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Child actor Denzel Dharma 'Wayang' his way to Stardom!

By InCinemas  /  16 Jul 2014 (Wednesday)

He may be 11-years-old, but Indian boy Denzyl Dharma will not only be starring in a lead role in upcoming local family comedy Wayang Boy, he will soon be on his way to Beijing at the end of the year for another Mandarin film.

At the press event held at Orchard Parade Hotel yesterday, the media and guests were introduced to the cast members of Wayang Boy, directed by Raymond Tan.

“I knew that from the age of three or four, he will do something good and be able to make a mark - his shoots can last for 9 to 10 hours but he never once complained, so I thought maybe this (acting) is what he is keen on,” said Mr Dharma, father of the Primary 5 boy.

Directed by Raymond Tan, Wayang Boy 《戏曲小子》is a family comedy about Singaporeans coping with the influx of foreign immigrants in a country. Caught in the mayhem are a group of children, putting up a Chinese Opera performance or ‘wayang’ for a visiting dignitary. Through the mayhem of the children’s multi-racial wayang performance, everyone learns anew the meaning of living together as one united people.

Wayang Boy is an extension of the short film ‘Wa is for Wayang’ which was produced and screened in 2011 at the Singapore Discovery Centre. Tan, who also directed the short film said he wanted to ‘try something different’ for his first full-length feature.

“The short film was mainly on (Chinese opera) movements but for this movie, I want Denzyl to do a lot more singing instead. The (vocal) teacher actually tested him and said he has the potential…so we decided to use his voice in the movie.”

We all know singing Chinese opera is no easy feat, with high-pitched tones to match, and robust vocals that make this cultural art form unique and distinctive. Dharma felt the singing was the hardest aspect of learning the Chinese opera, saying: “The singing was hard because every time I’m off-pitch.” He admitted not knowing the art form before he embarked on the film project back in 2011, but now has interest in it.

He has set his eyes on an acting career in the future, where he hopes to enrol in the School Of the Arts (SOTA), drama upon graduating from his primary school. In terms of who he would like to act with in the future, he immediately cited international superstar Jackie Chan. “He’s very cool and knows a lot of Chinese (martial arts) moves.”

Wayang boy stars local actors Kym Ng, Chen Tian Wen, Chua Enlao, Suhaimi Yusof, Bobby Tonelli, child stars Denzel Yashasvi Dharma, Tan Wei Tian and Loh Ren Jie, Apart from the pool of local talents, Hong Kong veteran actors Lau Kar Ying and Micheele Yim, as well as Taiwanese Chantel Liu will also have a role in the film.

Wayang Boy is slated to open later this year.
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