Unexpected star of new local movie Wayang Boy belts out Chinese opera tunes

Denzyl Dharma stars in new local movie Wayang Boy. -- PHOTO: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT
Denzyl Dharma stars in new local movie Wayang Boy. -- PHOTO: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT

Eleven-year-old Indian boy Denzyl Dharma is the star of a new local Mandarin movie.

In Wayang Boy, the Primary 5 pupil at Gan Eng Seng school plays Raja, a boy from India who tries to fit into his new home in Singapore and stumbles onto a foreign art form - Chinese opera.

"The hardest part about Chinese opera is the singing, sometimes I go off-pitch," he says at a press event for the movie on Tuesday.

He underwent training for about three months before shooting the movie this June.

This is not the first time the talented lad, who can speak Mandarin, has done Chinese opera. In the movie Wayang Boy, he reprises his role from a short film, Wa Is For Wayang, which was previously screened at the Singapore Discovery Centre.

The $1 million feature-length movie is slated for release later this year, and also features local actors Chen Tianwen and Kym Ng.

Denzyl, the only child of a software firm vice president and beauty salon owner, has already nabbed another acting assignment, a role in a Chinese movie in Beijing.

At his school, he is already a bona fide star. However, it is not his autograph his schoolmates are asking for.

He says: "Some ask me to get autograph of stars. They mostly ask for Kym Ng's autograph."