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Benjamin Kheng to Play Young Dick Lee in New Autobiographical Film ‘Wonder Boy’.

By Flora  /  30 Jul 2016 (Saturday)

25-year-old Benjamin Kheng, member of local band The Sam Willows, will be taking on the lead role as the young music composer-singer Dick Lee in upcoming movie ‘Wonder Boy’, set to be released in the third quarter next year. 

The film also marks Lee’s directorial debut where he will co-direct the film with Daniel Yam. 

'Wonder Boy' will be set in the 1970s, an ‘interesting time period’ as Lee calls it. “We look at the modern Singapore today, at the great infrastructure and everything but when I was growing up, it wasn't at all like that. There were drugs everywhere. We bought drugs in school and we were smoking drugs at recess time… but not everybody went through that.”

“It was a time where it was very restrictive for teenagers like us who wanted to do things; and this is a document of that struggle,” Lee added. “Especially for someone like me who wanted to make music and wanted to be a singer-songwriter, something no one was interested in.”

This is not the first time actor-singer Kheng will play Lee. He played the musician in TheatreWorks’ 2012 musical National Broadway Company and sung a couple of Lee’s famous songs for the production. It was also then when Lee took notice of him. 

“I was very impressed,” Lee recalled. “I had him in mind for a theatrical piece, also called ‘Wonder Boy’, but since then it has become a movie and so of course he was my first choice (to play the young Dick Lee)… he has the spiritual quality that will embody my character.”

The S$1.3 million coming-of-age film will start filming in Singapore and Penang in October, and also stars Julie Tan, Constance Song, Ryan Ang, Zachary Ibrahim, Michelle Wong, Foo Fang Rong and Chen Yi Xi, son to celebrity parents Edmund Chen and Xiang Yun. 


“Dick and I met a couple of times,” shared Kheng. 

“Just two days ago, we spent about four to five hours talking not just about our lives, but the parallels between our lives as musicians, as artists or just as people living in different times.”

"Dick is such a household name is Singapore - there are so much you can find out about him from the internet and from people, but this story isn’t about that,” continued Kheng. “It’s about the stories that are unseen, about a man who is trying to create a voice for himself… and I can relate to him in so many ways.”

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