Jack Neo shares how he came to cast Jay Shih in "Killer Not Stupid"
Writer: Florey DM
(L-R) Na Dou, Jay Shih, Jack Neo, Apple Chan, Gadrick Chin and Ryan Lian at the Malaysian
press conference for "Killer Not Stupid".
23 Jan – "Killer Not Stupid" marks a number of firsts for Singaporean director Jack Neo. It's the first time he shot a movie in Taiwan, the first time he works on a "killer"-themed movie, and the first time for him to work with Taiwanese singer-actor Jay Shih.
At the press conference held at Malaysia's mmCineplexes eCurve yesterday, the director revealed a funny story of how he came to cast his lead actor Jay.
"I think you're hearing this for the first time too," he told the bemused actor.
He proceeded to tell the story of how during the audition process, when he went to the restroom, he passed by a poster bearing Jay's image and the actor seemed to be staring hard at him. He recognised the actor and decided to ask his crew to contact Jay to come in for the audition.
"He arrived in just a couple of minutes", Jack said, adding that he was even wearing clothes that revealed his toned physique. "Exactly how an assassin should look."
The actor laughed and said that he did not dress like that on purpose, that was just how he happened to look at the time. Since he was a big fan of the director, he only thought of rushing to the audition the moment he received the call.
Jay admitted that as he grew up watching Jack's movies, it was a dream come true for him to be working with the director.
Na Dou and Jay Shih starring as a couple of assassins in "Killer Not Stupid".
Other Taiwanese members of the cast include Na Dou, who was also present yesterday, Amber An, Lin Mei-Hsiu and Shin Lung.
Rounding up the cast at the press conference are Jack's frequent collaborator, Malaysian actor Gadrick Chin, as well as Singapore's Apple Chan and Ryan Lian.
"Killer Not Stupid" follows Hornet (Jay) and the tech-savvy Mark (Na Dou), a couple of assassins on their last mission before ending their deadly career. During the mission, they bump into a former classmate, Sha Bao (Gadrick), a drug lord's god-daughter, Talia (Amber), and her friend, Ira (Apple) from the Philippines. Things turn complicated for them as they each get hunted down by their own enemies.
Jack Neo explained why he decided to shoot "Killer Not Stupid" in Taichung, Taiwan.
The movie was 90 percent shot in Taichung, Jack revealed. He picked it as his main shooting location because of the fact that a cinema there has been running his 2008 comedy film, "Money No Enough 2", for more than 8 years.
The director and non-Taiwanese members of the cast said they learned something interesting while filming in Taiwan. The local cast tends to take turn treating everyone on set with snacks and drinks like Starbucks coffee or milky tea.
The Malaysian and Singaporean cast members said it was a good habit that they picked up because through this they could show their appreciation for the crew's hard work during production. Jack even bought nasi lemak so the Taiwanese cast and crew could have a taste of Southeast Asian delicacy.
Get a taste of Jack Neo's first Taiwanese action comedy, "Killer Not Stupid", when it opens in cinemas this 5 February.
Cinema Online, 23 January 2019