Thursday, July 17, 2008

House of Shirtless Men

After the filming of the exotic film "Island of Beautiful Maiden" with Wolfgang, he invited me to go to Berlin for some extra footage filming. I thought it was an extremely generous offer to fly me to Berlin for 2 days and also do some acting job there, all expenses paid for. Since this will be my first trip to an European country, it really gets me all excited and agreed everything Wolfgang briefed me about the "extra footage shoot" required for me to do. I didn't care when he warned me about the many shirtless scenes. The flight to Berlin was long, but it was nice to accompany Wolfgang whose English I find very hard to understand sometimes.

Upon reaching the airport, I was given only a few hours to sleep before I was rushed off to the shooting location for the extra footage scenes. All Wolfgang told me was, it's going to be the story of my character's introduction for the previous film "Insel de Schonen" . He said something about the scenes to be shot in a house where the weather at that time is extremely hot and all the men has to take off their shirts to beat the heat. I find this situation to be a bit funny, firstly all the men in one house are baring their upper bodies and having them acting without their shirts on! Another funny bit is, Wolfgang asked if I got a fresh pair of undies prior to the shoot, and asked me to bring it along. About the story, Wolfgang told me I will be the adopted brother of this German boy name Adalwen. I came into the house of men which consisted of the boy's father, uncle and 5 other brothers.

My first scene of the day would require me to be brought into the house by Aldawen. At the door, he would instruct me to take off my shirt, because all the men in the house are "hardworkers". Upon entering the house, I have to pretend or acted as if it's very hot in the house. The production assistant also sprayed some water on my forehead and body to show that I'm sweating, where in fact it was still cold at this time of the month in Berlin. To do this, I just imagined the hot giant lights on us and the camera rolling. There are not much dialogues in the film for me, most of the talking will be done by Aldawen and all I have to do is agree with him and nod my head. I got more scared when Aldawen took me to a sort of little tour of the house, before we go into his room. We visited the father's room, where he was reading the newspaper. This scene will have the father looking me up and down and agrees to let me stay in the house. Then to his uncle's room who is doing some exercises. This scene the uncle will instruct Aldawen to do some house chores and I will have to show I'm unhappy over the "heavy work" Aldawen was given. Finally to Aldawen's room. Here the shoot stopped for a break, and Wolfgang came and gave me some funny instructions. He said I will sit on Aldawen's bed, while he will take off his pants. At that point, I began to realise what sort of film this is going to be.

After explaining in detail that I will not go down under any men, or let any men come up from my behind, Wolfgang finally understood my standing. I did add that I don't mind do the kissing scene but not the more sexually explicit scenes. He respected that and said I will not get my full payment for the entire film, including the one shot at the island. I told him it's OK. Fortunately, he didnt force me to anything I don't want. It was very professional and I was told that my scene will be replaced by another Asian actor. I told him it's fine. The experience of this filming expedition was really fun yet eye-opening for me to know how Asian actors are perceived by some Europeans. I didn't intentionally express the sexy side in me, because it's all just natural. But it's time to bid adieu to the House of Shirtless Men.