Jeffrey Xu making transition into movie star

The Mediacorp actor shared that he hopes to work on more films and expand his career overseas

The cast and director pose for a group shot
The cast and director pose for a group shot
15 Jun 2018

The cast and director pose for a group shot

Photos: Encore Films

Come February 2019, there will be at least two local movies battling it out in the box office during Chinese New Year – one is Jack Neo’s Killer Not Stupid, along with Joyce Lee’s latest brainchild, Fat Hope. The movie talks about the journey of a high-flying model who suddenly wakes up one day and realises that she packed on the pounds overnight, and how she deals with her new body.

Conceptualising Fat Hope has taken all of two years, and Joyce, along with local actors Liu Ling Ling, Henry Thia, Jeffrey Xu, Abigail Chay and Priscilla Lim attended the principal photography press conference held at the Conrad Centennial Singapore yesterday (June 14). The identity of the two leads were kept hush-hush until their appearance, which had many guessing who would be the lead of Joyce’s latest directorial effort.

We were in for a surprise when the leads made an entrance; Taiwanese actorAlien Huang takes on his first local movie role in seven years (his last was Michelle Chong’s Already Famous), while this is the first time that Taiwanese actress Lin Yu Pin (also known as Ah Xi) will be involved in a Singaporean production.

Joyce revealed to us in an interview after the press conference that Alien’s casting was confirmed a year ago, but only decided on Yu Pin after watching three audition clips following a friend’s recommendation.

(Continued on next slide: Alien Huang reveals the secret behind his peculiar ability to read people)

Pictured (L-R): Priscilla Lim, Liu Ling Ling, Joyce Lee, Lin Yu Pin, Alien Huang, Henry Thia, Jeffrey Xu, Abigail Chay

lien Huang reveals the secret behind his peculiar ability to read people
lien Huang reveals the secret behind his peculiar ability to read people
15 Jun 2018

lien Huang reveals the secret behind his peculiar ability to read people

Speaking to Toggle in an interview after the press conference ended, Joyce explained she had her sights set on Alien a long time ago, and confirmed his casting about a year ago. “We needed someone handsome, who can sing, and tells jokes well. Apart from Alien, I can’t think of anyone else who can fit the bill,” Joyce mused.

Alien’s sense of humor was evident during our interview with him, as his comments tickled Yu Pin so much that she bent over with laughter on more than one occasion. We also learned something new about the 34-year-old this time around: he’s also an expert at analysing people, and was declared as Yu Pin as “even better than a fortune-teller”.

“I asked her if she has trouble walking in high heels, and she said yes,” Alien smiled. “Actually, I don’t even need to look at her ba zi (eight characters of birth which is often used for divination) to tell what she’s like. From the way she walks, talks, sits, and even carries herself, it’s easy for me to pick out what her personality is like.”

Yu Pin added that Alien has also guessed correctly that she’s the absentminded type, sharing that she once took a remote control from the dentist’s office home by accident (she returned it two weeks later), and even put a glass of orange juice in her bag when she attended a friend’s banquet.

At this time, she proudly proclaimed that she can also drive and eat her bento at the same time, or even apply her makeup while on the road. “People like you really shouldn’t drive,” Alien declared in mock horror. “It’s the kind who think they can multitask, but really can’t, that end up making trouble.”

(Continued on next slide: Jeffrey Xu’s foray into the movie market)

Jeffrey Xu’s foray into the movie market
Jeffrey Xu’s foray into the movie market
15 Jun 2018

Jeffrey Xu’s foray into the movie market

While Jeffrey’s last movie was 2016’s Young & Fabulous (fun fact: this film was also directed by Joyce), the actor was happy to share that he has not one, but two movies lined up for him this year.

“I’m very blessed and fortunate to have two movies confirmed this year. One is Fat Hope, while I’ll start promoting the other one in August this year around National Day,” the 29-year-old said. “It’s not that I’m only focusing on movie roles now, but at the same time, I also won’t rule out participating in overseas movies if a good opportunity arises.”

For Fat Hope, his character, who works as a shampoo boy in a hair salon, will be a little more effeminate than his usual roles. “For every single scene, I’ll have to consider how I want to use my body language to make my role convincing, because I don’t want to go over-the-top with it either. Simple movements, like the way I flick my head, can also do a lot to contribute to how I develop my character,” he mused.

With imaging slated to take place in a couple of days, Jeffrey also let on that he will not be against showing some skin for this role. “I don’t go to the gym on a regular basis but I do make it a point to go for a run every day,” he explained. “I think my current condition is okay, but if they want me to go topless in the movie, they’ll have to let me know in advance so that I can prepare myself. If they tell me that I have to shed some skin moments before the actual filming, I might have to consider some factors before I can make my decision.”

Fat Hope is slated to debut in cinemas during the Chinese New Year 2019 period.

Click on for more photos of the Fat Hope principal photography press conference!

Alien Huang and Priscilla Lim will play siblings in Fat Hope
Alien Huang and Priscilla Lim will play siblings in Fat Hope
15 Jun 2018

Alien Huang and Priscilla Lim will play siblings in Fat Hope

Lin Yu Pin and Liu Ling Ling will play mother and daughter
Lin Yu Pin and Liu Ling Ling will play mother and daughter
15 Jun 2018

Lin Yu Pin and Liu Ling Ling will play mother and daughter

Joyce Lee, Alien Huang, Lin Yu Pin, Liu Ling Ling
Joyce Lee, Alien Huang, Lin Yu Pin, Liu Ling Ling
15 Jun 2018

Joyce Lee, Alien Huang, Lin Yu Pin, Liu Ling Ling

Alien Huang
Alien Huang
15 Jun 2018

Alien Huang

Henry Thia
Henry Thia
15 Jun 2018

Henry Thia

Joyce Lee
Joyce Lee
15 Jun 2018

Joyce Lee

Lin Yu Pin
Lin Yu Pin
15 Jun 2018

Lin Yu Pin

Abigail Chay
Abigail Chay
15 Jun 2018

Abigail Chay

Liu Ling Ling
Liu Ling Ling
15 Jun 2018

Liu Ling Ling

Priscilla Lim
Priscilla Lim
15 Jun 2018

Priscilla Lim

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