Melvin Sia is no "Kepong Gangster"

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5 Sep – Golden Award winner Melvin Sia revealed that playing the main character in director Teng Bee's directorial debut "Kepong Gangster" was a really tough experience for him, so much so that he has to resort to screaming out loud within the confines of his home just to relieve his stress.

"My character is called Ah Hai. He is a guy who represents the dark side deep down in a person. I think everyone has a dark side and I'm trying to portray this through Ah Hai," said Sia.

He added, "I'm an actor who tries to embody a role wholeheartedly on the screen.

So when I play Ah Hai, I absorbed all his evil characteristics for the movie. I wasn't happy during the shooting process because I went too deep into the role. I became hot-tempered every day. When I go home after filming, the first thing I always did was to calm myself down by screaming out loud at home to release my anger and pain."

Director Teng Bee had already set his sights on Sia to play the lead character in his gangster flick since the early days of production, and his expectations were not let down. He praised the "Romantic Delicacies" star for his excellent performance in the thriller.

"To me, this character is very difficult to portray. It's much easier to play a straightforward good guy or bad guy but Ah Hai is someone who is caught in the middle of justice and greed. I knew that Melvin is the best candidate to handle such a character and he did do a great job."

When asked about his box office expectations, Teng revealed that he wished to achieve at least RM5 million for his first movie.

"The current record for a Malaysian-made Chinese movie is RM7 million. My production has been rated 18, so it's a little bit harder to generate high grosses. I have set my target on RM5 million. I hope people can come to support a local production like "Kepong Gangster" as it's not easy to make a film," explained Teng.

Besides Melvin Sia, "Kepong Gangster" also stars Henley Hii from the Singaporean horror "23:59", newcomers Hero Tai, Billy Ng, Rayz Lim, musician Jovi Theng, Lenny Ooi, Linda Liao, Tracy Cheong and Wilson Tin.

The film shows how secondary school students Ah Zhong, Ah Hai, Teow Chew Boy, Billy and Bing became known as the "Five Tigers" in a gangster triad that they initially joined to protect themselves from the harsh life of Kepong. However, as time goes by, each of them face temptation by money, drugs and power lust, which may lead to their self-destruction.

"Kepong Gangster" will be released in cinemas in Malaysia on 13 September. The film may see upcoming releases in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well.

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