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Li Nanxing puts sorrow aside to promote movie

Actor Li Nanxing devastated over mum's death, but believes everything happens for a reason. -TNP
Kwok Kar Peng

Fri, Aug 31, 2012
The New Paper

Veteran TV star Li Nanxing has to put aside the sorrow of losing his mother two weeks ago to promote his new film Imperfect.

Veteran local TV star Li Nanxing was smiling at the press conference for his second movie Imperfect on Monday.

But the 47-year-old, who is the executive producer and star, looked thinner and his voice sounded hoarse.

The last two weeks have been especially tough for him.

His 69-year-old mother, whom he said he was very close to, died suddenly on Aug 13, while he was on a business trip in Hong Kong.

In an interview with The New Paper, Li said with a sad smile that he's fine and he has to put his sorrow aside, presumably to promote his latest flick Imperfect, which opens here on thursday.

He added softly: "Of course I wish (my mother) could come and watch this movie with me.

"But I believe everything happens for a reason. She's now in heaven with God."

Li declined to go into detail if he had any regrets when it comes to his mother, but he advised all children to spend more time with their parents.

"They are naggy sometimes, but you'll have many regrets when you lose them," he said.

Li had told Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao at his mother's wake that he regretted not insisting on a thorough medical check-up when she complained of giddiness two weeks before her death.

At the wake, Li's manager told reporters that the actor cried all the way from Hong Kong to Singapore upon hearing the bad news.

When Li saw his mother in the coffin, he knelt and broke down several times.

Coincidentally, he's not the only one from the Imperfect cast who's grieving over the loss of a loved one.

Shanghai-born Singapore-based Ian Fang lost his maternal grandfather a few months ago.

The heart-throb's parents divorced when he was young and he grew up especially close to his maternal grandparents.

Sadly, the 23-year-old MediaCorp actor wasn't able to fly back to Shanghai for the wake as he was then filming the Channel8 school drama Don't Stop Believin'.

The series is currently airing on week nights.

At the time, Fang was also dealing with immense stress from work and looking for a new home here.

Fang had told reporters earlier that his co-star Elvin Ng, whose father died in February, counselled him during the difficult period.

Fang, who is known to display a maturity beyond his years, told TheNew Paper: "On the day and time that my grandfather was cremated in Shanghai, I told the (Don't Stop Believin') director to give me a one-minute break.

"I stepped aside, looked at the sky and told my grandfather to have a good journey into the afterlife.

"I cried and cried. And then I continued filming.

"Of course I regret that my grandfather won't be able to watch my first movie.

'You can only face it straight on'

"But that can't be helped. Life is like that, so what can you do? You can only face it straight on."

It wouldn't be just his grandfather and Li's mother who would be missing Imperfect.

Many teen and tween fans of Fang and his co-stars like Edwin Goh, 18, and Kimberly Chia, 17, would also have to give it a miss because of the NC16 rating which the triad action film received for the violence.

This means that audiences under 16 years of age would not be granted entry into the theatre.

The 96-minute film features at least three bloody fights and one violent gang war.

In the movie, Fang and Goh play Zach and Jianhao, two close friends who join the triad gang led by Zhihua (Li) to get protection against a rival gang.

But a fight between the two gangs goes awry and the two young men find themselves on the run from their vicious enemy Guodong (played by award-winning Hong Kong actor Liu Kai Chi).

The film, which will open in Malaysia next month, also stars young local actors Phua Yida and Elizabeth Lee, and Taiwanese artistes Chiang Tsu-ping and Patrick Li.

Chia said some of her young fans are unhappy they can't watch Imperfect, while Fang joked that their supporters can wait a few years until they are of age and then watch the DVD.

Li said the realistic fights are necessary.

During the filming, it didn't cross his mind what rating the movie would receive.

He said: "We have a message that we want to pass to our audience: Do not let your kids hang out with the wrong people or go on the wrong path in life.

"If we (temper the violence) to consider viewers under 16, then we will lose this message."

Liu, 58, added: "(The rating) will affect the movie's takings at the box office, so I encourage parents to watch this movie and then discuss it with their children. Don't go on the path of no return."

karpengk@sph.com.sg

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