PETALING JAYA, Sept 22 ― Malaysian filmmaker Adrian Teh pleasantly discovered that directing a blockbuster hit will score you free meals from random strangers.
Teh told Malay Mail after he made the 2018 patriotic film Paskal: The Movie, trips to mamak eateries were never the same again as fans would pick up the tab for the 36-year-old director.
“People will pay my bill and they will ask the waiter to pass me a note saying, ‘I know you’re Adrian Teh, I like your films, please keep making good films’.
“I do get people buying me meals without even saying hi to me and they try to be really discreet about it,” he said.
Teh said he experienced this several times in 2018 when Paskal was still in cinemas.
“It is a bit weird because they’re buying me a meal and I didn’t get the chance to say thank you and I don’t know who paid my bill but it’s a gesture I do appreciate a lot,” he said.
The Penang-born director spoke to Malay Mail ahead of his new film Pasal Kau!, Netflix’s first Malaysian original film.
The romantic comedy which stars Hairul Azreen and Janna Nick is set in a hotel and centres around Aiman, a hotel staff who falls in love with one of his hotel guests but not everything is as it seems.
Aiman and his friends band together for an action-packed plan to save the day, only to find that his heart may be with someone else after all.
“When Hairul pitched this story to me, it’s actually inspired by a true story, I found it quite interesting and I got a scriptwriter to come in and develop the story and that’s how Pasal Kau! came about,” said Teh.
Not only will fans of Paskal and Wira will spot some familiar faces, they will also see a different side to the actors from Teh’s previous two action-packed films.
“I managed to get most of the Paskal and Wira actors and actresses to come in for this and I’ve included a lot of funny moments to spoof those movies.
“If you’ve watched Wira and Paskal, you’ll be able to enjoy these scenes better but if you haven’t it doesn’t matter, you’ll still enjoy the movie because it’s a standalone romantic comedy,” he said.
Despite his previous two high-octane films, Pasal Kau! marks Teh’s return to a genre he’s familiar with having directed Chinese-language rom-coms prior.
“I don’t see myself just directing action films, I see myself as a more versatile kind of filmmaker,” he said.
The film which took 25 days to complete at Johor’s Desaru Coast, began in February and the shoot wrapped up just 48 hours before the movement control order happened.
“In a way, we are very lucky,” said Teh.
“I’m developing stories right now but nothing worth mentioning at the moment so I’m taking it one step at a time and see how the situation unfolds in a couple of months.”
Asked if he felt pressured to direct another box office hit following Paskal’s success, Teh, who has nine films under his belt said he has never set targets for his films.
“It was the same case for Wira, I didn’t set any box office expectations for it, I understand the industry in the sense that it's not something I can manage or have a say about.
“When the movie hits the theatre, my job is done ― I’ve done the best that I could so it’s up to the audience whether they are willing to spend money to watch my films or not.
“I never really had that kind of expectation for myself,” said Teh.
Pasal Kau! streams on Netflix worldwide from October 1 onwards.