Better known as Merlion Tan, Wesley Wong found fame with his convincing portrayal of a down-and-out wannabe filmmaker in Zo Gang & Zo Hee.
Trained in film & video production, Wesley was not considering a career in acting until his talent was unearthed in Zo Gang. He was even mistaken for a real lawyer by an audience member!
Read more about the man and his many passions:
Give us a brief bio of yourself?
I’m currently teaching video courses in Singapore Polytechnic. I love good movies, but generally wouldn’t mind bad ones, just for the experience of learning what NOT to do.
What are some of your favorite films/ actors / plays?
Too many to name for films and actors. But plays – in terms of plays (made into films) I like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and in recent memory “Closer”.
Why do you like films and filmmaking?
Visual, aural? Its all good! Movies are stories, which stem from life’s experiences. Without ups and downs, then we will have boring lives and so would the stories be.
Was it your first time as a lead actor in Zo Gang?
Probably, unless you count the time I was on a TV game show.
What did you think of the role?
Merlion Tan is sensitive to the local film scene. He needs inspirations to make his own film.
Tell me about your experiences during the filming process for Zo Gang & Zo Hee?
It was a fun time. Except it was tiring, like all shoots.
Any comments from your friends on your performance in Zo Gang & Zo Hee?
My girlfriend found it amusing, so much so that she commissioned the sequel of sorts, Zo Hee. That’s how we met. She ended up being in it too.
Any fans? Reaction from the local audience?
One audience came up to me after the screening once, and said that she had some legal questions, thinking I really was a lawyer! I wonder if that means the acting was good, or did it fail since it didn’t convince her that I was an actor portraying a role.
You also crewed for the films. Do you prefer being infront or behind the camera?
Being behind my own equipment seems more comfortable for me because I have practice. Acting worried me because I did not know how others were framing me and i felt that I did not have control.
You went for a film festival in Berlin where Zo Gang was screened. How was it?
It was a great tour with many of the finest new filmmakers around. We had fun. Was surprised that the Berlin audience could get some of the Singaporean jokes. I have always felt that comedy is the hardest to do, although I like to think I’m rather witty. Totally surprised at some of the jokes they reacted to.
Tell us what you are doing now?
Unfortunately teaching is taking up a huge chunk of my life right now. Not much time for anything else.
Interviewed by Cyan. Watch Wesley’s performance in Zo Gang here.