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Becoming Feng Fei Fei in '3688'.

By InCinemas  /  16 Sep 2015 (Wednesday)

In ‘3688’, the next feature film by filmmaker Royston Tan, tells a story about a parking attendant Fei Fei (Joi Chua) who dreams of becoming a singer like her idol.


This is Tan's feature-length film in seven years since '12 Lotous' and in true Royston Tan fashion, expect lots of singing and dancing, coupled with outlandish costumes for one of his characters, ‘Lady KaKa’ (Liu Ling Ling).


3688 marks the feature film debut of Chua and rap artist ShiGGa Shay. While getting a newbie to front a movie is always risky, Tan, who directs the film, said that Chua was ‘very fitting’ to the character Fei Fei.

“Joi feels very real. Throughout these few years, you can see that she has been chasing her dreams, just like Fei Fei. She is very suitable for the role and when I first saw Joi, I was certain that she was the one for my film,” said Tan at the press conference yesterday. 

He added: “It was really that chemistry we had. When I had the story in mind, I was very sure that I wanted a local singer to take on the role. After talking to her, I realised that there are a lot of similarities with Fei Fei, and I needed somebody who is very real… I was very happy when she agreed!”


(Watch the trailers and Music Videos for '3688'!)


On the other hand, for the Singaporean singer-songwriter, she thought Tan’s invitation ‘was a joke’. 

“I thought he (Tan) was joking with me because I didn’t have any prior acting experiences or participated in any film before this. I’ve always felt that Royston is a well-known director and wouldn’t think of him asking me to star in his film,” shared Chua. 

“Being in this industry for quite a while now, there were times where empty promises were made, and so I didn’t take his (Tan) offer too seriously. It was till I met Royston in person and he seemed really sincere in asking me to act in his movie.

He was spot-on in understanding people and was able to attain the desired emotions from an actor when needed. I accepted it because I was very confident in Royston, and also for the confidence that he gave me.”

“It was a liberating experience. I didn’t expect to enjoy this role as much as I thought it will be, but I really enjoyed the process and the great chemistry (with the cast).”


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The 24-year-old ‘Lion City Kia’ rap artist, ShiGGa Shay wasn’t spared by Tan’s directing antics either. He was tasked to call Liu every night for two weeks, prior to their first shoot together. He plays YoYo, son to Lady Kaka and his first scene was an emotional scene with Liu where he had to make her tear.

“Royston told me to call her (Liu) ‘Mum’ and not ‘Ling Ling Jie'. It was pretty awkward at first but she was very okay with it. We talked about random stuff like ‘What is your favourite colour’; ‘What do you like to eat’ and all. We just had to find topics to talk about,” said ShiGGa Shay.

“And because of that, I will wait for his phone call every night! Sometimes he calls about 10pm or 11pm and even 1am,” Liu added. “It was really a good way to break the ice for the both of us.”

ShiGGa Shay will be rapping in the movie, and look out for the one where he had to rap a minute-long number in one breath. For that segment, it was Tan’s idea for him to summarise Feng Fei Fei’s journey in Singapore in that minute-long lyric. 

“It was quite a challenge as I had to squeeze all the important details in a very short duration, and I even had to make it rhyme! It was worse than Chinese Oral,” he joked.



3688 also stars Michael Tan and Rahimah Rahim, and opens in theatres 17 September 2015!

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