Ah Boys To Men 2 cast: "We'll go skinny dipping, but..."
The boys from the two-part home-grown hit movie Ah Boys To Men are going skinny dipping. And they are all for it. -TNP
The boys from the two-part home-grown hit movie Ah Boys To Men are going skinny dipping.
That is if their director, local film-maker Jack Neo, can find a way for them to do it legally. And they are all for it.
The dare-to-bare began last November, when the box-office takings for Ah Boys To Men Part 1 hit $1.5million in just four days.
Back then, local Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao asked Neo, 57, if he would consider getting the male cast of 20-somethings to skinny dip if the box-office takings of both instalments crossed $10 million.
He laughed and said it was a "good suggestion".
Ah Boys To Men went on to collect $6.2 million, making it the highest-grossing local movie to date. Opening here today, Ah Boys To Men 2 continues the story of the recruits going through their basic military training.
This time round, they also have to deal with a series of personal problems.
At the movie's press conference on Wednesday, Neo was reminded of the wager, which he's keen to see through by virtue of Part 1's record-breaking haul.
"I think $6.2 million for Part 1 is an amazing figure, so since we said they would do it, we'll have to do it."
Neo had only one reservation.
"We need to find a way to do it without breaking the law. In international waters, maybe?" he said, laughing.
When The New Paper asked the actors about this during our interview, they seemed surprisingly cool about it.
Maxi Lim, 25, who plays eager-beaver mummy's boy Aloysius Jin, acknowledged that what started out as a casual comment by Neo has now become a promise to fulfil.
Happy to do it
"The initial concern was the box-office takings for Part 1, but since the movie has done so well, I'm more than happy to do it," he said.
And although Joshua Tan, 22, who plays spoilt brat turned responsible recruit Ken Chow, said he had reservations showing the top part of his buttocks for a scene in Ah Boys To Men 2, he doesn't mind skinny dipping with his buddies.
"We'll be underwater anyway, and I don't think the media will show stuff that can't be shown," he said, laughing.
Wang Wei Liang, 25, who plays street-smart Ah Beng Lobang King, also said he had "no objections". But Noah Yap, 19, who plays goofy I P Man, gave the most risque response.
He said: "I'm actually okay with it. I've nothing to show up here (pointing to his chest) because I'm so skinny, but do you all know what they say about the lower part of skinny people's bodies?"
Wang and Tan, who were seated on his left, immediately cut him off, with Tan adding: "What you're trying to say is not suitable for this interview!"
From virtual unknowns and minor celebrities to bona fide movie stars, the boys have seen a spike in their popularity after the release of Part 1.
Video bloggers Tosh Zhang, 23, who plays a platoon sergeant, and Yap, have got more people subscribing to their YouTube channels.
Zhang even won the Breakout Star award in The New Paper's Flame Awards last year.
When we asked the group about one life-changing moment they experienced since the movie came out, Yap again gave a wacky reply.
"Recently I tweeted I had a craving for a particular brand of popcorn and the next day, during a fan meet, a fan passed me a box," he said.
"If this goes on, I'll get fat!"
Lim - who has been acting in short films, commercials and corporate videos since 2010, added he also "got fat" from food given to him by fans, but was more touched by his mother's response.
He used to play aggressive characters, like a gangster or abusive son.
"She told me when she used to watch the short films I acted in, she felt er xin (grossed out in Mandarin)," he said.
"But when she watched Ah Boys To Men, she felt very kai xin (happy)."
Luke Lee, 21, who plays one of the sergeants, was studying in the UK when Part 1 was released.
"Many Singaporean and Malaysian students realised I was in the movie and came to me asking when it will be out on DVD," he said.
"It was very touching."
Getai singer Wang, 25, acknowledged he has been getting more requests for gigs and is attracting younger fans.
On their rise to stardom, Wang said: "This is definitely very unexpected, and some people may say we have become very popular.
"But this is not what we want to hear, we're just trying to do our job well. Success has not got to our heads, and failure will not set us back. We hope people will still see us the same way."
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