January 2009, 11.00 am at Swissotel The Stamford
If you think The Wedding Game will give you a prelude to what is probably the most hotly anticipated wedding in Singapore this year, think again.
"This movie bears absolutely no resemblance to what’s happening in our real lives,” said Fann Wong. "The idea may seem similar, but the story and the characters are totally different."
In their reel wedding (aptly titled "The Wedding Game"), the duo plays a pair of antagonistic celebrities who trick the public into believing that they are getting married. Alas, the love affair is no more than a publicity ploy by their managers to get more media attention on the two stars.
Indeed, Christopher Lee would also have you know that this movie is totally different from the couple’s romance. Speaking at the press conference to promote their Lunar New Year comedy, he said, "In actual fact, the wedding element in this movie is only about 5% of the entire plot, and perhaps even less. It’s really more about how these two celebrities plan this elaborate ruse to fool the public and the media."
Perhaps that is why the real-life couple, who have always been fiercely guarded about their own private lives, decided to accept the challenge to film this movie clearly inspired by their own upcoming nuptials in September this year.
"Ekachai was a very nice person," said Fann Wong. "He was very protective of us on the set so every time before he wanted us to do anything, he would ask us beforehand if we were fine with it." And the couple went as far as to come up with their own ideas for the movie, the most prominent of which is a wrestling scene between their bickering characters.
"After meeting with the director, we thought that we should try to play up the rivalry between the two characters," said Christopher Lee. "To try to inject more physical comedy, we thought that the couple should actually engage in a fight."
Call it coincidence or serendipity, there was a wrestling match on television at that moment and this gave the couple the inspiration to devise such a scene for The Wedding Game. True to both the actors’ dedication, they spent one whole night rehearsing on their own for that scene.
"Usually I have to sit down with the actors to convince them to do more than what they wanted to do," director Ekachai Uekrongtham said, clearly impressed. "In this case, however, the stars were the ones who were telling me ‘Do more! Take off more!’"
Showmanship aside, filming this movie was also an enlightening experience for the couple. Part of "The Wedding Game" was filmed in Malacca, as Fann Wong’s character is Malaysian born (talk about reel switcheroo).
It was on this trip that Christopher Lee found out that Fann Wong actually liked the colonial houses there. "I never thought that she would like those kinds of houses, because of the mosquitoes there," he laughed. "So I was really surprised when she told me she liked staying in them and she wanted a house like that in the future!"
Not only did it give Christopher Lee a better idea of what his beau liked about Malacca, but it gave the couple a chance to take pictures at some very unique locations in Singapore.
One of them was the Sultan Shoal lighthouse, which according to Fann Wong, you need permission from Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) in order to visit. "At least now we won’t have to go back to these locations to take our wedding photos anymore!" she laughed.
To the couple then, filming this reel wedding is no doubt a blessing in disguise. To the rest of us, "The Wedding Game" is probably the only chance that we will get to share in the couple’s joyous occasion (face it, how many of us will be invited to the real one?).
This Lunar New Year, as both Fann Wong and Christopher Lee would have you know, their one wish is that you may have a delightful time at the cinemas with their red-letter occasion.
And from both the stars and all of us here at movieXclusive.com, have a happy and prosperous New Year!
Click links below for more:
with co-star Alice Lau and Director Ekachai
Wedding Game" opens on 25 January and is reviewed