With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Saturday, July 06, 2013

ACF 1954: Interviewing Dada Chan

This afternoon I had the great pleasure of interviewing actress Dada Chan, who is in New York for the world premiere of Hardcore Comedy, one of the films in the Hong Kong Cinema Now & Beyond section of the New York Asian Film Festival. In addition to appearing in a Q&A for tonight's 10:00 PM screening, Ms. Chan revealed to me that this will actually be the first time that she has seen the completed movie. Hardcore Comedy is an omnibus film featuring separate segments by three directors. Ms. Chan appears in director Chong Siu-wing's "Run on Drugs" as "an ecstasy-gulping party girl."

Hardcore Comedy was inspired by Pang Ho-cheung's Vulgaria, NYAFF 2012's opening night film that featured Ms. Chan's break-out role as Popping Candy, a would-be starlet. I must admit here and now that my review of Vulgaria last year did not give full, proper credit to her truly talented performance. Like many others, I imagine, I was initially beguiled by her incredible beauty. But it's truly a performance that warrants all the attention and accolades she has received for it.

In person Ms. Chan was not only lovely, but also smart, expressive, friendly and enthusiastic. I'll be making my best effort to transcribe the interview promptly, even thought the current heatwave NY is experiencing has been really taxing on my energy level. In fact, it was only the interview with her that got me to leave my apartment and take a bus and then the subway down to Lincoln Center where the interview took place.

I did get a scoop in the course of the interview. When I asked her if she had any projects lined up, she told me that she had just learned that she was going to be in Lan Kwai Fong 3. She appeared as Cat in the original Lan Kwai Fong (2011), one of the films she was in prior to Vulgaria. Ms. Chan said I was the first person, outside of those involved, to learn about this. Apparently the word is not even out in Hong Kong yet.

So on many levels the trip through NY's sweltering heat, which Ms. Chan said didn't bother her because she really likes summer, was well worth it for me.

Incidentally, after posing with me for the above photo, Ms. Chan said -- in Chinese -- that she thought I looked like Santa Claus! After this was translated for my benefit, I responded -- in total honesty -- that I wish I was so I could bring her lots of wonderful gifts. The sweet smile this elicited from her -- one of several she bestowed upon me in the course of the interview -- was priceless.

So thank you, Ms. Chan, for coming to New York, appearing at the NY Asian Film Festival, and granting me and other journalists interviews. Also, thanks to the members of Subway Cinema & the Film Society Lincoln Center (co-presenters of NYAFF) and the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office of NY for bringing her here.