Chen Tianwen: 'Unbelievable, I'm now a movie star'
Chen Tianwen and his co-stars take us behind. the scenes of their new movie, Mr Unbelievable
He has been in showbiz for three decades.
But local actor Chen Tianwen is still finding it unbelievable that he is playing the lead in his own movie for the first time.
The 52-year-old portrays the titular protagonist in new Mandarin comedy Mr Unbelievable, which opens here tomorrow and is a spin-off of his viral music video Unbelievable.
In the movie, which cost around $1 million, Chen plays 80s singer Eric Kwek, who incorporates English words into his Hokkien songs during his performances.
He receives vocal lessons from his master (Marcus Chin) and has a girlfriend (Liu Ling Ling) who sells beer for a living.
Veteran singer Roy Loi plays Ah Fei, a timid fellow disciple who helps Kwek with his song arrangements during their younger days.
Besides getai stalwarts Liu and Chin, actress Jaime Teo and popular Ah Boys To Men actor Tosh Zhang also star in the film.
LEADING MAN: Chen Tianwen with the other cast members in the movie Mr Unbelievable (above).PHOTO: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT
Speaking at the movie's press conference at Faber Peak yesterday, a visibly touched Chen said: "I couldn't sleep well last night thinking about today. I can't believe a song that went viral can go on to become a movie. I am very thankful and excited."
The Mr Unbelievable cast sits down with M to spill the beans on what happened during filming...
The end credits showed you guys breaking into laughter while filming. So who is the ultimate NG (No Good) King?
Teo: "Me... I kept laughing as there were many scenes that were very funny. I feel like laughing now even when I am thinking about it. During filming, I had to pinch my fingers to prevent myself from laughing out loud but sometimes, I couldn't control it."
Zhang: "There was one scene where I had to stand up in front of 100 people and sing a part of the Unbelievable song. I kept singing in the wrong pitch and ended up making everyone, including myself, laugh. We had to re-take that scene several times."
How do you rate Chen's singing skills?
Chin: "That's probably the most difficult question to answer in the world... Well, some songs do not require singing skills. Unbelievable really fits Tianwen's comedic style."
Loi: "I think the song was released at the right time. If it was released five years earlier, it wouldn't have gone viral."
Liu: (Jokingly) "Huh? This kind of vocals also can make a song go viral?"
Tianwen, we heard you cried after watching the test screening?
Chen: "I was very touched. I am already so old, yet I still have the chance to star as the lead in a movie. Everyone worked so hard in this film, and I felt a lot of emotions while watching it. This has been a rare opportunity and I feel like I waited more than 20 years for it."
Do you feel pressured about the box-office figures?
Chen: "(Production company) mm2 Entertainment has already given me some pressure. The people there told me that I am someone who can always command ratings, so if I don't rake in the numbers, then how? However, I am very flattered by the compliments and I am not stressing over this."
Will your family show up for tonight's gala premiere since your six-month-old son Genghis has a cameo in the movie?
Chen: "My wife will be there, but we will leave the baby at home. If he cries, all the people in the movie theatre will not be able to enjoy the film."