TV host-turned-actress cast in new thriller

June 29, 2021 - 15:47
The movie Mặt Nạ Fanti (The Fanti Mask) will start filming at the end of this year.
Thảo Tâm stars in a scene of the 2019 movie Mắt Biếc (Dreamy Eyes) by Vietnamese-American Victor Vũ. Photo courtesy of Galaxy Studio

HÀ NỘI — Young actress Thảo Tâm has been cast as the leading lady in a new thriller by director Phan Gia Nhật Linh.

The movie Mặt Nạ Fanti (The Fanti Mask) will start filming at the end of this year.

Thảo Tâm, a popular TV host, made her silver screen debut in the role of teacher Hồng in the 2019 movie Mắt Biếc (Dreamy Eyes) by Vietnamese-American director Victor Vũ. The drama is among the local industry’s top 10 blockbusters with more than VNĐ127 billion (US$5.5 million) grossed at the Vietnamese box office. 

After the blockbuster hit, the 21-year-old starred in some music videos, including Chờ Ngày Lời Hứa Nở Hoa (Longing for the Day When Your Promises Come True) and Sau Này Hãy Gặp Lại Nhau Khi Hoa Nở (Meet Again When Flowers Bloom) both by singer Nguyên Hà.

Unlike the black comedy Tiệc Trăng Máu (Blood Moon Party) by director Nhật Linh which had a cast of big-name stars including Hồng Ánh, Hứa Vĩ Văn, Thái Hòa, Kaity Nguyễn, Kiều Minh Tuấn, Đức Thịnh and Thái Hòa, Mặt Nạ Fanti will feature only young and lesser-known actors.

The thriller is about a social media influencer who wants to become a famous actress. However, her life becomes dark when is stalked by a mysterious man. Alongside revealing lesser-known angles of showbiz life, the movie also portrays the huge pressure that many young people face when they rise to fame.

Mặt Nạ Fanti, inspired by the phrase word ‘anti-fan’, is the debut production of the Vietnamese-American director and scriptwriter Andy Nguyễn, who holds an MA degree in cinematography from Columbia University in New York.

In 2012, Andy Nguyễn caught the Sundance Film Festival spotlight when his short film Boomerang was presented at the event. The short film cost only US$200 to produce was shot in one day using equipment borrowed from Columbia and won the first Imaginative Filmmakers Spotlight contest.

In 2015, he was a co-producer of the movie My First Kiss and the People Involved which won the Audience Award at the New Orleans Film Festival and the Ultra Indie Award - Honorable Mention at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2016, following the Gerald Hirschfeld A.S.C. Cinematography Award at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in 2017.

In 2015, he decided to return to Việt Nam to develop his career. He edited the scripts of two other big box-office movies, Em Là Bà Nội Của Anh (Sweet 20, 2015) and Người Bất Tử (The Immortal, 2017). — VNS