For the first time in local film history, cosplay (which means costume play to represent a specific character or idea) will be featured as the main theme of new movie Young & Fabulous.
Last Wednesday, local director Kelvin Sng and executive producer Joyce Lee (Managing Director of Encore Films) attended the press conference alongside the movie’s main cast members Aloysius Pang, Joshua Tan, Joyce Chu, Jeffrey Xu, Gurmit Singh, Quan Yi Fong, Henry Thia and rookie child actor Jordan Ng.
With a budget of S$1.2 million, Young & Fabulous will be produced by Encore Films, in collaboration with SIMF Management and Golden Village Pictures. After 1.5 years of preparation, filming is set to commence on Apr 15 and the movie is expected to open in cinemas in six Asian countries, including Taiwan and Indonesia, later this year.
For a convincing portrayal of the cosplay industry, the production team has specially engaged the help of professional cosplayers to tailor costumes for the actors.
While Joshua Tan has never tried cosplaying, he is a fan of anime such as Naruto and Bleach – which explains his excitement after learning that he would be dressing up as one of the characters in Naruto for Young & Fabulous.
In his first feature film without his buddies from the Ah Boys to Men series, Joshua’s biggest challenge is to break out of Ken Chow’s mold.
“Director (Jack) Neo once told us that some actors spend their entire lives in this industry but they have never gotten a role that people would remember them for. To achieve such results right from the start [of our careers] is a blessing,” he said. “Though we are a little afraid of being stereotyped and restricted, we want to try different roles while cherishing our success.”
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Joshua Tan is friendzoned by Joyce Chu
YouTube star Joyce Chu, better known as “Malaysian Chabor” for her viral music video which has garnered more than 8 million views to date, will be acting as classmates with Joshua and Aloysius Pang in Young & Fabulous.
In her movie debut, Joyce plays a wealthy and rebellious girl Violet Ong who yearns for attention more than anything else. The lack of family warmth also triggered Violet’s venture into the cyber world and she eventually becomes a famous social media personality.
Joyce, Aloysius and Joshua appeared to share strong chemistry with one another at the interview and attributed their growing closeness to rehearsal sessions.
While speaking to Toggle, Joyce let on that Violet will have a love line with Royston Chio (Aloysius) whereas Violet and Hao Ren (Joshua) are more like buddies. In front of Royston, Violet would put on a shy and demure façade but when she hangs out with Hao Ren, they turn “physical” and communicate by “hitting each other”.
During the interview, Joshua shared that he swopped roles with Aloysius at one of their rehearsal sessions but was rejected by Joyce who still “chose” Aloysius in the end, leaving the Ah Boy heartbroken. “I’m so sad. She rejected me!” he laughed.
After hearing Joshua’s rant, Joyce quickly explained that she was “simply too used to acting opposite Aloysius”. The 18-year-old also thinks that having rumours with her co-stars is a “good” thing. “This way, more people will be curious and they would want to watch the movie more!” she exclaimed.
If she were to pick a co-star closest to her ideal type, Joyce reckoned that the male actors have distinctive characteristics and that all of them possess qualities which fit the bill. “I know this is a very politically correct answer, but they are all really not bad,” the singer-turned-actress giggled.
Jeffrey Xu to cross-dress as female characters
Another actor who will be making his silver screen debut in Young & Fabulous is MediaCorp “Duke” Jeffrey Xu.
The Shanghai-born actor was so nervous during the press conference that his palms turned sweaty. “I used to think that movie is something that’s unreachable. Though I feel pressurised, I am very honoured [to participate in this film]. With a humble attitude, I will try to learn as many things as possible,” he said.
In addition, Jeffrey shared a new tip which he picked up from Joshua. “There is a difference between acting in a TV drama and a movie. You don’t have to make exaggerated expressions in a movie because the screen is already very big,” the actor quipped.
In Young & Fabulous, Jeffrey plays a working adult Chen Jun who comes from Tian Jin and speaks with a heavy northern Chinese accent. Every time Chen Jun makes an appearance, he would give a lengthy self-introduction, one which Jeffrey is confident would leave a lasting impression on the crowd.
According to the actor, Chen Jun is very effeminate and thus, we can expect him to be styled in outlandish costumes as well as cross-dressing outfits. When asked if he is worried about ruining his image, Jeffrey claimed that it’s no big deal as he has never considered himself an idol. Furthermore, anime otaku and toy collector has also previously played a sissy role in Ch8 drama Gonna Make It.
Young & Fabulous is slated for release in November 2015.
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