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Every city has a tale to tell, as actress Karena Lam found out during the shoots for her latest movie Anna & Anna. The award-winning starlet was in Shanghai and Singapore recently for the principal photography of her upcoming film.

“Shanghai has a melancholic feel, with its grey skies and droopy trees,” says the 28-year-old in a mix of fluent Mandarin and English.

The Vancouver-born actress was in Singapore to complete the last few scenes of the Aubrey Lam-directed movie, which is scheduled for a Singapore release later in August this year. Moviexclusive.com had the chance to catch up with her during a wrap party held at breezy Fullerton One recently.

With zest and enthusiasm, Lam has this to say of our little island: “In contrast to the huge farms in Shanghai, Singapore gives me a very cosmopolitan feeling with its bright blue skies and building architecture.”

In the movie, she plays two very different characters (looking exactly the same as each other) living in Shanghai and Singapore. The romance thriller explores how we make choices and the impact different decisions have on our lives. It also stars Mainland Chinese actor Lu Yi (Jasmine Women, Seven Swords).

The movie proved to be a challenge for Lam, as she had to be immensely disciplined in how she played out the two different characters.

“In the past, I could act with my immediate feelings. Now, because of special effects like chroma key and green screen techniques, everything scene has to be taken at least three times.

“And that requires a lot of precision and accuracy,” reveals the petite actress.

“This is something I’ve never done in my career.”

Lam is also full of praise for her director Aubrey, who is only helming her third movie after Twelve Nights (2000) starring Eason Chan and Cecilia Cheung and Hidden Track (2003) starring Shawn Yue and Po Po.

“This may only be Aubrey’s third movie, but she is talented and gives me a lot of freedom in expressing the role. I’m also grateful for how she trusts me to personify such complex roles.”

The movie also stars Taiwanese newcomer Tender Huang, who plays the man situated in Singapore. When asked to compare Huang and Lu, Lam bursts into laughter:”It’s unfair to compare the two of them because I only spent four days filming with Tender while I spent almost a month in Shanghai with Lu Yi.”

Huang, who has appeared in several commercials and MTVs, is humble when he discusses about his performance in the film.

“I only give myself about 60 marks. There is definitely a lot for improvement,” says the strapping 28-year-old, who also appeared in Leste Chen’s horror flick The Heirloom (2005).

He adds in his perfect Mandarin: “Thankfully, Karena is on the set to guide me along, and that definitely helped me feel more comfortable.”

So what does the good-looker think about our Lion City?

Without hesitation, he says: “The moment I touched down, I knew this was a city of feelings. People I see on the streets here are very affectionate. They greet you with a nod or smile, not like the busy strangers who pass you by in Taiwan.”

Now, that is probably another tale to be told about another city.

Anna & Anna opens in cinemas here August 2007.


Interview by John Li | Photos by Richard Lim Jr & Press
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