After the ginormous success that was "Ah Beng The Movie: Three Wishes", all eyes are on MY FM DJ Jack Lim's next production, which is slated to be "Once Upon A Time", a period feature film adaptation of his popular radio skit, "Palace Stories". The film tells the story of a lazy, greedy and selfish Emperor who fears death, thus, is seeking for ways to live forever. When a rebellion storms his palace one day, the Emperor is forced by his devoted Prime Minister, Lord Turtle, into a forbidden room in the palace with his two companions, Eunuch Tok and Yu-Fa, which sends them into the year 2013. Directed by Silver ("Ah Beng The Movie: Three Wishes"), the film stars Jack Lim, Jeff Chin, Gan Mei Yan, Vivian Tok and Tan Zheng Kang.
Last week when "Once Upon A Time" was shooting in Batu Lahat, Perak, we folks at Cinema Online got to visit the set and talk with most of the cast, but more in-depth with one of the MY FM DJs, Vivian Tok. We talked about how she got involved in the project, what it's like filming in Batu Lahat, her costume, character, and a lot more.
Q: Hi! Can you first tell us why you accepted the role for "Once Upon A Time"?
Vivian Tok: There is nothing special about it really. Most people surprised that I'm in this one this time since I wasn't in "Ah Beng The Movie: Three Wishes" even though I'm part of MY FM, but the truth is, Jack and Silver doesn't simply cast people in their films. I have appeared in "Palace Stories" before, and it just so happens that they have decided to bring back my character as one of the main ones for the film. I'm very grateful for that because I get to act with my people I know. But I'm also not just someone who just accepts any role given to me! I have to see whether I like the script or not, and I like this one.
Q: How do you balance between being a MY FM DJ and acting?
Vivian: I think because I have to, I somehow find a way to do it. Usually, the best thing is to take a break or sleep when you feel tired. That way, you won't find yourself struggling to work, which then makes you hate your job.
Q: How did you prepare for this role? Do you watch movies often?
Vivian: I don't really have a lot to prepare for as our roles in "Once Upon A Time" are mostly based on ourselves. What you see me play in "Once Upon A Time" is really me, but of course we exaggerate for the comedic effect. I used to like watching movies a lot during Secondary school, but somehow along the way, I stopped. I think I was just too busy. My family once asked why I'm always giving out free tickets on MY FM, but I have never watched the movie myself! But when I got into acting, I'm more up-to-date with movies because it's part of my research.
Q: Was there anything new that you had to learn for "Once Upon A Time"?
Vivian: Kungfu. We didn't really go into it though, just the basics. We'll be relying on the expert camerawork to make it all look authentic. Also, this is not something new I learnt, but filming in Ipoh for this long is a new experience for me.
Q: What is the hardest scene you had to film for the film then?
Vivian: So far, filming has been hard on all of us because of the hot weather and our thick costumes, but I think the hardest will be the one to come, where I have to jump off a 20-storey building. There will be a mattress below of course, but I was told that it was only going to be 10 storeys. I'm not afraid of heights, but there is a big difference in looking down from 20 storeys and jumping off 20 storeys! [Laughs]
Q: What is your favourite film?
Vivian: I like the Chow Yun-fat film, "Let The Bullets Fly". I also liked the Angelababy film "The First Time", because I feel that there is not just romance in the film, but also comedy, music and family drama. I think they were very smart to use cartoon sequences as well because it gives the film a different feeling.
Q: That's all for now. Thank you!
Vivian: You're welcome.