Exclusive Interview with Dada Chen

Article by Yvonne Lo
Photo by Niko

AsianInNY had the opportunity to do an exclusive interview with Dada Chen (陳靜) who is featured in Hardcore Comedy (重口味) at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival. Dada Chen starred in last year’s New York Asian Film Festival as well, in Vulgaria. Dada Chen has won “Best Supporting Actress” at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013. She took Hong Kong by storm. Now it’s New York’s turn.

Hardcore Comedy is a combination of three stories that connect in the end. Shocking Wet Dreams is about a geek who winds up renting a room in a rundown, one-woman brothel because he can’t afford housing at an university. He repays his debt by designing a computer program that manages her business more efficiently, until the cops close in on them. Run on Drugs is about a guy whose boutique runs out of business and takes a job as a drug delivery boy. While selling drugs, he stumbles upon Dada and they go on an adventure while running from the cops. In Can’t Stop the Killing, a sashimi chef is left with the choice of paying his debt or killing someone. Without the cash, he takes a job as a triad hitman. From car stunts to casino royale to violent shoot-outs to erotic romance, this film has it all. Three flavors of multi-colored mayhem, this is the summer high school comedy full of sex, drugs, and absurdity.

Is this your first time in New York?

DADA CHEN: Yes, this is my first time in New York. I have always wanted to visit New York after seeing the city in movies, especially the popular Empire State Building. During this trip, I plan to take a couple of days to go sightseeing.

Besides the Empire State Building, what other places would you like to visit?

DADA CHEN: This is my third day in New York and I have only been to the Empire State Building. Of course, I went to the top. On the top, there are so many people, which got me tense. I spent three hours taking a lot of photos. Other than that, I would really like to visit Central Park. There are lots of places that I want to visit and I will definitely come back to New York to do more sightseeing. I am only here for a couple of days and then I have to return to work. The next time I come, I will bring my family and friends, too.

How has it been working with Director Ho-Cheung Pang of Vulgaria?

DADA CHEN: I have learned a lot from him. He is always willing to help, a funny guy and working with him was a great experience. While filming this comedy we have so much fun that it gets done quickly. I find his films to be meaningful and independent. They can put any ideas they can think of and put it into the movie. Therefore, it was successful in Hong Kong.

Never thought of this situation could happen to me; it’s like a dream come true. The feeling still remains with me. In fact, it makes me more determined. I feel as if I have to catch up to it or the stress and pressure will be too much.

Let’s talk about your film, Hardcore Comedy. Can you tell us more about this film?

DADA CHEN: I actually haven’t seen it yet. I will be attending the screening tonight. So, I will be among the audience watching it for the first time with everyone else. The film will be released in Hong Kong on August 29th so I get to watch it first in New York.

I think the film has a lot of Hong Kong’s characteristics. There are three compound stories within the film – Shocking Wet Dreams, Run on Drugs, and Can’t Stop the Killing. It’s a comedy piece. I have yet to see the final editing of the stories, including my scenes, so I do not know what to expect. My story is Run on Drugs and all three stories connect in some way, so it’s very interesting and complicated.

In my story, I play as a party girl looking to buy mushrooms. In the process of buying the shrooms, I encounter a homebody (someone who secludes himself at home). This homebody is played by William Chan. I find it to be so unexpected because in other films he plays as the handsome guy or the pretty boy, so I could never imagine him play this type character. In the film, he plays such an interesting guy, but in reality he is humorous.

So, tell me more about the song you sing in the movie. Have you done it before?

DADA CHEN: In the film Hardcore Comedy, I sing a song. It is not the theme song, but it coordinates with a situation in the plot. This was my first time singing and having my own song. I found this new experience to be pretty good.

Do you think you will be releasing an album in the future?

DADA CHEN: Right now, I am focusing on acting. I love to sing and I sing all the time with my friends, but I think singing requires a lot of time and money. The most important thing for me right now is to get the filming done. After shooting and finalizing the film, then I can take my time to try other things.

After Hardcore Comedy’s world premiere in New York, where will it premiere next?

DADA CHEN: I think Korea. I believe they publicized it in Korea as well. It depends on the schedule. I haven’t promoted it Hong Kong yet. It will not premiere there until August. I think it will receive a really good response in Hong Kong. It will be the year’s summer blockbuster.

Is there someone you would like to meet and work with in the future?

DADA CHEN: I’m still waiting to meet Andy Lau. I am only made a few films, but I hope to work with other directors in the future. Every director has their own style, preparation, and what they can teach is totally different. At this time, I welcome and am ready to work with any movie.

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