Photos: Dang Hui Ling and Golden Village Pictures
Video: Charlene Chong and Tan Shi Qi
Award-winning Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann challenged her personal limit of showing skin onscreen in her new movie Rubbers, a quirky local sex comedy set to hit local cinemas at the end of the month.
At the film’s press conference on Monday, Yann Yann joined local writer and film director Han Yew Kwang and leading actors Julian Hee, Alaric Tay, Ooh Shu An, Marcus Chin and Catherine Sng in dishing out some interesting episodes during their filming process.
Dressed in a white body-fitting tank top and denim shorts that were like a pair of undies in the film, Yann Yann raised temperatures when she boldly showcased her cleavage and preyed on her co-star Julian.
The Ilo Ilo lead actress had forgone her emotional role to play a single and lonely woman named Baoling who writes reviews on different types of condoms. Desperate to satisfy her sexual desires and write a new review, Baoling attempts to seduce hunky and charming plumber Thor, played by Julian.
Being one of the rare sex-related local productions, Rubbers is rated R21 for its sexual innuendos and display of sex positions that string the film together. Yet, its daring and humorous approach was popular amongst locals at the Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) last year, leading it to be one of the fastest-selling and most highly-acclaimed shows at the prestigious event.
Apart from the pair’s smoking performance in their short sequence titled The Plumber, the three-part film, based on the theme of condoms, also consists of two other bizarre stories to tickle its viewers.
One of them is Balloons, a tale of a middle-aged married couple, played by Marcus Chin and Catherine Sng, who rekindle the spark in their lackluster sex life when Marcus chances upon a condom and was reminded of the couple’s younger days.
The show then leads into Nightmare, a story about playboy Adam (played by Alaric Tay) who gets his just desserts for disliking the use of condoms when he meets AV actress Momoko (played by Ooh Shu An).
Breastfeeding gave her a good figure
Speaking about her daring and skimpy look in Rubbers, Yann Yann initially joked that it had given “depth” to the film, but later said in a serious tone that her voluptuous figure was due to her breastfeeding her baby girl Vera Ma.
Having undergone a caesarean section to deliver Vera, she initially did not wish to resume her acting career that quickly as she needed to recuperate her weak health conditions. She eventually accepted Yew Kwang’s casting offer as they have collaborated in several projects before and share a close friendship.
Yann Yann was thrilled to play her character as she saw it as a breakthrough to Singapore’s conservative film industry that has a limited number of sex-related productions to date.
Though a mother-of-one, the 38-year-old does not limit herself to a fixed image as she believes that an actor should always accept new challenges. She also revealed that she did not seek permission from her husband, Hong Kong action director Ma Yuk Sing, before she accepted the offer and is not worried about his response should he watch the film.
One of her best memories on set was the seductive scene in the bathroom with Julian, where her animal-print lingerie could be seen under her drenched body-hugging tank top. Yann Yann recalled losing her voice after as she had filmed for five consecutive days and the pair struggled to complete the scene in a cramped HDB toilet and repeated their lines many times.
Recalling another romantic scene where Julian carried her while she was changing a lightbulb, Yann Yann mocked her weight and humbly said that it was due to her co-star’s effort and strength that the scene turned out well.
Julian, however, replied reassuringly, “I’m so big-sized, (carrying Yann Yann) is not a problem!”
Julian Hee wants to act again
At the press conference, local heartthrob Julian also expressed his joy in making a silver screen return through Rubbers. The 36-year-old explained that he had faded out from the industry as he has been busy managing his younger brother Haden Hee’s Korean restaurant.
Julian admitted that he would occasionally miss being an actor, remembering the good times while working with his celebrity friends and even the bad times with some of the nastiest directors he had met.
However, Julian believes that everyone needs to move forward in life and has done so to garner different experiences at a young age to become wiser in life and improve his acting skills. He also likened acting to eating ice-cream. “It is good to eat it once it a while, but it gets overwhelming if you keep eating it,” he quipped.
Yet, should he chance upon a good script, the 36-year-old is ready to return to the screen again. While Julian has received several casting offers at the moment, he is now careful with his choices and will make a decision based on the storyline of the production.
Rubbers is jointly produced by 18grams Pictures and Widescreen Media, distributed by Golden Village Pictures and Lighthouse Pictures It opens in local cinemas on Apr 30 and is rated R21.
This article is translated by Isadora Ong.