Just last year, Taiwanese actor Kent Tsai was in Malaysia with writer-director Giddens Ko to plug Mon Mon Mon Monsters where he played a schoolyard bully.
This time, the young man gets bullied instead in Taiwanese coming-of-age comedy How To Train Our Dragon.
Tsai, 21, was recently in town for a three-day tour to promote his latest movie with co-stars Chloe Xiang, 19, and Marcus Chang, 35.
The movie’s Mandarin title – ‘You Wu Ge Jie Jie De Wo Jiu Zhu Ding Yao Dan Shen Le Ah‘ – is 15 characters long, and translates to mean “As someone with five elder sisters, I am destined to be single”.
Directed by Shaun Su, How To Train Our Dragon is adapted from a novel collection by Taiwanese author Lin Ya Ming titled My Love Story Is Doomed To Failure Because Of My Five Sisters.
Named after the Kardashian-Jenner hotties – Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie – the five sassy sisters of the Lee family in the movie are played by Jeannie Hsieh, Eugenie Liu, Vera Zhang, Clover Kao and Yao Zhang.
The movie’s protagonist is a 16-year-old schoolboy named Dragon Lee, who laments his single status as a result of his five overprotective sisters’ constant interference in his love life.
One of the memorable scenes in the movie includes that of Tsai hanging upside down, where his five sisters string him up in the living room to interrogate him.
“Each take for those scenes lasted only about 30 seconds. Because, that is only as long as I could take before my face turned red and unsightly due to all the blood rushing to my head,” he remembered.
The most challenging scene sees him being strapped on to a three-storey-high rocket for two hours and getting wet in the rain.
“It was quite chilly when we were filming that. So while everyone gathered around the stove to enjoy their fried chicken, I was left strapped up there. No one bothered about me!” he joked.
But, of course, the most talked-about scene has to be the supposedly nude scene, where he steps out of the shower to find all his five elder sisters waiting outside.
Feeling concerned that having a belly would ruin the scene, he took to dry fasting to achieve a flat tummy. “I didn’t eat all day and the day before, because of that scene. So, I felt a bit drained, while we were shooting. But, it was OK to look a bit thin, because I was playing a high school student.”
Unlike his character in the movie, Tsai says he feels very fortunate that he gets lots of love from his own siblings.
“I have two older sisters, but my situation is the exact reverse of what Dragon is facing. I get my sisters to do things for me. For example, all I need to do is tell my sisters that my flight arrives at a certain time, and they will come and pick me up,” Tsai said.
Even so, the thought of being forever single like Dragon also bothers him. “Both my sisters are single and now I’m starting to worry that I’m destined to remain single forever,” said Tsai, who scored a nomination for Best Performer at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards last year for his role in the teen romance All Because Of Love.
How To Train Our Dragon is currently showing at GSC cinemas nationwide.