,” he added, “I don’t know if we’d want to share it [with the public] but for now, we’d just keep it as a form of memento.”
Currently based in Singapore to film Channel 8’s The Dream Makers 2, the actor also let on that he feels “lucky” to be able to spend the last trimester of Joanne’s pregnancy by her side in Singapore as he was able to witness the changes and share in her experiences.
Yuwu and Joanne at the gala premiere yesterday night. (Photo via mm2 entertainment)
Apart from the physical changes, Yuwu shared that Joanne is more sensitive and emotional these days and added that she is also more attuned to the needs and feelings of friends, colleagues or even the things happening around her.
“When I was in Beijing, she told me that she had written a letter to our child (…) For someone who had difficulty expressing herself adequately in the past, she is now able to write a letter to her child, so that’s a big change. I don’t think a lot of people would write letters these days and I was quite touched by that act.”
The father-to-be also shared that he enjoys communicating with kids, especially his young 6-year-old co-star, Sun Yi En (she is the young girl who plays Viveka in 118), who plays his onscreen daughter in the movie, and sees it as an opportunity to learn how to be a better parent.
Despite having filmed together for only two days, the onscreen father and daughter appeared chummy during the media session and even bantered a little for our cameras during the interview. And their mode of communication is through asking each other questions, said Yuwu.
“Some kids just can’t sit still or communicate with you, but she is receptive and would give you concrete answers and even think about your questions (…) A lot of kids aren’t able to express themselves these days and I’m a little worried about that,” he admitted.
When asked if this experience will influence his parenting style, Yuwu replied: “I haven’t thought about how I’d want to educate or raise my child because I’m still learning. I’m learning through communicating with kids.”
Mike Kasem grows a beard and smokes again for 1965
With 1965 being his maiden film project, Gold 90.5 DJ Mike Kasem had to grow a beard and pick up smoking again for his role as a Pakistani reporter called Raj.
Clarifying that it took him a grand total of six weeks instead of the specified two months to grow out a bushy beard for the role, Mike added that he, like filmmakers Randy Ang and Daniel Yun, wanted a full departure from his on-air and TV persona – including the accent which he based on Riz Ahmed in The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
While it was “hot and sweaty” having to live with a beard, it was the annoying remarks and comments made by people around him on a daily basis that ticked him off the most during the duration of filming. “Constantly every single day, I have people saying: ‘Wah look so bad ah, why so bad ah’ (…) I only had a couple of girls go: ‘I like beards, looks good on you’ but for the most part people ask me why and say it doesn’t look good,” he chuckled.
Hairy issues aside, Mike also revealed that he had to pick up smoking again for his chain-smoking character in the movie – something he was entirely open to doing when filmmakers came knocking on his door.
The cast of 1965 from L-R: Mike Kasem, Lim Kay Tong, Deanna Yusof, Sun Yi En, Qi Yuwu, Sezairi Sezali and James Seah
Calling himself “a very under-controlled social smoker” who hasn’t touched a cigarette in two years – up until filming began, Mike shared that he had to puff Kretek cigarettes in the movie and on average went through “almost a pack” of 25 sticks for a single scene.
“It’s very difficult to film the chain-smoking… you smoke, cut, take again, smoke, cut, take again… so there was one scene I was in the bedroom looking at all the pictures on the wall and I was so, so high from all the cigarettes,” he quipped.
“I’ve cut back [on smoking] but I’m definitely battling it now.”
1965 opens in local cinemas on July 30.