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Nathan Hartono puts on his dancing shoes for local movie 'When Ghost Meets Zombie'

By Flora  /  13 Feb 2019 (Wednesday)

While singing is definitely in his veins, dancing, on the other hand, posed as a challenge for local songbird Nathan Hartono as it does not come naturally for the singer-actor. For the movie, he had to learn various genres of dance - from hip hop to tap dancing - but the 27-year-old heartthrob not only rose up to the challenge, his hard work certainly paid off in his performance in When Ghost Meets Zombie

“I can groove and move, but I never had any dance training. Before we started the shoot, we spent a few months learning the dance moves,” shared Hartono. “For the tap dance routine, we rehearsed about 8 to 9 times but I will practice a lot at home to familiarise the steps.”

He chuckled: “If you ask me to dance the routine now, I won’t be able to remember.”

However, when the host asked for an impromptu performance, Hartono obliged with a smile and exclaimed: “I’ll do it freestyle”. Not surprisingly, he delivered a delightful routine enough to make the ladies (and men) swoon. 

“I realised tap dancing is ‘easier’ because it’s more about listening to the beat and I have a good grasp on the rhythm, so it’s really about the dance moves. When it comes to other dance choreographies, I find it harder to follow.”

The film, opening islandwide on Valentine’s Day, tells the story about a village boy, Pong (Hartono) who sacrificed his life to save his village from a flood. As a result of the disaster, he became a zombie, controlled by a vicious priest (Gurmit Singh). A boorish young lady, Zhen Zhen (Wong) died and became a ghost, who possess Pong in order to fulfil her pageant dreams through a male beauty contest. 

Though the leading actor didn’t have many lines except for the occasional grunts, Hartono had to be topless for a couple of scenes where he had to portray a golden statue. For that, his entire body was painted in gold and had to wear a golden-coloured pair of skin-tight shorts. 

He shared: “There were a few days where I was on set just walking about with my golden briefs. Because of the paint on my body, I wasn’t able to sit or lean or anything much, I just had to stand and walk around.”

(Check out more photos from the press conference, here!)

Also making her debut on the big screen is Ferlyn Wong, also known as Ferlyn G, who plays the wilful ghost who falls in love with Hartono’s character. 

“There was a particularly memorable scene for me because the experience was so painful. I had to wear a flying stunt harness and it hurt,” she recounted, adding that it was her first time being ‘in the air’ for a long period of time. 

She added: “The crew wouldn’t put me down… when you are in mid-air, it is actually really painful because you are being constantly pulled by the wire. It was painful and itchy but I couldn’t scratch as it will only make the pain worse. Luckily I had Nathan who is tall enough for me to lean on his shoulders. If not for him, I believe I would have a lot more rashes and cuts on my body.”

The movie also stars real-life husband and wife, Jesseca Liu and Jeremy Chan, Fann Wong, Andie Chen, Kate Pang and Gurmit Singh, along with a slew of local celebrities. 

At the press conference, the team celebrated Liu's 40th birthday with a surprise birthday cake.

"My wish this year is for my family and myself to be healthy. Being healthy to me is really important. You have to be healthy in order to do the things that you like," said Liu. Hubby, Chan, revealed at the interview that he won't be able to celebrate with her in the day due to his work commitments, but will have time to spend with the birthday girl in the evening.

"Don't expect anything big," he joked. 

When Ghost Meets Zombie opens InCinemas 14 February 2019!
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