by ADA TSENG
The sharply dressed cast of Shanghai Calling, an award-winning rom-com starring Korean American actor Daniel Henney, made their way to Los Angeles on Tuesday night, where they screened the film at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The movie opens in Los Angeles and New York City on Feb. 15.
The film’s director Daniel Hsia was the first to make his way down the red carpet, and he chatted with reporters about making his very first feature film, loosely based on experiences he and his fellow Chinese American expat friends had when they lived abroad in Shanghai. He was soon joined by producer Janet Yang, romantic lead Henney (who plays Sam Chao), Eliza Coupe (Amanda), Bill Paxton (Donald), Sean Gallagher (Brad) and Zhu Zhu (Fang Fang).
In the film, Sam Chao is an ambitious Manhattan attorney who is relocated temporarily to Shanghai to open the law firm’s satellite office. If successful with the assignment, Sam may make partner at his firm, but the Chinese American, who has spent much of his life ignoring his heritage, isn’t thrilled about being sent to the motherland.
When asked which of the scenes in the film was their favorite, Henney, Coupe and Yang all mentioned the scene they shot at night on The Bund, the historic waterfront area in Shanghai where Sam and Amanda share a romantic moment for the first time.
Last year the film swept up several festival awards, including two Best Actor wins for Henney at the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Newport Beach Film Festival, and a Best New Director win for Daniel Hsia at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Shanghai Calling is also currently available to watch on Video-on-Demand. For more information on where you can catch the film, visit shanghaicalling.com. Incidentally, Daniel Henney will grace the March cover of KoreAm—stay tuned!