E-Junkies: Xenia Tan performs Mark Lee’s daughter — can she deal with his teasing?
We have all heard the saying that artwork imitates life.
Actress Xenia Tan’s new function in upcoming Hokkien/Mandarin film The Final Letters has a placing resemblance to her personal life trajectory.
The 28-year-old performs Eileen, daughter to single dad Loke (Mark Lee) who needs to present her one of the best schooling doable. He convinces her to check in New York, telling her he can afford it, however truly sells his kampung home and strikes to a one-room condo to save cash for her schooling.
In an interview with AsiaOne earlier this month, Mark defined: “My character locations all of his aspirations onto his daughter. Within the Nineteen Eighties (when the film is about), everybody felt that being educated in English was the most suitable choice.
“So, if Eileen needs to check overseas in the US, regardless that my character does not have the funds for for it, he nonetheless does no matter he can to ship his daughter abroad.”
In actual life, Xenia additionally studied within the US, taking appearing lessons for a couple of months, however Mark appeared unimpressed with the outcomes.
“You went to the US to check appearing? Wow, I do not suggest you guys go there anymore,” Mark, 54, joked to laughter from Xenia. “It looks like it did not assist enhance your appearing in any respect.”
In her defence, Xenia stated self-deprecatingly: “Hey, I was worse, I’ve improved a little bit bit now, okay?”
Mark then praised Xenia for her work ethic, contemplating The Final Letters marks her first time talking Hokkien in a job.
“We filmed a number of scenes collectively within the first few days, and she or he truly shocked me along with her Hokkien,” Mark revealed. “Though she stated some stuff with a extra ang moh (Western) accent, she labored very laborious to check and proper her pronunciation.”
He added that although it wasn’t “excellent,” he nonetheless deemed it to be acceptable ultimately.
“It is higher than hiring sure kids, who can solely shoot one scene after we have been instructing them for half a day — that is very painful.
“So I believe she’s truly actually good.”
He teased the younger actress additional: “Her remuneration is reasonable too, she is sweet and we should always forged her extra usually. Seize the prospect earlier than she will increase her charges and forged her extra usually!”
Xenia does communicate Hokkien — particularly “some easy stuff” along with her grandparents — however admitted that although she will be able to perceive it, talking Hokkien is one thing she wants extra apply with.
“However as a result of this film takes place within the Nineteen Eighties, the commonest language used was Mandarin and Chinese language dialects. After accepting the provide for this film, I actually needed to practise and Mark has helped me loads.”
She added in English: “So I believe due to this film I acquired to be taught what appears like a brand new language to me.”
Mark praised his co-star once more: “She’s hardworking, I get that feeling from her as a result of she used varied strategies, be it the shape or writing, recording or no matter.
“She’d additionally come and trouble you while you’re resting, ‘Hey Mark, how do you pronounce this phrase once more?’ Sure, it is a little bit bit annoying however not less than I can see the hassle.”
‘Dads give their daughters a way of safety’
Xenia described The Final Letters as a present that depicts the connection between a dad and daughter.
“I believe the pair actually love one another however they do not know the way to categorical it,” she stated.
Mark added: “I believe this was fairly a typical difficulty inside households within the Nineteen Eighties.”
One other similarity between Eileen and herself, Xenia reckoned, is that she feels lucky to have a loving father.
“Similar to Mark’s character, my very own dad would do every part he can to assist me if I wanted assist,” she stated. “[Dads like this] additionally give their daughters a way of safety.”
When alone abroad and feeling afraid, Xenia assumed that folks would often pray away the worry of ghosts, however she thinks of her dad in these conditions as an alternative.
“As soon as his face is in my thoughts, I will not be scared anymore,” she stated.
Mark requested: “So his face scares away the ghosts as an alternative?”
“Appropriate, his face is scarier than the ghosts,” Xenia replied with out lacking a beat. “Simply kidding!”
Watch our E-Junkies video for the complete interview.
The Final Letters, directed by Chai Yee Wei, additionally stars Peter Yu, Renee Chua, Rajeswary, Zhang Wei, Johnny Ng and Janice Seah, and is at present in manufacturing. It is scheduled to be launched in cinemas on the finish of this yr or early 2024.
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