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Meeting the cast of Sumo-lah December 1, 2006

Posted by drowmage in Events, Journalism, Sumolah.

So I was planning to return back to Penang on Wednesday, when mom tells me she doesn’t really need me there. I log online, and Yap from the magazine I freelance with now corners me…

Yap: morning
Yap: was just about to call u
Yap: are u free tonight?
Me : er… why?
(Never say you’re free until you know if it’s worth saying so)
Yap: got event
Yap: at planet hollywood…
Yap: cast of sumo-lah will be there..
Me : *sigh*
Me : let me toss a coin….
Yap: aiks

So I flip the coin, and heads came up. Looks like a busy night for me again.

Reached Planet Hollywood after picking up Jon from the office – the downpour was awful and I drenched my Vincci shoes in puddles of water. In short – I ‘swam’ to Planet Hollywood from the carpark.

The cast was late due to the rain, met the nice ladies from the film distributor BVI (that’s Buena Vista International to y’all) . And… surprise surprise (not like I didn’t know he was part of the cast) , I met good ol’ Gavin Yap. The former “Red-Haired Tumbler of Malaya” is now all the rage on stage and doing a few TV shows. At least he still remembers me from Penang.

Pleasantries exchanged, numbers exchanged. Then I put my foot in my mouth.

” So.. er.. this movie is like your first step back into the movie industry after the previous one?” I randomly asked. Nevermind that I hadn’t been following the news on friends who turned to stars.

Gavin stares at me for a bit, giving me a weird look before telling me otherwise.

Note to self = next time do research on what friends have been doing, or else shut up.

So later Jon and I mingle a little with the BVI ladies, who were really nice to us. Images of scary dragon-like firebreathing distributors are slowly dissolving.

Eventually after much shuffling around, random photo shots and a few panicked questions from Jon “What am I supposed to be doing again?”, the cast of Sumolah , minus Inthira Charoenpura and Patrick Teoh assemble together and the director himself, Afdlin Shauki (this guy is just so awesome) goes up onstage to greet the crowd.

Now, for most events I’ve attended, they make you sit through the press conference, or the screening of the movie, or whatever else that happens before feeding you. This time, Afdlin announces that food is ready and invites us to dig in, before the activities start.

I could see it was going to be a fracking GREAT night…..

…. and end up eating half the food on my plate only.

Now, see, I need to explain something. I love food. I love to eat. Heck, I’m from Penang, island of great and awesome food you can’t get anywhere else in Malaysia (must be the clean water supply we have). But when I’m at an event covering it, I seem to lose my appetite, and not because I’m nervous, but because I’m so into the job that I can never sit still. Oh, look, there’s famous actor A. Oh, famous actor A is having his photos taken. Better join the fun or I’ll never get paid for the article. Oh darn it the food’s all cold and gross now. I think I’ll have a dessert. Oh look, famous actor B and C just walked in, have to chase for quotes and photos.


Plus points of the night : Met Vanidah Imran (The Red Kebaya) and husband Rashidi Ishak (Cinta), Sharifah Amani and mom Fatimah Abu Bakar, and the awesome Gurmit Singh.

Gurmit Singh, otherwise known as Mr Phua Chu Kang from Singapore’s hit TV series “Phua Chu Kang”. (The poor guy will be forever known as Phua Chu Kang unless he runs off into strong movie roles soon, hence probably the factor why he’s wrapping up the TV series with one last season.). Gurmit kept the audience entertained with his comments on why he joined the cast of Sumolah “I would have done it for free, but I signed the contract already” and how appreciative he was of the opportunity to visit his ancestors land (this guy is so rojak, with Indian-Japanese-Chinese ancestry, that’s he’s just so cool).

Mr Gurmit also remembered me for a rather unfavourable but funny reason. To explain this, I need to go back the night before this event, to the “Cicakman” gala premier at Cathay Cineleisure:

I was in the hall with the celebrities and the stars before the screening of the movie, and was randomly taking shots of famous local celebs. After taking a few photos of Anita Sarawak (talk show host, singer), I suddenly see Gurmit Singh and Afdlin Shauki, and go hey! photo opportunity!, take a shot. I took one lousy shot. Ok, nevermind, try again. I take a half-decent shot. Then I waved to them and asked them if I could take one more, and that’s when my camera battery ran out. *smack camera* *switch off/on camera*. Camera (no I’m not going to name her Sally or something weird like some people do) then decides it would be funny to humiliate me in front of the stars and sputters a whirring sound before entering the black hole of non-functionality.

Gurmit and Afdlin burst out laughing. I shrug and gave a grin, mentally trying not to sink into the ground.

Picture of Afdlin Shauki & Gurmit Singh before my camera died

Anyway, back to Sumolah – I waved at Gurmit when he arrived and asked if I could take a photo. He somehow recognizes me and asks if I have new batteries for the camera, and I laugh and say yes. Then tells the nice BVI ladies (Anna, Shu Mei & Michelle) how my camera died the night before. *sigh*Ah well, better to be remembered for something funny rather than something bad. I give props to Gurmit Singh for being a patient and really funny and nice guy in person. Makes me think most people who aren’t even celebrities are snobs (I said most, not ALL), and could pick up a thing or two from this guy. Well actually, all the celebs I’ve met so far have been really nice and awesome to me, so no complaints there.

3 times during the night, I keep trying to get a few minutes with Afdlin, and someone always grabs him away. But what was awesome was when it was nearly the end, and another TV station wanted to grab him, he saw me and said he would talk to me first, and even later said sorry and thanked me for waiting the whole night! Had a quick 15 minute interview with him, took a few shots, and chatted for a bit. He gave me a bottle of some sacred sand from the sumo wrestling ring, which was cool.

Highlight of the night :- made new contacts, talked to nice people, and ran into my favourite journalist from The Star newspaper, Mumtaj Begum. This is a woman who’s such a great writer.

Not so great moment of the night :- Stepping in puddles with high heels, getting lost on the way to Puchong and ending up in Ampang at 11.30 pm at night.

Check out the pics from the Night of Stars from Sumolah.



1. Jasdev - December 4, 2006

heya ! nice bloggggggg !

gurmit is a nice guy man hes funny and coolness. he told me he never knew his mom was japanese until she was sick or soemthing. Comical dude that fella. Gavin looked like a pretty boy most of the time and I donola buat bodo go ask how does one start in this industry and all that, whilst having my college mates chickies shouting for me to get his phone number. lame.

keep up the writin bebeh !

2. Jasdev - December 4, 2006

hey, wait, dont go yet! (writing in third person/multi angle person/wtfever ehhe)

kudos for getting me the internship in 8tv ! and thanks for the ciplak tshirt !

3. Drow - December 4, 2006

hey jasdev.. thanks man

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