Interview: Kathy Wu & Director Wong Hing Fan of ‘I’m Livin’ It’

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CHICAGO – How do you communicate Hong Kong’s homeless situation in a fresh and relatable way? Wong Hing Fan’s new film “I’m Livin’ It” takes on not only poverty, but the shortage of housing for professional and working class people. The main setting is a 24 hour burger restaurant – with the sly marketing slogan of “I’m Livin’ It!”

Once a star in his finance firm, Bowen (Aaron Kwok) now spends his nights in that fast food joint, which allows the homeless an overnight respite area, and he encounters other “roommates” who are in a similar predicament. There is a child and her mother (Cya Liu) – who has taken out high interest loans to cover her mother-in-law’s debt, an old man (Alex Man) who is too afraid to go home, a young runaway (Zeno Koo), and a singer (Miriam Yeung) who was part of the financier’s past. When Bowen hears from his sister (Kathy Wu) that their mother (Nina Paw) is dying, he must decide whether to go be with them or stay with his “new” family.

Livin1
Actor Kathy Wu
Photo credit: Kathy Wu

The actor Kathy Wu was recently in Chicago to represent the film at its Season Ten screening at the Asian Pop Up Cinema (APUC). Her background is of scholarship – her grandfather was a prominent University professor in China – and beauty, as she competed in the Miss Asia Pageant as a U.S. representative, after her family had moved to the States. This boost led her to acting, and with the help of her mentor Nina Paw (her “I’m Living It” co-star) she began to work in Asian TV and film.

A chance breakout in the martial arts film “Lady Bloodfight” got her noticed in the Los Angeles industry, and she has since moved there to make it her base for both American and Asian movie/TV roles. She has appeared in the TV series “Pure Genius” and “Counterpart,” and had a role in the Dwayne Johnson film, “Skyscraper.”

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Kathy Wu talks about the cultural adaptations she made to become an actor, and what it takes to split time between the Asian and American industries.

On Page Two, an interview with director Wong Hing Fan of “I’m Livin’ It.”

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