1 Oct – Despite the heavy marketing efforts for MY FM DJ cum director cum producer cum actor Jack Lim's 2013's Chinese New Year feature film "Once Upon A Time", not much has been revealed about the production, aside from the official synopsis which only offers an inkling into the film and the size of the production which is twice that of "Ah Beng The Movie: Three Wishes".
However, in a recent press conference, it was revealed that the film will feature a new child star, a 7-year-old boy named Tan Zheng Kang. Tan's role in the story is as major as it gets, playing a child beggar who goes by the name of Katt Chai, considering that director Silver has said that they will not just "shine the spotlight on any one character".
After seeing early screenings of the trailer, it can be speculated that the relationship between Jack Lim's Emperor and Katt Chai will be one of father figure and son, as Katt Chai is an intelligent orphan boy whose priority is making sure that he and his grandfather gets by from day-to-day.
According to Jack Lim, the young child star is nothing short of impressing.
"We were looking for a child star, but we did not plan to have this specific character in the film. However, when he [Tan] showed up for the audition, his happy-go-lucky and very active personality caught our eye, and we decided that we must cast him. It is astonishing how sometimes things like this can happen, as though it is fated."
On the other hand, in spite of Jack Lim and Silver's praises of the boy, they did not wish to feature him heavily in the film's promotional activities.
"As someone who only completed Form 3 and has a son, I want him to concentrate on his studies rather than being a star. If you have education, it's forever. I mean, look at all those child stars. They grow up to do bad things because they cannot take the pressure well or because they don't have any job offers later and cannot do anything else," said Jack Lim.
"Once Upon A Time" is based on the popular My FM skit, "Palace Stories", which chronicles the adventures of a lazy, greedy and selfish Emperor who is sent into the future along with his two servants, Eunuch Tok (Vivian Tok) and Yu-Fa (Gan Mei Yan), during a rebellion by his people. The film will see release in cinemas on 7 February 2013.