19 Jan – Laughter fills the air as the media greets Jack Neo (or who currently prefers to be known as "Karen"), heels and all, to join the casts on stage to promote the new Malaysia-Singapore co-production Chinese New Year comedy, "Homecoming".
Neo, in his flowery dress and his self-proclaim Korean aunty look surprises the media as he flaunts his way with a plate of yee sang, and talks about the gruelling process to get all the make-up done to finally become the character Karen - a Singaporean middle aged mother who drags her only son (played by Taiwan-based Malaysian folk singer, Ah Niu) all the way to Kuala Lumpur to attend a reunion dinner and simultaneously match make him with her niece, only to be met with various incidents on her journey.
Karen's story is just one of the three different yet interlinked stories in "Homecoming", each one facing different obstacles on trying to be on time for Chinese New Year reunion dinner.
Speaking to the media at the press conference, Neo expresses his feelings about the whole ordeal, "The make-up artists took 2 to 2 and a half hours to turn me into Karen. They taped the side of my face near my eyes in the upward direction so that I will have this 'aunty eyes' and it was made very tight so the tape never rips. It never ripped. My skin did." he laughs.
The hot and humid Kuala Lumpur weather also did not help, as it was 40 degrees at the time of filming.
However, Neo expresses his delight to be able to work together with Malaysia's number one comedian, Afdlin Shauki who plays Zool the taxi driver in this movie.
"It is easy to work with Afdlin because we have such perfect comedy timing. The chemistry between us and among all the cast was magical," Neo enthuses while Afdlin jokingly adds, "They kept saying that I am Malaysia's number one comedian and I just agree. I think I'm actually number 7."
The conference ends with a yee sang toss and a surprise birthday cake for actress Koe Yeet's 18th birthday.
"Homecoming" is a heart-warming comedy capturing the essence of tradition of CNY that happens in the course of a day, directed by Penang-born director Lee Thean-Jeen and features famous stars from both Singapore and Malaysia such as Jack Neo, Ah Niu, Mark Lee, Afdlin Shauki and Rebecca Lim.
"Homecoming" is coming to cinemas on 19 January 2011 in Malaysia and 3 February 2011 in Singapore!