|courtesy of mingpao.com|
Cecilia Choi Sze Wan, Chu Pak Hong and Will Or Wai Lam two years ago worked together on the film DRIFTING (JOOK SHUI PIU LAU), which will open soon. In the film Choi Sze Wan played a passionate social worker who fought for the rights of the disadvantaged. Thus she came into contact with the homeless Chu Hon and Will. Chu Hong even bullied Will on the street.
Chu Hong and Will played homeless people with drug addictions. Before hand they both lost 20 pounds. Chu Hong said, "After working out for two movies, I only had a little over a week to drop the weight. I could only run the hills everyday, when I was hungry I ate apples. However I almost rolled off the hill, which scared me back to running on flat land." Will for over a month only had steamed vegetables. He joked that the scene in which he lined up for free meal box was particularly realistic. He said, "When I picked up the meal box I really pigged out, the feeling was quite a release." Chu Hong chimed in, "For that scene, after finishing my own box, I ate other people's prop rice."
Chu Hong said that he once worried that he would not be thin enough and his appearance would not be convincing. Thus he visited Sham Shui Po and saw many homeless people in great shape, similar to his own. He even caught a glimpse of addicts "charge" themselves by shooting up, which helped him grasp the character. Chu Hong said, "I have seen those videos too, when the drug addiction act up people would behave differently. I chose the external interpretation with the shakes, but the robbery out of madness and throwing things scenes were cut." Will's performance in comparison was quiet, in coordination with his character's aphasia symptom. He spent a lot of thought into his body language expression.
Choi Sze Wan said that this role had less dialogue and more emotional scenes. It was a huge challenge. She said, "I was responsible for listening and caring for the group. I had a sense of powerlessness, would feel sorrow and shed tears. Originally I had a one straight take crying scene, but it was cut. (Was it very regrettable that the scene was removed?) I understood that the director made the adjustment for pace."
Choi Sze Wan revealed that she volunteered while in secondary school, gave away food to the homeless and had close distance conversations. The deep experience was able to help her get into her role. "That experience made me more empathetic, I learned that many homeless were refugees. Due to visa issues they were unable to go to other places, without families they had to live on the streets. Some of the homeless had other difficulties, actually they are all normal ordinary people. They just don't have a roof over their heads."
Chu Hong said that he neglected the homeless before. Since making this film he had more experience and consideration, feeling that everyone should be respected and cared about. He said, "Everyone who exist in the world would have problems they cannot resolve and succumb to. Addicts aside from having a type of habit actually don't live differently from ordinary people."
Will criticized law enforcement for showing no mercy to the homeless and lacking humanity. "Some friends are social workers. I have heard that park benches added arm rests, sports courts closed their gate at 11PM, street cleaning late night in the winter, all to keep the homeless from staying. Actually everyone run into difficulties for their own reasons. Hong Kong at night can't accommodate them? I read a report that the homeless would get up 7AM every morning to keep from affecting the average person. Actually even more people can be permitted to use the parks."