Royston Tan's upcoming movie 3688 will star local singer Joi Chua in the lead as Fei Fei, a parking attendant who dreams of becoming a singer like her namesake and idol Fong Fei-fei.
This marks Chua's acting debut, something which she admits was "challenging". She said at a press conference at Fullerton Hotel on Tuesday afternoon: "I have to cry a lot, which was not easy."
But director Tan had nothing but praise for his leading lady, as he said: "I am more than satisfied with her performance so far. I cast her because of her lovely singing voice, and there is also this quality to her that is attractive. When she wears a hat, she kind of looks like Fong Fei-fei, don't you think?" The late Fong was known as the Queen of Hats because of her glamorous headgear.
Tan has already completed most of the principal shoots, which were primarily done on location at Dakota Crescent. Other talents announced to star in the film are getai veteran Liu Lingling, rapper Shigga Shay and singer Rahimah Rahim.
The film, Tan's first feature in seven years, is slated for release in June next year in conjunction with Father's Day. Says Tan: "This film is my little way of showing appreciation for my dad, and for all fathers out there . I've always wanted to take my parents to see Fong Fei-fei in concert, but unfortunately I missed the chance when she died. So I thought of making this movie that is inspired by her, and dedicating it to my father."