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[InC-terview] Lawrence Wong Bares It All In Eric Khoo’s 'In The Room'!

By Flora  /  24 Feb 2016 (Wednesday)

Model-actor Lawrence Wong took a huge step forward with Eric Khoo’s R21 film ‘In The Room’, baring his bottom for the first time. In the film, which premiered in Singapore at last year’s Singapore International Film Festival, Wong plays a Singaporean gym trainer who falls in love with a married Japanese woman, played by Japanese porn actress Shou Nishino. 

Wong spoke to us over the phone about stepping out of his comfort zone for In The Room, the jitters and seeing himself ‘making love’ on the big screen. 

InCinemas: How did you get involve in ‘In The Room’?

One of Eric’s staff called me to shoot another project that she was doing, but she thought I was suitable for this role and linked me up with Eric. I met with Eric and he confirmed me on the spot! 

InCinemas: Wow! And did you agree to do it there and then? 

No I didn’t. He actually talked to me about his film and we did a read. I just read it once and we went back to the cafe and he said, “So, do you want to do it?” I said: “Wait, wait, wait! Let me think about it for a few days.” 

It’s a daring role to play, but when I thought about it, I remembered vividly that when he was telling me about the relationship between the two characters, I literally had goosebumps! So that was when I knew that deep down, I wanted to play it because the story and characters were so intense. 

InCinemas: What was your biggest concern?

The biggest concern I had was definitely showing my bum, although Eric did say that that my vital areas will not be shown and it will be covered up throughout the whole shoot, but obviously the outline of my bum will be shown and that is a big step for me. 

One of the reasons I said yes was because I felt that at that point of time, I was shooting drama after drama and there were all the very ‘clean’ roles. I was getting a bit tired of whatever routine I was doing and so I thought why not be daring and do something very different and crazy… Just do it!

InCinemas: How did you prepare for the role?

For me, I did a lot of physical preparation like hitting the gym a lot more and took care of my diet.

During that time, I was filming for other projects so whenever I had some free time, I will go to the gym or even when I am so tired after work, I will push through and work out.

(Read our InC-terview with director, Eric Khoo!)

InCinemas: Can you describe your first day on set?

I was very nervous! (Chuckles) I remember walking to the waiting room and Shou was there eating breakfast. I could tell she was very relaxed, very chirpy and not nervous at all! I couldn’t even have my breakfast properly. 

We shot for the poster first, so the first shot was only Shou, the photographer and I. We were on the bed and the photographer’s first word to us was “make love to her!” And I’m like ‘Okay!’ I felt really awkward... I really don’t know what to do!

We just got into character and didn't think too much about it. It was fine after the first few shots.

InCinemas: How did you break the ice with Shou Nishino?

There was no time to break the ice with Shou! I think it’s a rare case because Shou and I rarely talk but I feel that we have such good chemistry. We didn’t communicate or discuss the scenes. It wasn’t a case of ‘Ok, I’m gonna put my hands here, I’m gonna put my hands there…” We barely communicated and just did it!

InCinemas: Interesting. So what will be the most challenging aspect to play the role of Boon?

The most challenging aspect is for me to get comfortable with the various sex scenes because I’ve never really shot a sex scene before? I guess the biggest challenge is not be conscious about it but still be in character and immersing myself into the role. Because when you do things like that, you get so caught up with other things in your mind, like the awkwardness, the technicality of things and all.

InCinemas: What sort of precaution/preparation did you do?

I was given this cloth to cover my parts. I asked the crew members how did the rest of the actors do it and they told me that I was the only one using it. I said: “What? You mean the other actors didn’t have to use it?” They said “not to your extend.” I thought everybody on this project will be like me (degree of nudity), but apparently not.

So I just went to the toilet with a lot of surgical tape and spent like half an hour snipping the cloth and taping it layer after layer. Thereafter I raised my legs, squatted, jumped around many times to ensure that it wouldn’t come off. 

When I came out of the toilet and took out my robe, Shou was like ‘Okii’. Okii in Japanese means big. She was laughing not because of the big bulge, but because I had a big of cloth while she only has a small piece covering hers. 

(Read more to learn what went down at the 26th SGIFF!)

InCinemas: Haha! What were some of the comments you received at the Singapore International Film Festival screening last year? 

I had a lot of positive comments. I remembered being so embarrassed watching myself on the big screen and at one point, I was literally holding my hands to my head and kept looking down. Our producer who was sitting beside me, patted my back and said ‘It’s ok, it’s ok… It’s good!’ I was literally blushing by just looking at myself!

I have to say I received pretty good comments from people and the other actors from the other stories of the film, telling me that they loved what they saw… so that felt good. 


In The Room also stars  Koh Boon Pin, Daniel Jenkins, Josie Ho, Ian Tan, Nadia Ar and Choi Woo Shik, and opens InCinemas 25 Feb 2016!

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