As we continue to gear up towards production, we asked actor Michelle Ang about playing Dede Cheung, one of film’s the central characters.
In what ways do you connect to Dede as a character?
I understand the struggle of someone who knows their own potential but lacks the “self-discipline” to see it through. Whilst mine is more about artistic endeavors, Dede’s is more about personal responsibility. I appreciate Dede’s candor of expression. I find her heroic; someone who can’t help but express exactly how she feels and then translate that into her art. Sometimes the intensity of her emotions sends her to explore darker facets of herself, something I relate to. I also empathize with Dede’s strained relationship with her mother. Whilst my Mum is incredibly supportive of me, we are in essence two very different people. There have definitely been times where it has been a struggle to share my inner world with her.
What do you anticipate to be your biggest challenge as an actor in preparing for this role?
The obvious one is inhabiting the world of an opioid addict. We all have addictions in one way or another. I’m addicted to sugar and addicted to certain emotions, but to wear the cloth of someone chasing that very specific opioid release is entirely new to me. I’m excited about the research that it will require. I want to build an authentic feeling about why Dede can’t live without that sensation in her life.
Without giving anything away, what aspects of the story or the character are you most excited about?
I like the unique narrative style that Alex has chosen to use. I’m fascinated to see how the documentary element and various visual mediums will heighten and lend to the story. I’m also terrified by the spoken word skill of Dede. I better get used to spitting rhyme rhythmically until it sounds effortless – and in an American accent nonetheless!