Viet Nam News
By Phương Mai
HCM CITY — Private film studio Chánh Phương Film has taken a risk by using several amateur actors famous on the internet to perform in the teenage romantic comedy Em Chưa 18 (I’m Not 18).
“The film is a risky project. The cast includes young amateur actors with little acting experience,” said Charlie Nguyễn, the film’s Vietnamese-American producer and director, at a recent press meeting in HCM City.
The director invited 18-year-old high school student Kaity Nguyễn to play the leading role in the film. Kaity is famous on the internet as a beauty blogger with nearly 250,000 followers on her Facebook page and over 80,000 followers on Instagram.
“Em Chưa 18 is my first step in the film industry,” she said. “I really appreciate the opportunity. After reading the screenplay, I was impressed with my character. We share similar characteristics, which inspired me.”
Directed by Lê Thanh Sơn, the film is a love story between a high school student Linh Đan and a playboy named Hoàng (played by Kiều Minh Tuấn).
After meeting in a pub, Đan and Hoàng have a one-night stand. After that, Đan, an 18-year-old girl with a strong personality, finds a way to seek revenge and becomes stuck in a love triangle with Hoàng and his former girlfriend.
Speaking at the meeting, Sơn said: “The film’s plot is interesting. It contains meaningful lessons about young love, friendship and lifestyle.”
Sơn became famous with the action movie Bẫy Rồng (Clash) starring Vietnamese action movie stars Johnny Trí Nguyễn and Ngô Thanh Vân.
The producer also asked other young people who are popular on the internet, including Ngọc Trai, Kiều Trinh Xíu and Châu Bùi, to play roles in the film.
Most of them are TV hosts and fashionistas who have hundreds of thousands of followers on social network sites.
The film also features amateur actors Will and Kiều Minh Tuấn, and experienced artists Kathy Uyên and Huy Khánh.
“I felt young and happy working with young actors,” Sơn said, adding that the cast had a professional attitude and good acting skills.
Kaity said that she and her colleagues were lucky to work with experienced filmmakers like Sơn and Charlie Nguyễn.
“We learned and improved day by day during the filmmaking,” she said.
Charlie Nguyễn, known in Việt Nam for the comedy movies Để Mai Tính (Fool for Love), Tèo Em (Little Tèo) and Fan Cuồng (Fanatic), said: “We don’t have any bankable stars, but these young actors were an inspiration for our staff and our film.”
“Fortunately, I discovered a few faces who will become talented and are potential actors for the movie industry,” he added.
Charlie said the actors would bring a breath of fresh air to the film and help lure audiences, particularly teenagers, to the cinema.
Em Chưa 18 is in post-production and is expected to be released on April 28. — VNS