Singers Nathan Hartono and Ferlyn G are pairing up for their feature film debut as lead actors in the upcoming comedy movie, When Ghost Meets Zombie.
Both actors, together with Jesseca Liu and director Han Yew Kwang, were at the media conference yesterday (5 Dec) to share about their filming journey, as well as to witness the launch of the movie trailer.
In addition to his acting role, Hartono will be composing two songs for the film – a duet with Ferlyn G as well as another solo. Ferlyn G, who was a member of the now defunct K-pop group, SKarf, will also be lending her voice to the OST, which is slated to launch in mid-January.
“It was nice to see all of it come together. It’s like going through all the Instagram photos all at once,” said Hartono on watching the trailer for the first time. “We haven’t really seen many of the edits and cuts since we wrapped… This story is so insane, so it’s fun to finally see it!”
Hartono plays Pong, a man who turns into a zombie when he tries to save his town from a disaster. He meets a female ghost, Zhen Zhen (Ferlyn) who possesses his body in order to fulfil her pageant dreams – by forcing Pong to join a “Mr Perfect” competition.
Ferlyn bagged the role through an open casting call, beating out over 200 ladies for the part. Despite her first time acting in a feature film, the newbie earned praises from her co-stars and from Liu, whom she calls “my goddess”.
“I remembered my first few scenes with Jesseca were so pressuring!” said Ferlyn. “I was so nervous, but Jesseca is so professional and good. She helped to bring me into the scene and that state of emotion that I needed. I’m just really thankful that everyone is so kind.”
When Ghost Meets Zombie, produced by Clover Films and WaWa Pictures, will open in theatres on Valentine’s Day next year. It will be the second Singapore-made zombie flick to hit the silver screen within a year, after Zombiepura’s October release. It stars an ensemble of well-known local artistes including Fann Wong, Gurmit Singh, Andie Chen, Kate Pang, Jack Neo, Suhaimi Yusof, Yvonne Lim, Dennis Chew and more.
As a zombie, Hartono didn’t have many lines, so a lot of his acting had to be through his physicality and face, which he thought was going to be a big challenge initially. While it did pose a difficulty, he revealed that it wasn’t as tough as he thought it would be.
“Halfway through the filming I realised that it was easier, for some parts at least. After 10 straight days of that (catatonic) state, it kind of just went ‘autopilot’. Even when I was off-camera I was in that state,” he chuckled.
It was director Han who had to make sure he captured the essence of Pong’s zombie state. He said that the hardest take was to capture Hartono’s smile as he had to “smile like a zombie”.
Han, whose last film was the sex comedy, Rubbers, said: “To capture his smile, we asked Nathan to smile in different ways while the camera continues to roll, just so that we can find the right smile.”
Not only did the 27-year-old Hartono have to restrict himself from bending his joints, he had to strip and dance half-naked, as well as film a bed scene, but the actor took it all in good fun.
“There was no time where I felt insecure with any of my cast members, especially with Ferlyn. It was really fun to work on this movie,” said Hartono.
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