Befitting the season of romance, we quiz the stars of upcoming local film 4 Love on their love lives in the movie and in real life
Joshua Tan, director Daniel Yam and Hayley Woo at the press conference for 4 Love.
It’s 10am in the morning, and three couples sat before us decked out in full wedding garb; suits for the men and white tulle gowns for the ladies.
This was no wedding ceremony though. The six young local actors had gathered to announce their upcoming romantic film, 4 Love, to be released in the second quarter of this year. The movie is split into four different stories, each helmed by a different director.
The first, directed by Raihan Halim, stars Ah Boys to Men actor Maxi Lim as a lovestruck young man who communicates with a girl (played by Cheryl Wee of popular TV series “Mata Mata”) through notes in a book. The last, directed by Daniel Yam, features Joshua Tan (also Ah Boys to Men) and Hayley Woo (That Girl In Pinafore, Filial Party) as childhood sweethearts on the brink of divorce.
We speak to them about their thoughts on love, both in the movie and in real life.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SEGMENT IN 4 LOVE?
Maxi: It’s unabashedly romantic. There’s no scepticism or pain; it’s puppy love… It’s the perfect one to start [the movie with].
Joshua: There were some scenes when we were younger and in the dating phase. Those were very fun! I’ve never acted in anything like that.
WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE CAST IN YOUR ROLE?
Joshua: It’s really easy for me. I have that kind of face that makes people think, “I just want to dump you! I want a divorce!”
ARE YOU ROMANTIC IN REAL LIFE?
Maxi: I’d like to believe so! I enjoy making cards for my girlfriend; I spend a lot of time designing and making pop-up cards for her.
I’ve also written many love notes. In school, the whiteboard was filled with envelopes with our names on them for encouraging notes to our friends. I ended up spamming them with love notes.
Maxi Lim (right) stars in 4 Love as a young man who exchanges love notes with a mysterious girl through a rental book, played by Cheryl Wee of “Mata Mata” fame.
HOW DID YOU GET INSPIRED FOR YOUR ROLE?
Maxi: When I act, I try to put a personal side to my characters. I guess I’m silly like my character: I’m kind of a hopeless romantic in a way.
Hayley: I took examples from real life, like my parents, the people around me and stuff I watch in movies. I think it was just a feeling [we channelled].
Joshua: We also owe Daniel a lot of credit. We’ve never experienced [being married], so we needed his guidance.
He helped us to have a better understanding of what it’s like to be married. Daniel pushed me a lot, and I enjoyed it.
HOW DID DANIEL PUSH YOU?
Joshua: He would take me back to my own experiences, like saying, “Joshua, how would you feel if you broke up with your girlfriend?”
This set was the first time I broke down into tears. Previously, maybe one-quarter of a tear would come out.
This time, when I felt [the tears] coming, I hurried everybody on set to quickly come and film it. Hayley also helped
me a lot.
Hayley: No lah, I think in that situation, emotions were running very high on set and our chemistry was good.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR SEGMENT?
Joshua: There’s a scene when I’m packing up and I say to Hayley, “I’ll pick the rest up another day,” but I’m actually thinking, “I don’t want to leave.” There are a lot of such moments.
It’s very challenging as an actor to say something but mean another thing and show it in our eyes.
HAYLEY, HOW DID YOUR BOYFRIEND REACT TO YOUR CHARACTER?
Hayley: Actually, I never really like to tell him about the stuff I do… He doesn’t know what the story’s about yet; I want him to see it on the screen for himself. I’m not sure how he will feel but it’s just acting and I’m sure he’ll understand!
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR PARTNER IS ANGRY AT YOU?
Joshua: If she’s really angry, I would cook whatever she wants, let her eat everything and then wash the dishes.
Hayley: I give him a massage, focusing on the shoulders, which get tense when you’re stressed.
WHAT KIND OF ROLES DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN AFTER THIS?
Joshua: I’ve been getting more mature roles recently; it’s quite drastic [a change] from Ah Boys to Men. I think it’s my face!
But it’s very good for me. I love new challenges and I love playing different characters.
Maxi: I’ve been like a monk, you know, in this industry for the past few years. It’s always an army thing going on,
even in different productions. I would love to do similar movies [to 4 Love] and maybe something sci-fi.
HAYLEY, WHAT WOULD YOUR IDEAL WEDDING BE LIKE?
Hayley: I actually really want to try wearing five wedding outfits. But I know that I should only wear [a gown] once per wedding, so I hope I’m lucky and only get to wear one. [Laughs]
By Pamela Chow
4 Love will be released in the second quarter of this year.