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23 September 2008, 2pm at Orchard Cineleisure KBox

For lead actress Barbie Hsu, coming to work each day on the set of her latest movie “Connected” was always an unpredictable experience.

To portray the hapless character Grace, the kidnapped victim held hostage in an abandoned house, she relied very much on director Benny Chan’s instructions of the kind of emotions he wanted her character to display on the actual day of filming.

In this sense therefore, the sense of anxiety that she felt each day on the set translated neatly to her character’s experience and enabled her to better act out her character’s sense of helplessness and fretfulness.

She has much praise for director Chan whom she described as possessing a certain charisma. This charisma, she said, was his ability to get his actors to trust him and follow his directions on set.

Connected is in fact Barbie Hsu’s first Hong Kong movie, and it was for her a valuable experience. She had watched Hong Kong movies from young, and so when she received the script for Connected, she leapt at the opportunity of getting her first starring role in a Hong Kong movie.

One of the aspects that struck her on the set of Connected was how fast the crew worked. Most of her scenes were done within 10 to 15 days and she was impressed by the professionalism of each member of the crew on set.
“I was also very grateful that director Chan always regarded me like an experienced actress. He did not question my experience even though I was relatively fresh,” she said.

This movie is also her maiden experience at filming an action movie, her previous two movies “Silk” and “The Ghost Inside” being entries into the horror genre. But she said that each role for her is an interesting and challenging encounter, and that of Connected is no different.

Indeed, she likes the experience of being in a Hong Kong movie so much that she hopes that she will be able to act in more Hong Kong movies in future. But for now, she is certain that she has no ambitions of becoming a Hollywood star.

“I always see my audience as a primarily Asian audience,” she said, “so I am happy so as long as I am able to continue making movies for them.”

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"Connected" opens on 1 October and is reviewed here

Report & Photos: Gabriel Chong & Richard Lim Jr
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