Thursday, 6 February 2014

Debbie Goh: Lethal in heels

Debbie Goh’s many looks from the movie (clockwise from upper left): happy birthday to me; cuttin’ a rug with Steve Yap; pummelling Kelvin Leong; getting everyone’s attention; pensive in the pool.

Debbie Goh’s many looks from the movie (clockwise from upper left): happy birthday to me; cuttin’ a rug with Steve Yap; pummelling Kelvin Leong; getting everyone’s attention; pensive in the pool.

Debbie Goh steps out in style in the Lunar New Year flick Bullets Over Petaling Street.

FASHIONISTA could well be Debbie Goh’s middle name. Look no further than her latest movie, Bullets Over Petaling Street, and see for yourself: candy-coloured wigs. Shiny sequined gowns. Sparkly killer heels. Hot micro-minis. Stunning, sheer swimwear.

For the vivacious Malaysian actress, who started modelling at age 19, Goh’s latest role in Bullets could have been tailor-made for her.

She plays a popular actress named Angel, who reluctantly becomes the head of a Petaling Street triad when its leader suddenly disappears.

“Angel simply loves dressing up, so she has a different outfit for every occasion. I went through about 30 different looks in the movie. And I never had to wear any piece in the wardrobe more than once,” offered Goh, who was perky and effervescent, even though she had just flown back from a work-related conference in Paris the day before.

The former beauty queen (Miss Malaysia Chinese International 1998) was so psyched about fleshing out her fashion-loving character that she even threw open her closet to the movie’s stylist.

Debbie Goh stars in Bullets Over Petaling Street
I’m Red, you’re dead: Debbie Goh in carrot-topped killer mode in the movie.

“The diamante-studded stilettos that make an appearance at the beginning of the movie trailer are from my own personal collection,” shared Goh, 35, her eyes twinkling at the thought.

Then her love-hate relationship with high heels came to light. Goh admitted that her biggest challenge during the filming of Bullets was having to film her scenes in high heels all day, and sometimes all night, for weeks on end.

“All those heels were between five and eight inches (13-20cm) high. I loved them because they were so beautiful, yet I also hated them because they were so painful to run around in. That’s why I only wore them for filming and photoshoots,” said the statuesque beauty, who feels more comfortable lounging around in her flats.

“My feet are happiest in sandals and sneakers. So, I make sure to give them a good rest when I’m off camera,” she continued, concerned that she could develop hallux valgus, commonly known as bunions, as the painful foot condition (in which the big toe gradually turns inwards) runs in the family.

A naturally active individual, the beauty queen-turned-actress made the most of her intensive action training sessions, although she could only squeeze in two days of the initial week-long plan.

Although she's frequently in heels, Goh says her feet are happiest in sneakers and sandals. - Cover photo: RAYMOND OOI/The Star; Make-up and hair: MARCUS CHUAH; Wardrobe sponsored by Versace.
Although she’s frequently in heels, Goh says her feet are happiest in sneakers and sandals.

“I really love doing action scenes, even though I may not be as flexible as those who can do splits effortlessly,” revealed the two-time Golden Awards’ Most Popular Actress (2010 and 2012), best known for her striking roles in local TV dramas like Age Of Glory (2008), The Descendant (2010) and Glowing Embers (2012) as well as China’s The Legend Of Kublai Khan (2013), where she played the second Empress-regent of the Mongol Empire, Oghul Qaimish.

Of all the action scenes in Bullets, Goh singled out the most challenging one: a fight sequence which saw her getting into a scuffle with a rival triad head, played by local actor Kelvin Leong.

That particular scene even required her to hitch up her skirt and wrestle him to the ground in pencil-thin stilettos. “I still remember how I had to flip Kelvin, then pin him down. And, I did it all in my heels. It was not easy, he was about 80kg!”

Her most memorable, however, was the movie’s opening sequence of her soaking up the sunshine in a swimming pool, before being joined by TV host Hansen Lee in an intimate scene.

“The shoot lasted all day; I was swimming in the pool from 7am in the morning till 5pm. Then, Hansen came into the pool at 9am and we had to French kiss.

“It was truly awkward, having to kiss someone I had barely chatted with for five minutes, so early in the morning.

“Plus, I didn’t expect the swimsuit to be so transparent; we had to rely on emergency safety measures to prevent accidental exposure. After we completed that shoot, the swimsuit was completely wrecked!”

Bullets is jointly directed by award-winning Malaysian stage director Ho Shih Phin and Hong Kong-born movie producer Sampson Yuen. The US$1mil (RM3.35mil) action comedy is produced by Juita Entertainment and distributed by GSC Movies, with Star RFM 988 as the official radio station.

A joint project by Juita Viden, Golden Screen Cinemas and The Star, the made-in-Malaysia movie also features Chen Han Wei, Irene Ang, William San, Steve Yap, KK Wong, Cheryl Lee, Berg Lee, Ernest Chong and Freddie Wong.

Bullets may be Goh’s first Malaysian movie to hit the big screen, but she clarified that her Malaysian film debut was actually in the slasher flick Claypot Curry Killers. Owing to its gory subject matter, the movie took so long to clear the censors that it went straight to TV (Astro First, Ch 480) when it was finally released.

Chinese New Year celebrations for Goh typically entail boisterous family get-togethers that include steaming hotpot reunion dinners, lively games of charades or Monopoly and movie outings at local cinemas. This year, however, work took her to Paris during the festive season, as she continued to mull over film offers from local moviemakers as well as some from China.

Bullets Over Petaling Street opens in cinemas nationwide on Feb 13.

Related story:

A scary and exciting shoot

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment , Entertainment , Debbie Goh , Bullets Over Petaling Street , Malaysian movie


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