No baring of hot bods

Actors (from left) Choi Si Won, Eddie Peng and Shawn Dou underwent tough training to look the part of competitive cyclists.
Actors (from left) Choi Si Won, Eddie Peng and Shawn Dou underwent tough training to look the part of competitive cyclists.PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES

The actors' physiques take a back seat in To The Fore, says director Dante Lam

Hong Kong director Dante Lam's movie To The Fore features a slew of hot male bods and three handsome male leads in Choi Si Won, Eddie Peng and Shawn Dou.

However, viewers will be disappointed if they expect to see much of the trio's ripped abs and toned bods. Lam, 50, says: "In my last movie, Unbeatable, there was a lot of focus on the actors' physiques. This time, I don't want the attention to be on that. I want audiences to watch the cycling."

Unbeatable (2013) is a boxing drama in which Taiwanese actor Peng underwent intense training to transform his body to look like a mixed martial arts fighter.

In the new movie, there is only a brief glimpse of Peng's physique.

Lam and Choi were at a press conference for To The Fore on Wednesday at the ArtScience Museum.

Fans hoping to see Choi's topless hot bod have to ensure the movie is a hit at the box office. Choi, 29, from South Korean boyband Super Junior, says: "If the box-office showing is good, I will come back here and go to the seaside and take off my top."

Despite the testosterone-heavy film set, there was no clash of egos among the cast. According to Lam, Choi and his fellow actors braved the tough training together to look the part of competitive cyclists. The training regimen included cycling 100km daily and thigh workouts at the gym.

Choi and Peng also exchanged workout tips and ate protein-heavy and healthy food to build muscle to achieve their ideal physiques.

Choi says he prefers to have a sleek build, while Peng was after the bulky look.

He also gushed about Peng, his newfound soulmate. He says: "I like Eddie. He's a good friend. It's hard to find a connection like that. When I first saw him, I was like, wow, this guy is awesome. He's my oppa (Korean for older brother)."

Peng returns the compliment in a telephone interview from Hong Kong yesterday with local media.

The 33-year-old says: "It's rare to make a good friend through work. We are about the same age. He's a serious artist, he can sing, dance and act." He adds that he would not let a woman come between him and his buddies, unlike Peng's and Dou's characters in the movie, who fall in love with a female cyclist.

"What's most important is the girl's decision," he says matter-of-factly.

What type of woman will catch the eligible bachelor's fancy?

Displaying the same publicity savvy as his buddy Choi, Peng says: "Someone who likes to ride a bicycle. She must watch To The Fore."

•To The Fore is showing in cinemas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2015, with the headline 'No baring of hot bods'. Print Edition | Subscribe