Lion dance not as easy as it looks: Ah Boys actor

SINGAPORE - For Ah Boys To Men actor Wang Weiliang, graduating to another Jack Neo movie, The Lion Men, posed many new challenges.

The 26-year-old, who played talkative and outgoing recruit Lobang King in the popular home-grown film last year, takes on a completely opposite role this time, portraying the quiet, inferior leader of a lion dance troupe.

"I watched many Hong Kong shows such as Stephen Chow and Nick Cheung's movies as well as Jack Neo's old films to prepare for the role," he said.

"This character is very different from who I am in real life, as I am usually very chatty.

"It's going to be very challenging, but I'm assured that I will do well with Jack giving me guidance."

Wang revealed that he is not new to lion dance as he had practised it for eight years since he was 12 as one of his side jobs.

However, he had forgotten some of it after stopping for a few years.

He said: "Of course I still remember the basic steps, but lion dance has changed and improvised a lot over the past few years.

"I need to keep practising to familiarise myself with the troupe formation and more."

Unlike Wang, fellow Ah Boys To Men star Tosh Zhang had no prior experience in lion dance.

The 24-year-old said: "I used to think it was very easy just by looking at it, but it is very complicated and difficult."

Many techniques

He added: "There are many techniques involved, and the people in charge of the head and the tail of the lion must have very good chemistry."

Most of Zhang's lines are in Mandarin now, something he did not have to struggle with in his English-speaking role as Sergeant Ong in Ah Boys To Men.

"I was very stressed when looking at the script as there were many difficult Chinese idioms, and my Mandarin isn't very good," he said,

"I had to keep asking Weiliang how to read the words."

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