Despite being 44, Singaporean actor-director Mark Lee continues to work tirelessly in the movie industry by telling one joke after another. And they never get stale, which is not surprising, considering that he honed his comedic acting skills in numerous television series, comedy shows and movies, which included the Mediacorp television show "Police & Thief" and the infamous "Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd". With the coveted All Time Favourite Artiste award under his belt, Malaysia was proud to present his latest, the local production "Ghost Buddies" in which he plays the male lead, Ah Hui, in cinemas on 10 May. Cinema Online recently had the chance to meet up with Lee to talk about his experience on being a part of the Simok Sek's directorial effort and of course, if he had any Singaporean ghost stories!
Cinema Online had an interview with Mark Lee at GSC Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Q: You have acted with numerous international stars in your career. How do you feel about filming with the actors and actresses in this Malaysian film?
Lee: The collaboration with the Malaysian casts was beyond my expectation. Every one of them is super talented. After working with them for three days, I started to feel the tension and stress because I had to work harder in my role to match up to their performances. I am really glad to have a chance like this to work with them.
Q: What about working with the Hong Kong TVB actress Maggie Shiu?
Lee: When I first met her, I thought she was one of those egoistic foreign actresses who just want to show how great they are to the production crew and co-stars when they are out of their country like, "Don't you know I'm a big shot in Hong Kong?" However, she proved me wrong as she showed good manners all the time and she's such a nice person to work with. You know what, during the filming days, she even had fans waiting for her at the hotel late at night.
Q: We have heard a lot about actors encountering ghosts or experiencing mysterious phenomena while filming ghost-related movies. In this movie, you are playing a simple-minded man who works in a funeral parlour and you have many scenes where you have to deal with dead bodies. Did you ever experienced those occasions during the filming of "Ghost Buddies"?
Lee: Not really but I remember one day when I was shooting a scene with Lenny and Sir Chow, we heard some rattling from the cremation oven which sounded as if someone was trying to open the door to come out! [Laughs] Other than that, I did not have any strange experiences. Everything went very smooth on the set.
Q: Any ghost stories that you would like to share?
Lee: I'm afraid that if I start I'll never stop! I'm Singaporean after all!
Q: We all know that you can speak Hokkien very well, but in this movie, the producers had replaced your voice with someone else. Why?
Lee: Well, all of us were definitely using our own voices during filming. However, the studio wanted to try something new. Initially, I was invited to Malaysia to do the voice dubbing for the movie post production, but because I could not make it due to my tight schedule and Double Vision was in a hurry to release the film, they decided to hire a voice artist for the dubbing process of my character. I have my regrets about this but he managed to bring out the funny elements of the dialogue too.
Q: How would you celebrate if the movie sees huge success at the box office? Will you run around naked?
Lee: [Laugh] I won't show my naked body to the public. I have nothing to show.
Q: Would you like to leave any message for your Malaysian fans?
Lee: Yes, I hope that they will watch the movie in a light-hearted manner because it's meant to be entertaining, not serious. Please support "Ghost Buddies"!
Q: Thank you Mark. Have a nice day!
Lee: Thank you!