Singapore—“Handsome Stewardess” the latest in director Zero Chou’s Six Cities Rainbow Project, is set in Singapore and features not only a love story between two women —a karate champion and a flight attendant—but also the daily struggles in the life of a stewardess.
Ms Chou is an openly lesbian multi-awarded Taiwanese screenwriter and director. “Handsome Stewardess” is the third in a six-film series called the Six Asian Cities Rainbow Project, which the director started in 2017, whose goal is to tell women’s stories from different Chinese-speaking cities around the world.
The first in the series was “We are Gamily,” set in Chengdu, followed by “The Substitute,” set in Beijing.
“Handsome Stewardess” follows the story of Holly, played by Lilu Wang, who was working as a bartender in Taiwan when she met and fell in love with a Singaporean karate champion named Meng Lian, played by award-winning actress Peijia Huang.
In order to pursue her romance with the Singaporean woman, Lilu quits her job to work as a flight attendant, in a man’s uniform.
Along with the romance, Ms Chou decided to feature some of Singapore’s iconic landmarks, including Maxwell Food Centre and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, as well as, Changi Airport, naturally.
But the show also features Lilu’s day to day struggles at work, as well as the challenges she faces in fitting in.
Regarding her decision to set the story in Singapore, Ms Chou remarked, “Singapore is the biggest transportation hub in Asia and that its airport is world-wide famous due to its cutting-edge infrastructure and, at the same time, the city is a symbol of extreme competitiveness. Therefore, it seemed like the perfect setting for the story of a flight attendant struggling to fit in at the workplace.”
Regarding a flight attendant’s job, Ms Chou had this to say: “It is many people’s dream job. You can fly anywhere in the world, there is a sense of freedom. But there are many restrictions at the same time. You have to please the passengers no matter what and you are forced to dress in a very sexist and unproductive way.
I wanted to present these conflicts, but still in a comedic way.”
“Handsome Stewardess” is the second series with a setting both in Singapore and Taiwan. August saw the broadcast of “All Is Well,” a Mediacorp production.
Ms Chou’s latest offering can be seen every Friday on GagaOOLala, a Taiwanese streaming platform.
Ms Peijia, who won best actress in 2018’s Golden Bell Awards, said that she talked to the Malaysian members of the crew, as well as watched numerous local dramas, in order to get the Singaporean accent correct.
Ms Wang is probably best known as a singer with the Taiwanese girl group Hey Girl, and has said that she took the role since she wanted to try something different from the other characters she has played.
The director gave the character of Holly the same birthday as Ms Huang, and said, “Indeed, this character is designed precisely for her.”/ TISG
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