When asked about her experience working with director Jack Neo in the new local film The Diam Diam Era, local actress Meixin jokingly said she "regrets it".
In a press conference held yesterday (Nov 18) at the Parkroyal on Beach Road hotel, Meixin shared that the role was extremely challenging for her.
"Initially when I received the news that I'd be in Jack's film, I was especially happy and was really looking forward to it. I was also grateful for the opportunity. But when filming started, I found it extremely difficult because his films were particularly challenging to me. It's a comedy, which is a different genre from the shows I'm used to being in," she recalled.
The Diam Diam Era is the third instalment in Jack's Long Long Time Ago series. Set in the 1980s, it explores social issues and iconic moments in Singapore's history, such as adapting to the new government policies and the shift from the kampung to HDB flats.
The film focuses on Ah Kun's (Mark Lee) son Yong Xin (Danny Lee) and Zhao Di's (Aileen Tan) youngest son Shun Fa (Richie Koh). Meixin plays Zhao Di's oldest daughter.
The 33-year-old actress also shared another personal hurdle — not being able to wear any make-up in the movie. Jack added that this was one aspect of the filming that she hated the most.
"Being barefaced in film was one of the greatest obstacles I had to overcome," she said. Known for playing the conventional pretty girl, Meixin said this was a step out of her comfort zone.
Local actor Richie also had to deal with a rather unusual physical change for his role.
Jack explained that Richie's character goes through three different time periods and thus required three different hairstyles. Filming, however, jumped back and forth between the time periods. For ease of filming, Jack suggested that Richie shaved his head and wear wigs for filming.
The 27-year-old said he was absolutely okay with it, until he realised he had to shave away only the middle part of his head.
"I thought, 'how would I go out in public?' They assured me that they would give me a wig to use outside of filming. After my hair was snipped off, I actually thought the look was not bad," Richie said.
The Diam Diam Era is also former K-pop singer Tasha Low's first foray into acting.
"Actually, the first time I met Jack was during the audition process, and I was quite nervous. When he saw me, he told me I needed to lose weight," said the 27-year-old, who was the leader of the Singapore-South Korea girl group Skarf.
"He told me my thighs were too big and I felt quite hurt initially, but I told myself if I wanted the role, I would have to lose the extra weight."
Other cast members who attended the press conference included Wang Lei, Henry Thia, Suhaimi Yusof, Silvarajoo Prakasam, and also Mark Lee via a video call. Mark is currently in Taipei for the Golden Horse Awards happening this Saturday (Nov 21).
"I feel that younger people can watch the movie to understand the roads that Singapore has travelled on to get to where we are today. For the older people, it will bring back old memories of the times they've been through," Mark said.
The Diam Diam Era premieres in cinemas on Nov 26, 2020, and it's rated PG13 for some coarse language. Click here for the movie screening times!