Josie Ho plays mamasan in Eric Khoo film

Hong Kong actress Josie Ho plays a bold, sexy mamasan in local director Eric Khoo's latest R21 film In The Room but in real life, she is actually quite the opposite.

She confessed to being "a little bit shy sometimes", despite the fact that she appears in her underwear and gartered stockings for most of her scenes.

The 40-year-old was in town for the special presentation of In The Room for the 26th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) at Marina Bay Sands Theatre yesterday.

"I think this is the extent of what I would do for a movie... I wouldn't take off my clothes anymore," joked Ho, the daughter of Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho, during the film's panel discussion at the ArtScience Museum.

In The Room is an erotic drama, set in the fictional Singapura Hotel, consisting of six short stories taking place in the hotel's Room 27.

Ho's character Orchid trains a group of young, inexperienced striptease artists in the art of seduction, teaching them to embrace the power of their sexuality.

Her character is based on real-life Singapore stripper Rose Chan, who was famous in the 50s and 60s for wrestling pythons and bending metal bars during her shows.

"I did a lot of research on Rose for the role and found out more about her from Eric and (scriptwriter) Jonathan Lim when I came to Singapore," she said.

In a standout scene, Orchid demonstrates her feminine strength using ping-pong balls and goldfish as projectiles.


"When I read that part in the script, I laughed so hard and showed it to my husband, saying, 'Look, this is what I get to do'," Ho told M in a separate interview.

She is married to Hong Kong musician-actor Conroy Chan.

She added: "I remember when we were shooting that scene, I opened up my legs and there was a crew member throwing a ping-pong ball between them for the camera. It was so funny."

Ho admitted it was slightly nerve-wracking to show off her body on the big screen but working on In The Room was "exciting".

"This is definitely my sexiest role to date.

"I had so much fun and there was a lot of laughter on set."

This article was first published on December 2, 2015.
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