Sarah Lian wants to take up martial arts -- to become an action star

2 January 2013 / 3 years 9 months ago

Source: The Daily ChilliSarah Lian first shot to fame as the local Internet Ah Moi in the 2010 MyEG commercial.The 29-year-old then went international, playing a sexy shopaholic (in the Hong Kong produced comedy Mister French Taste) and an edgy-looking hacker (in US online crime drama Cybergeddon), this year.Now, Sarah Lian has set her sights on becoming an action star.In an interview with the Daily Chilli, the doe-eyed Malaysian actress, now based in Vancouver, Canada, revealed an interest in equipping herself with martial arts skills to pursue action roles."Kung Fu is a must. Naturally, for many of the roles that I auditioned for in Canada, one question that always comes up is 'Do you do martial arts?' As an Asian, you have to sort of expect that because of people like Bruce Lee and Michelle Yeoh," she said.But it’s not just the moves that matter, said the Taiping-born, Vancouver-bred beauty."It’s more of the ability to move a certain way, to understand what the choreographer and set coordinator want you to do. It’s much more important than how high you can kick or how strong you are,‘ she explained.It helps that she had done taekwondo before."There are some parts of me that are coordinated [laughs]. And I enjoy working out. Still, it comes as a bit of a challenge."I did some basic martial arts training in Toronto for a couple of months. Then I started filming and my schedule got kind of crazy. So I had to stop. I’m definitely looking forward to trying it again in Malaysia. I heard the wushu team here is amazing," said Sarah, who named Indonesian crime thriller The Raid: Redemption as her favourite actioner.To refresh your memory, the Malaysian darling left Malaysia in March 2011 to pursue bigger acting opportunities in Canada. After a year of working and trying to land a big break, she’s now temporarily back in Malaysia.She says those days in Canada were "extremely challenging and humbling.""After spending three years in Malaysia building up my career, I didn’t know what to expect when I was in Canada. It’s was a huge leap of faith, but with hard work -- which involves eating humble pie, auditioning and competing with over 100 actors in Toronto -- I slowly started gaining some ground and getting some jobs in TV shows and films.“While I am recognised in Malaysia for my work, in Canada, I was competing with a few hundred actors for a role. The casting directors would look at your picture, see what you can do, and say, 'Thank you. Call you later.' And you never get the call. You feel like you’re one of those people who go, 'Am I ever going to be noticed?'"So I put even more work into auditions now than before when I didn’t feel I needed to. It’s not just the talent. You have to keep working at it. And because I’ve done that, casting directors remember me. They encourage my agent to send me to certain jobs. To have that kind of support from them is humbling. It’s amazing and sometimes unfathomable," she said.Her experiences as a popular host and actress in Malaysia certainly helped."It helped that I was not really a newbie. I knew how to work in front a camera, collaborating with others and playing my role well in a team,‘ she said.Well, how challenging is it for an Asian to work in a Western market?"It can be. However, I’m happy to say that two of my four roles were cast not because I was Asian. The script never reads something like 'Asian girl walk into the room.' They just think I fit the bill,‘ she said.Though she’s based in Canada, Sarah is open to "working internationally.""I speak predominantly English, Cantonese and a bit of Mandarin. I’m currently shooting a film in Hong Kong now and they’ve got a Beijing arm. We are in talks of doing future projects like Chinese films together. I’m really excited," she said.She remained tight-lipped on her ongoing shoot in Hong Kong though, merely revealing that it’s a Hollywood film produced by the folks behind American series The Walking Dead."I can’t really talk about it, except that it’s a horror film, one that might generate a bit of controversy when it comes out. I’m one of the main characters and the film will be released around October next year.Right now, Sarah just wants to kick back and relax."I’ve spent a full year in Toronto. So while I’m back here, I mostly just enjoy the good food and meet up with my family and friends," she said.Chances are, she’s also going to knock on the doors of Hollywood soon."I’ve had producers pulling me aside and said they want to make some introductions in Los Angeles. So I might spend a few weeks in Los Angeles next year," she revealed.Still, the thought of trying to make it in Tinseltown sounds "very daunting" to her."It’s a huge market and everyone is an actor there. I would have to start

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