or: in which I expose myself to be a shameless royston tan fangirl.
æ: Do you have a lot female and gay fans?
Royston: I do have a group of female fans who cut out any article in the papers or magazines they find on me and post it on their websites. Once I was in a swimming pool and one of them snapped me in my swimming trunks
using her handphone. The picture then got circulated on the Net. So paiseh
(meaning embarrassing in Hokkien)! I don't know about gay men. If they like me, they never tell me. æ: Actually, I know a few gay men who think you're cute. One of them says you have the face of a manga (Japanese comic) hero.
Royston: Really? Hmm... æ: Yeah, really... Anyway, in your new film 4:30, the boy becomes so obsessed with the older man that he breaks into the latter's room and collects his stray pubic hair. What was the craziest thing you ever did for someone you were obsessed with?
Royston: In my Temasek Poly days, I was crazy about someone whom I'll call X. X had everything - face, body, popularity, clothes. X also had a favorite shirt that would be worn every week. So on our graduation day, I stole X's shirt when X was drunk. X went totally berserk, had a complete mental breakdown. For many years, I kept the shirt that had the smell of X. Then one day, my domestic helper accidentally washed it. I was so angry. The whole incident became the inspiration for my short film called Jesses, which is included in my collection of short films on DVD. (Called Royston's Shorts
, the DVD is on sale at good music and bookstores.) æ: Maybe I should shoplift in Prada on the pretext I'll make films about the brand. Are there things about you that the public misunderstands?
Royston: A lot of people seem to think that I'm arrogant. When I don't smile, I can look quite fierce because my eyebrows are so bushy
. Whenever I go clubbing, no one really makes a pass at me because they think I'm proud. But really, when you get to know me, you'll realise that I'm very down-to-earth... æ: People also think that you're a magnet for controversy...
Royston: I don't go out of my way to attract controversy, but when the censors insisted on so many cuts in 15
, I had to fight back. They bit me, so I had to bite back. But I think I do it more out of self-defence. I really am a simple guy. æ: How do you stay sane and grounded, considering that your life has changed so much since the debut of 15 in 2003?
Royston: Well, for one thing, I try to avoid the glamorous events that I normally get invited to. I prefer to spend my time at coffee shops talking to uncles and aunties. They have a lot to say about people and life.
I also give free crash courses in filmmaking at neighborhood schools. Usually, I ask the principal to assemble 20 of the naughtiest kids, and I'll teach them to appreciate mood and colors in images. At the end of the course, we'll shoot a film together. æ: That's very inspirational. Has Hollywood or Hong Kong come a-knocking?
Royston: Brad Pitt's production company Plan B has approached me, and Andy Lau's company also approached me to make a film under its First Cuts showcase. We're in discussion over possibility of me collaborating with Karen Mok. But Karen, as you can imagine, is busy so we have to look into her schedule first. æ: A few final questions: Who or what turns you on?
Royston: Someone who is comfortable in his own skin. æ: What's the most important thing in a relationship?
Royston: The ability to forgive your partner's transgressions, even if he or she cheats on you. The ability to still believe in the relationship when it's going through a rough patch. We're only human. æ: Your biggest fantasy?
Royston: That I was married into the Thai royal family, so that on my wedding day, I would ride on a white elephant accompanied by a thousand maidens and there'd be fireworks in the night sky. æ: Your biggest guilty pleasure?
Royston: I love Hokkien mee
(noodles) with lots of pork lard. When I'm very stressed out, I tell the uncle, "Uncle, extra pork lard, pleeeeaase!"
Well, Fridae certainly hopes you'll be eating Hokkien mee
with extra pork lard and Karen Mok next to you someday. 4:30 is showing in the cinemas. Royston's Shorts DVD is on sale at HMV, Kinokuniya, Gramophone and other good book and music stores
Royston tan is so crafty.
To RI he brought Mindee and Yann Yann, the very alluring 881 sisters, and proceeded to snog Mindee a thousand swooning fanboys' delight/chagrin/fascination.
To RGS he toted a male chinesey singer-songwriter type to serenade the girls, as well as a cheeky self-proclaimed Ah Beng, more generally known as Eric Khoo, grand high producer of the amazing soundtrack. For maximum effect, royston tan ensured that he wore a saucy pair of underpants, which he took care to flash several times at the enraptured (or in the case of the teachers, more than a little scandalized) audience, under the pretext of gesturing wildly to illustrate his point.
I AM IMPRESSED!