Many firsts for ‘When Ghost Meets Zombie’ leads Nathan Hartono and Ferlyn G

When Ghost Meets Zombie lead actors Nathan Hartono and Ferlyn Wong (who goes by her stage name, Ferlyn G) tell us that they will experience many firsts as they star in an upcoming local movie, directed by Han Yew Kwang.

For both Hartono and Wong, this movie will be their first time starring as lead actors in a feature film, and their first collaboration together. They met in 2016 during a shoot for The Fortune Handbook where both actors had cameo appearances in the Chinese New Year movie.

When Ghost Meets Zombie is a horror-comedy which tells a story of a handsome young man, Pong (Hartono), who turns into a zombie after he sacrificed his life to save his fellow villagers. Things get complicated when the expressionless zombie falls in love with a free-spirited female ghost, Zhen Zhen (Wong). To help Zhen Zhen realise her dream, Pong allows her to possess him to her to take part in a male beauty pageant.

The film also stars Fann Wong as Zhen Zhen’s mother; Gurmit Singh as a Taoist priest; real-life couples Jesseca Liu and Jeremy Chan, and Andie Chen and Kate Pang.

Lead actors Ferlyn G and Nathan Hartono of ‘When Ghost Meets Zombie’

“When I heard that Ferlyn was selected as the female lead, I contacted her to catch up over a cup of coffee. We actually have quite a lot in common – like our experiences as singers and performers,” Hartono shared. Hartono emerged as the 1st runner-up on Sing! China, the singing competition in 2016, while Wong took part in a nationwide audition in 2010 to be a K-pop star.

To prepare for their roles, they had to undergo tap and hip-hop dance classes, on top of perfecting their Mandarin, which they shared is their biggest challenge so far. To improve in the language, they decided to communicate with each other in Chinese, even via text messages.

“This is more pressurising than going to Korea to train,” quipped Wong, referring to her two-year intensive training in Korea to prepare for her debut as a member of the now-defunct K-pop idol group, SKarf.

She said at the press conference: “My Chinese is not very good and I have a lot of lines in this movie! The script is nearly 150 pages long and about 80% in it are my lines!” The 26-year-old actress beat over 200 ladies for the lead role in this movie, after rounds of open casting calls, auditions and special training workshops.

She continued: “For the dance sessions, we have not learned tap dancing before and the routine is on a whole different level. There is going to be a lot of couple interaction and advanced steps, which are interesting, but not easy.”

Cast and director of ‘When Ghost Meets Zombie’ at the press conference (Credit: WaWa Pictures’ Facebook)

When it comes to dancing, the 26-year-old singer-songwriter believes he can “move and groove”, but hasn’t had many chances to perform a choreographed piece. He explained, “Every time when I’m asked to learn a piece of choreography, my body becomes all stiff. I’m not used to it, but as long as I am given some time to learn, I should be able to do it properly.”

“I’ve never tried my hand at tap dancing so that’s pretty new and exciting for me. Getting to the point of making muscle memory for me is rather difficult so I’ve been practising quite a lot at home. Ever since we started with the classes, I’ve been walking like an idiot, trying to make my feet do the whole [tap-dance routine]. Because I had never learned tap dancing before and so my body is trying to get used to it,” Hartono added.

On top of practising his dance steps, the heartthrob hopes to bulk up before the filming commences on July 1. “I’m trying to revamp my entire diet, forcing myself to eat more actually. I am also hitting the gym a lot more now.”

Nathan Hartono and Ferlyn G at the press conference (Credit: WaWa Pictures’ Facebook)

If you are hoping to hear them sing in the movie, director Han revealed that Hartono’s character as the zombie doesn’t talk a lot, much less sing, but there is a short scene where the Sing! China finalist will sing and dance.

As to what will he be performing to, don’t miss When Ghost Meets Zombie, expected to release in theatres in the first quarter of 2019.


Credit: WaWa Pictures Facebook

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