Fans of Chinese language radio station 988 will soon get to see their favourite deejays on the big screen.
The local Chinese radio station is currently making its first Chinese New Year film, targeted for release in 2018.
Titled A House Of Happiness, the film is set to star veteran Hong Kong actors Richard Ng and Choo Mimi, and Malaysian actors Steve Yap, Louisa Chong, Miau Lim and Thian Siew Kim.
The cast will also feature 988 deejays Chan Fong, Cheryl Lee, Anson Kow, Sam Mak, Sean Lee, Jason Poon, Cassey Soo, Cynthia Tan, Piao Min, Danny One and Hau Min.
The movie project continues from 988’s 20th anniversary celebration from the previous year and follows in the vein of the short film projects that 988 released early this year.
“This year, 988 began using the A House Of Happiness theme for its Chinese New Year films. When we started planning for the 2018 film, the title A House Of Happiness was proposed and the team unanimously agreed that it was a perfect fit,” explained 988 general manager Timmund Lim.
“We are proud and excited to be embarking on our first overseas collaboration, and at the same time evolving the popular 988 short films into something bigger and better for our audiences and supporters,” Lim added.
Prolific local filmmaker Ryon Lee (Show Me Your Love, The Dream Boyz, My Papa Rich, Seventh) has been roped in to helm A House Of Happiness as chief director alongside executive director JY Teng. They will be working with producers Aron Koh (Seventh, The Dream Boyz, My Papa Rich) and Chan Fong, who revealed that they decided to cast a whole bunch of new faces in the movie to give the cast a fresh look.
A House Of Happiness commenced filming last week at a row of old houses at Batu Arang, a former coal mining town in Gombak District, Selangor.
When asked to comment on the location, director Lee said the team decided on the quiet small town of Batu Arang after much research. “We wanted a place that was different and yet preserved the beauty of old town nostalgia. At the same time, we wanted to avoid locations that had already been depicted too often in other movies.”
This is Lee’s first time working with Guangdong-born Hong Kong actor Ng.
“Richard is such an experienced actor. Sometimes we don’t even know whether he is joking or being serious,” Lee shared his excitement.
The other actors also echoed his sentiment and voiced their own nervousness and trepidation at being given the opportunity to work with Ng as they all grew up watching the 77-year-old in various Hong Kong comedies.
Hearing those comments, Ng took the opportunity to allay their fears. “I am concerned about all this talk I am hearing from everybody who is feeling scared and nervous. That is actually not the right frame of mind to be in, since we are shooting a funny movie. In my opinion, shooting a comedy should be just a lot of fun from the beginning till the end. In fact, the process should be so enjoyable that you wouldn’t care whether you are making any money from it,” he said.
One of Hong Kong’s most iconic and prolific comedic actors in the 1980s, Ng has more than 80 films under his belt, and was even nominated for the Best Actor Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards twice.
He is best known as one of the five “Lucky Stars” alongside Sammo Hung, Charlie Chin, Stanley Fung and John Shum, which produced the hit Lucky Stars 1980s film trilogy – Winners And Sinners, My Lucky Stars and Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars. He was recently seen in a cameo role in Jackie Chan’s 2016 Hollywood film Skiptrace.
In A House Of Happiness, Ng plays a cranky old man suffering from dementia, while his co-star Choo plays a nurse who is driven away by his ill-temper.
Ng shared his impression of his co-star Choo, whom he had worked with in Singaporean drama Br4thers (or Brothers 4). “It was very memorable for me because that was an English language drama and she told me very honestly that she could not speak English. She had learnt all her lines by heart. I realised that she was very bold and brave,” he said.
A House Of Happiness is jointly presented by Be World Class Management, HK Media and 988, and produced by Lomo Picture Sdn Bhd. Visit www.988.com.my or www.facebook.com/988.my for details. 988 is part of the Star Media Radio Group.