Taiwan teen flew to Malaysia to audition in badminton star Lee Chong Wei biopic

Producer Lee Chong Hoon (seated, left) and director Teng Bee assessing an aspiring actor during the audition at the Permata Sports Complex in Paya Terubong.
Producer Lee Chong Hoon (seated, left) and director Teng Bee assessing an aspiring actor during the audition at the Permata Sports Complex in Paya Terubong.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN (The Star/Asia News Network) - An aspiring actor and badminton player flew in from Taiwan to be among 400 people who auditioned for a role in the biopic of badminton hero Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

Huang Tzu-wei, a county-level player from Taichung, said he learnt about the audition online and through Taiwanese newspapers.

Having idolised Lee for a long time, the 17-year-old said he was ecstatic about trying for a part in the film, Rise of the Legend, which chronicles the Penangite's steady rise in the badminton world.

"My friends kept telling me that my playing technique resembles that of Chong Wei," said the teenager who started playing badminton when he was 10 and has been watching videos of Lee in action to hone his skills.

"I knew I had to fly in to try my luck in the film as I also wish to pursue a career in acting. Hopefully, I can land a role."

Huang was among the 400 who auditioned at the Permata Sports Complex in Paya Terubong on Sunday.

The movie, produced by CB Pictures Sdn Bhd in association with MAHU Pictures, is to start shooting in July and is slated for release next Chinese New Year.

Film producer Josiah Chieng said they needed to cast more than 60 characters, with the main two being Lee and his wife, former national badminton player Datin Wong Mew Choo.

"The film will feature their love story, and filming will be done in Kuala Lumpur and Bukit Mertajam in July and August," he said.

"We are hopeful that the auditions will attract a good turnout and get us a suitable cast for the movie."

Chieng said they also hoped to have the man himself play a role in the film or do a cameo.

Director Teng Bee said the storyline would be based on Lee's book Dare to be a Champion.

"We are focusing on his journey, especially the early days before he became a world-beater," he said.

Also at Sunday's event was Lee's elder brother Chong Hoon, who is also the film's producer.

"I hope the film will inspire youngsters to dream big and aim high in their lives," he said.

Auditions for the movie will continue in Johor Baru at C and Y Sports Badminton Centre on Saturday, and in Kuala Lumpur on March 18 at Pioneer Sports in Sunsuria Avenue. Both rounds will be held from 11am to 3pm.