Bee and Pfeiffer in a scene from the movie.
LANDING the female lead in the movie The Journey has propelled Joanne Yew Hong Im into the limelight.
The 27-year-old, who was Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant (MACIP) 2007, said her movie debut has been exciting and life-changing.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Chiu Keng Guan as he is a good director.
“Although there were many challenges along the way, I gained valuable experience,” Yew said, recalling the numerous times she had to jump into the ocean for a 10-second scene.
She was not the only newbie in the movie.
“Most of the talents, from the young children to senior citizens, had little or no acting experience.
“This made the movie more authentic as they were just acting out what they would do in real life,” said Yew.
Presented by Astro Shaw and produced by Woohoo Pictures, The Journey is a cross-cultural story that explores the idea of culture, not just as traditional practices but an expression of love.
The movie also marked the completion of Chiu’s Astro Chinese New Year trilogy after Woohoo! (2010) and Great Day (2011).
Released nationwide on Jan 30, the movie is about an old-fashioned and conservative father, Uncle Chuan (played by Frankie Lee Sai Peng) and his reservations towards his only daughter Goh Bee Yong or better known as Ah Bee (played by Yew) foreign fiance Benji (played by Ben Andrew Pfeiffer).
Uncle Chuan opposes their
marriage but reluctantly agrees after failing to change his daughter’s mind. However, he insists on having a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony.
Benji and Uncle Chuan set off to deliver the wedding invitations to Uncle Chuan’s friends who are located all over Malaysia, during which both learn to compromise and accept each other.
Yew said she liked the movie’s concept that examines inter-cultural relationships and the need for acceptance as both her parents were open-minded people.
“I believe that love is fated and we should practise tolerance.
“My parents only want my happiness.
“In the movie, Uncle Chuan is rather conservative and does not see eye to eye with my boyfriend
at first, but is later touched by Benji’s sincerity.
“I would recommend Malaysians watch the movie as it relates a lot to our lives,” she said.
Pfeiffer said he decided not to research Chinese tradition and culture as he wanted his portrayal to be as authentic as possible .
“I wanted my experience to be reflected in my character.
“Benji has a childlike personality and is not self-conscious. The Journey, as the movie title suggests, operates on many levels.
“It is about the journey of self-discovery and of how two people from such different backgrounds are able to appreciate and understand each other,” said Pfeiffer, 32, who is an Australian actor.