Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Jumaat, Februari 27, 2009

#149. Berita Filem - Role that matters

Thursday February 26, 2009
The Star

At the centre of Love Matters’ story is troubled couple Tan Bo Seng (Henry Thia) and Jia Li (Yeo Yann Yann). After years of marriage, they start to feel that the love has gone out of their relationship.Meanwhile, their young son Benny (Alex Leong) is just finding out about the birds and the bees, while Bo Seng’s womanising brother Jeremy (Jack Lim) finds himself falling in love.

The movie also stars Malaysians Cheryl Lee, MayJune Tan and veteran Lai Ming, with a cameo by Jack Neo regular Mark Lee.

It’s interesting to note that Thia is a Neo film regular while Malaysian actress Yeo is a Neo film newbie. And what’s more interesting is that while Yeo plays Thia’s wife in the film, she is actually almost the same age as Thia’s eldest daughter.

“She can be my daughter, you know!” Thia joked.

Johor-born Yeo has appeared in many Singapore productions, from Royston Tan’s 2007 megahit 881 and Singapore Dreaming to some independent short films. In Love Matters, the 32-year-old had to make herself look older in order to play Jia Li.

“It was one of the things I had to consider before taking on this role,” said Yeo. “So I did my homework and tried on a few things for myself. And then I thought perhaps I could do it.”

“She went to the market and surveyed the aunties,” Thia joked.

“If I can’t look the role, then I can’t do it, because the camera is so cruel,” said Yeo. “If you do not look the part, then no matter how hard you try, it won’t work. You have to somehow look the part first, and so I started from there.”

“You know what helped you?” Thia asked her. “The costumes!” At that point, Yeo broke into laughter.

“She has to act old, but I don’t have to,” Thia added, eliciting more laughter from those at the press conference.

In one particular sequence, Bo Seng and Jia Li try to “get it on” in bed, but the husband discovers his impotence. Asked if it was awkward for them in that scene, Yeo said: “No, it wasn’t awkward. In fact, we were laughing so hard under the covers. Our crew was just laughing so hard, we had to lock them out of the room because they were so noisy! They were distracting us.”

Thia and Yeo had worked together in a TV sketch 10 years ago, so for them, the chemistry was immediate once they got on the set of Love Matters.

“The moment we came to work on this film, we just clicked,” said Yeo. “It’s probably because we’re both Pisceans. His birthday is five days after mine.”

For Thia, this is his first leading role, after having worked with Neo for 25 years.

“He has improved a lot,” said Thia of Neo. “Now I like Jack Neo movies!”

So he didn’t like them before this?

“I don’t know lah,” said the ever straight-faced comedian. “Before this, he used to make just funny movies, but now, his movies also touch on serious issues. So I get to learn more as well.”

Thia also credited Neo for making him well-known. “Before this, whenever I came to Kuala Lumpur, nobody recognised me. But after Money No Enough 2, a lot of people now know me,” said Thia.

So, what if one day Neo doesn’t have a role for him any more?

“I will ...” Thia joked, feigning anger and clenching his fists.

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