|courtesy of singtao.com|
The first Hong Kong produced Bollywood film MY INDIAN BOYFRIEND starred the native born Indian Hong Konger Sing Ka Won (Karan Cholia) and a new generation goddess Shirley Chan Yan Yin interpreted a Hong Kong and Indian inter-racial love story. In the film Sing Ka Won faced various difficulties like racial discrimination, cultural and class differences, reflecting the problems minorities faced in Hong Kong with both laughter and tears.
Fluent in Cantonese, Sing Ka Won admitted the minority life in Hong Kong has been very hard. First they have to know the language, if not then making a living would be very hard as only labor type jobs would be available. He also urged everyone not to discriminate against them. "This time the character is able to express the difficulty of my compatriots' lives in Hong Kong. Although I haven't been discriminated against, I have many friends in Hong Kong. If they wrap their head people would call them 'Ah Cha'. I don't want to hear anything like that. We dislike hearing being called 'Ah Cha' the most, you can call us 'friend' but don't deliberately say it with an accent. We know we don't speak fluently, but we are integrating into the society. Most Hong Kong people's English isn't great, but we wouldn't make fun of them. We would teach them. So don't laugh at us. Everyone can work together."
In the film Sing Ka Won used many ways to pursue Chan Yan Yin, but in real life he said that he did not like to chase girls. Instead he felt anyone with the feeling would naturally get together. If you chase with your life you may be misunderstood as having nothing to do but meeting girls. As a minority, did he feel dating Hong Kong girls is very hard? He said, "That's right! Because they like baby face and Korean guys, but I feel Hong Kong girls are very independent and very high quality. I like independent women, girls who are hard to get. However I wouldn't differentiate between nationalities, as long as she's suitable I am OK."
In order to perform in the film, Sing Ka Won put a lot of hard work into the script. Because the script has Chinese and English, he added Pinyin on the Chinese lines to help with his delivery, so he spent a lot of time on memorizing his lines. Chan Yan Yin revealed that her co-star Sing Ka Won put pronunciation and pinyin symbols on the Chinese lines on the script, and she often saw him rehearsing them in a corner of the set. If she took an all English or Indian film, because it was not her native tongue she would feel how difficult it would be too. Thus she praised how great his performance was. Working with someone with a foreign heritage for the first time, Chan Yan Yin admitted that it was an enormous challenge. On the set they could communicate in English, but slowly she realized that it was not as difficult as she has imagined. However only before the production wrapped she learned that actually India had many different dialects itself. "Even the cinematographer said that he kept switching between Indian languages, because different people on the team were using different Indian dialects."
As for the kiss scene with Sing Ka Won, Chan Yan Yin said that at the time the production schedule was tight and they could only do it in one take. Thus they had to be very precise. The director also stressed that this scene was a goodbye kiss and had to be very passionate. Finally they finished it in one take. "I was very worried that we couldn't get it in one take, and the night scenes wouldn't have enough time to shoot." Speaking of the minority discrimination scenes in the film, did she experience it as a Hong Konger? She said, "The shoot took part last year at the peak of the pandemic, along the way we ran into many difficulties. Once we were shooting at the park, I heard some grandpa using terms like 'Ah Cha' to describe their shoot. That was very uncomfortable for them to hear."