29 October 2014, Singapore – Taiwanese actor Ethan Juan (阮經天) was in town for the promotion of his new film, Paradise in Service (軍中樂園). He met the local press at a press conference at the Art Science Museum on 27 October, this being the only press conference for the film in the SouthEast Asian region.
Paradise in Service is a movie set in the offshore island Kinmen, depicting the life of Taiwanese militants at Unit 831, a military prostitution house. The movie had received much positive feedback from the audience in Taiwan and was also selected as the opening film of the 19th Busan International Film Festival.
Apart from the movie being centered about the life of militants, Paradise in Service is coincidentally also Ethan’s first film after completing his military service. As to what had made him decide on taking this project as his comeback project, Ethan jokingly stated that “因為鈕承澤找我啊. 因為豆導找我們, 我們都不太敢不接. 你們也知道, 他這個人很容易生氣的.”
Jokes aside, Ethan shared that a reason why he picked this film was because of his grandfather. His grandfather was among those who were forced to leave their hometown due to the war against Communist China back in 1949. As someone who was born in Taiwan and who grew up in Taiwan, he could not understand his grandfather’s wishes to be able to return to his hometown. As the movie was set in a time frame of his grandfather’s generation, Ethan had hoped that through this movie, he would be able to better understand his grandfather’s wishes.
As such, Ethan shared that there were parts of the film that hit him close to home, and he had ended up crying at scenes where he wasn’t supposed to. Because of that, he had been scolded by the director and the director would tell him to hold back his tears. In response to the saying that suppressing your emotions too much would cause internal injuries, Ethan quipped “It’s okay. Just working with him (Direcctor Doze) will cause internal injuries.”
Since the movie was about militants, the actors all had to undergo very strict physical training. With regards to the training, Ethan described the entire filming process as a “即痛苦又快樂的回憶”, and that “雖然會懷念, 可是不想要重來一次. ” He also shared that it was a sense of togetherness that helped him pull through the tough training, although he also admitted that there were times when he had hidden in a corner and cried.
This critically acclaimed film had definitely left a significant mark in Ethan’s career path, and he describes it as a turning point in his career. As he enters his early 30s, this movie would be the last in which he takes on a role that is so much younger than his actual age.
Paradise in Service also stars Wan Qian, Chen Yi-Han and Chen Jian-Bin, and would hit the screens in Singapore on 6th November 2014.
KAvenyou would like to thank Encore Films for the the invitation to Ethan Juan – Paradise in Service Press Conference
Article and Photography by: Lauren @ KAvenyou.com