Violinist, variety star, K-pop idol, dancer and composer – Hong Kong-Canadian entertainer Henry Lau is a man of many hats. You can now add ‘Hollywood actor’ to his extensive resume with the soon-to-be released American comedy-drama A Dog’s Journey, the sequel to the 2017 dog-centric flick A Dog’s Purpose which follows the many lives of a devoted dog named Bailey.

In A Dog’s Journey, Henry plays the role of Trent, the Chinese-American best friend to the main protagonist Clarity June “CJ” (Kathryn Prescott) whose life is chronicled throughout the film across Bailey’s various lives. While not one of the main cast members, Trent’s story arc made for lasting impact throughout the film – and one that will leave many viewers’ hearts full and eyes dry. We spoke to the singer – best known for being a former member of Korean mega boyband Super Junior-M – over the phone for his thoughts on his Tinseltown debut, working with animals and what else to expect from the 29-year-old this year.

Henry Lau, A Dog's Journey

Hi Henry! Could you tell us more about how you landed this role?

I was on the set of Chinese movie Double World when I got a call from the director of A Dog’s Journey, Gail Mancuso, who told me about the character Trent. I noticed that there were so many similarities between Trent and I, so when I got my hands on the script and read it, I thought, “Wow, I gotta go in and get on board with this.” So, here I am.

What are some of those similarities you felt you had with Trent?

We come from similar backgrounds: Trent is a Chinese-American, and I am a Chinese – not American, but Canadian. Trent also starts off as a very nerdy character, and I was exactly like that when I was young because all I did was play the violin, piano and listen to classical music. As Trent evolves into a more mature version of himself, it was like when I went into pop music and became more ‘stylish’ in a way. There are just so many similarities between us!

As you portray someone who basically grew up throughout the movie, how has it been like moving from scene to scene at different moments of the same character’s life?

I played Trent when he was in high school and again around 10 years later when he was reunited with CJ, which was really interesting for me. The high school part in particular – I personally spent some time with Ian (Chen), the actor for young Trent, to see how he acted, talked and made gestures, then I kind of just mimicked Ian in my acting for high school Trent.

Henry Lau, A Dog's Journey

In this film, CJ is a musician. As a singer and composer yourself, did you have any role to play in the music side of things?

It was kind of new because she’s the musician and not me. I didn’t know it at first, but this was Kathryn Prescott’s first time playing the guitar, so I would sometimes help her out with some chords that she found difficulty with.

As an animal lover yourself, how do you think this movie has impacted how you view pets?

I think after you watch the film, you will realise that pets need plenty of love and attention, and that they have feelings just like us. For me, I’ve always wanted to own a dog, but my parents didn’t let me have one when I was younger. It was really nice to act in this movie because there were so many dogs around – it was like living my childhood dream.

Have you ever owned a pet, besides wanting a dog?

I had a pet bird, and one of my best memories was of it flying to me when I was playing my guitar and sitting on my shoulder. It hated the violin though, it would fly away every time I played the violin (laughs).

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Excited for my screening of #adogsjourney on Monday!! #dogsofinstagram #dog

A post shared by Henry Lau 刘宪华 헨리 (@henryl89) on May 4, 2019 at 5:48pm PDT

What was your biggest takeaway from the film?

One thing I learnt is to remember what a movie stands for. The title and the purpose of A Dog’s Journey is to bring people happiness and make them feel better. While I was filming, I just had one thing in mind – let’s just make something that people would enjoy watching.

In the past, you’ve focused quite a bit on the Korean and Chinese markets. With this being your first official foray into the American movie scene, how are you finding the differences between the East and West?

Firstly, the food (laughs). I don’t think it’s necessarily the countries that are different, but the projects I was involved in. When I was in China for Double World, the entire set had very high energy due to the action scenes – next thing you know, I’m here in America with dogs, which is just really calm and relaxing.

How do you feel about Asian representation in Hollywood at this moment?

I definitely think there needs to be more Asians in Hollywood. There are a few amazing actors at the moment, but it needs to be more diverse – not only actors, but also writers and directors. Having more Asian stories is important too. I think there’s a lot of people who are curious about Asian culture in America; films like Crazy Rich Asians just shows that people want to hear more stories about this.

I’ll do my part on the acting front – I know that it’s really rare for an Asian to have such a big role in a Hollywood film, but I didn’t realise how rare it is until people told me, “Henry, you’re doing a big thing right now.” At that point, it dawned upon me that I have the responsibility of doing a good job, not just for myself but for the entire Asian community. It’s a step in the right direction.

How has this filming experience matched up to making music?

I think music and film are similar in some ways but different in other aspects. The main difference is that I’m used to just preparing for a performance – after an hour or so, it’s over. For the movies, you really have to focus for a long period of time. But if you have to know, there isn’t one I prefer over the other.

Henry Lau, A Dog's Journey

Is there a specific movie genre you’d like to try next?

I would definitely like to be able to show some music in my next role. If it’s a role that has a violin, even better!

What’s next for you after wrapping up promotions for the film?

I have a new album coming out in a few months; we’re working on it right now. After that, my Chinese movie Double World will be coming out at the end of the year. 

A Dog’s Journey starring Henry Lau will be out in theatres on 16 May. Watch the trailer here:

We know you’ve heard this spiel over and over, but we have to say it once again – Avengers: Endgame was the most anticipated blockbuster of the past decade. From the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with 2008’s Iron Man, ploughing through solo shows like Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, to the trio of Avengers movies that ended with the devastating Infinity War, there is nary a soul that doesn’t know what the MCU is.

What gives the MCU its charm is not just star-studded cast, intense action sequences and breath-taking cinematography – its witty script is a favourite aspect amongst comic fans new and old (and who wouldn’t find it a delight, when you count the sarcastic bite of Robert Downey Jr. in their ranks?).

With such a grand finale set up with Endgame – it’s the 22nd film in the entire franchise and marks the end of the MCU’s Phase Three – we can be sure that some of the most iconic, quote-worthy lines will be on the cards. Here are 11 of our favourites (needless to say, spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched Endgame yet).

“There are a lot of other planets in the universe, and unfortunately, they didn’t have you guys.” – Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel
Credit: Tenor

The new girl on the scene may have her sceptics both on and off-screen, but we know one thing – without Carol (Brie Larson), the movie would probably have ended three hours too early.

“I keep telling everybody they should move on and grow. Some do. But not us.” – Steve Rogers, Captain America

Tenor - Captain America But-Not-Us
Credit: Tenor

The aftermath of Infinity War was a crushing one, and even the ever-optimistic Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) was at his wit’s end. Despite telling his post-apocalypse support group that they should be moving on, he knows very well that he couldn’t – and that the surviving heroes felt the same.

“But the work is done, it always will be. I am inevitable.” – Thanos

Credit: Giphy

The mastermind behind the infamous snap, Thanos (Josh Brolin) is the villain that fans love to hate. As much as he took away too many of our beloved favourites, we must laud him for sticking to his guns in deleting half the universe’s population.

“Turns out, resentment is corrosive, and I hate it.” – Tony Stark, Iron Man

Ironman and Captain America
Credit: Giphy

The start of the movie revealed that Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve never really got over their Civil War spat. In this time of crisis, however, they finally patched it up – and not a moment too soon.

“Don’t give me hope.” “I’m sorry I couldn’t give it to you sooner.” – Clint Barton, Hawkeye, and Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow

Black Widow and Hawkeye
Credit: Giphy

A third of the original team, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint’s (Jeremy Renner) relationship goes way back (just how many times have they mentioned Budapest again?). This also makes their final scene together all the more poignant – we can shamelessly say that more than a few tears were shed.

“The universe required correction. After that, the stones served no purpose beyond temptation.” – Thanos

Credit: Giphy

He could have become the omnipotent superpower in the entire universe, but Thanos instead turned to farming – after destroying the stones once and for all in this timeline, of course.

“I think you look great, Cap. As far as I’m concerned, that’s America’s ass.” – Scott Lang, Ant-Man

Captain America

Steve’s behind may have its detractors (looking at you, Tony), but we agree with Scott there – that is America’s ass, and we’re sorry to see it go.

“No amount of money ever bought a second of time.” – Tony Stark, Iron Man

Credit: Giphy

He was our first leading man, and definitely the hero with some of the best lines in the whole franchise. It’s thus something to say that this was probably one of Tony’s most heartfelt lines, and one that will stick with viewers long after it’s all done and dusted (no pun intended).

“Avengers, assemble.” – Steve Rogers, Captain America

Avengers Endgame
Credit: Giphy

Theatres cheered when Captain America finally uttered those words. The clash between all living superheroes in the MCU and Thanos’ horde was undoubtedly one of the best scenes in cinema history – 10 years, 22 films, all coming together in a massive battle.

“We are in the endgame now.” – Steven Strange, Dr. Strange

Dr Strange
Credit: Giphy

We have to give it to Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) – there’s nothing quite like a name-drop in the middle of the final battle scene.

“I am Iron Man.” – Tony Stark, Iron Man

I am Ironman
Credit: Tenor

A fitting (and we reckon, the only appropriate) reply to Thanos and how the franchise went out with a bang (or a snap).

Which are your favourite lines from the MCU? Let us know in the comments below!

More related stories: Stock Up On Your Superhero Essentials With Sephora’s Marvel CollectionWhat You Missed At The Captain Marvel Singapore Press Conference

Talk about theatre, and chances are the first show to come to mind would be Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly acclaimed The Phantom of the Opera. That is with good reason – it has won over 70 theatre awards and is the longest-running show on New York’s Broadway to date.

Of its over 13,000 performances all over the world, The Phantom of the Opera has been down to Singapore thrice – and a fourth limited run presented by Base Entertainment Asia and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions is currently underway at Marina Bay Sands’ Sands Theatre.

Phantom of the Opera

Based off the novel of the same name by 20th-century author Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux, the story follows a disfigured musical genius known only as The Phantom, who lives in the depths of Parisian opera house the Palais Garnier. Taking chorus girl Christine Daaé under his wing, he groomed her to become the opera house’s soprano, falling obsessively in love with her in the process. When faced with a rival for her heart, the jealous ghost terrorises the opera house’s inhabitants – to disastrous consequences.

While the tale may seem archaic in this day and age, there is no doubt that Phantom is a classic that captured the hearts of many. The score has spawned some of theatre’s favourite tunes, such as the titular ‘Phantom Of The Opera’, ‘Music Of The Night’ and ‘All I Ask Of You’, all of which are reasons enough to catch the show live.

Phantom of the Opera

Many renowned musical performers have taken on the iconic roles of The Phantom and Christine Daaé, but the cast of Singapore’s staging – who are part of the worldwide tour – were no slouches. Jonathan Roxmouth commanded the stage with his intense rendition of the tortured Phantom, while soprano Meghan Picerno shone in her role as Christine in enthralling solos. Loyal viewers would be quick to point out that there are arguably better couples to portray the duo, but these two still managed to carry the weight of the show (and its name) from beginning to the end.

If their immaculate performance didn’t do much to impress you, the intricate Phantom wardrobe will. The costumes for the entire ensemble range from 300 to 400 individual pieces, excluding the clothes of the various understudies, which results in double the number in total. More than 230 of the costumes were made by the late Maria Björnson, who worked on the original production in London’s West End, and some even featured in the previous runs of Phantom in Singapore. As lovely as the dresses are, they can weigh up to a whopping 10 to 12 kg each – we can’t imagine how difficult it might have been to switch costumes between the fast-moving acts. 

Phantom of the Opera

The ending may have left fans of the Phantom himself wanting, but we can safely say this staging of the Phantom will captivate theatre fans old and new – for the former, to relish in a live performance of theatre’s most well-known songs, and for the latter to experience the “world’s most popular musical” for the first time.

Photo credits: The Phantom of the Opera World Tour

The Phantom Of The Opera runs from now 8 June 2019 at the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands. Get your tickets here!

It’s official: an Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber collaboration is coming our way this week!

Nearly four years after teaming up on ‘Love Yourself’ (which Ed co-wrote for Justin’s Purpose album), the two pop megastars announced news of their new joint effort titled ‘I Don’t Care’. Set to be released on Friday (10 May), the track is speculated to be a single off the ‘Perfect’ singer’s upcoming album.

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My track with @justinbieber ‘I Don’t Care’ comes out this Friday at 5am bst, pre-add/pre-save link in bio x

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Fans have been buzzing with anticipation since the pair took to social media to tease the collaborative project late last month, which included a set of green screen photos featuring both singers in colourful Hawaiian-print shirts as well as snaps of what seemed like lyrical snippets of the song on their respective Instagram accounts.

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Not much details are known about the new single yet, but from the hints we were given, we think it’s likely to be a song filled with feel-good vibes that’s perfect for summer. Regardless of what it sounds like, one thing’s for sure: it’s gonna be a surefire bop.

We can’t wait for Friday already!

More related stories: Ed Sheeran Shows His Staying Power At Sold-Out Stadium Show In SingaporeBTS Just Teased A Possible Collaboration With Ed Sheeran And We’re Losing It

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There’s no lack of reasons to love MAMAMOO – they’ve got sweeping vocals, they’ve got killer stage presence and they ooze major cool-girl attitude; a breath of fresh air in a world where girl groups tend to go for the tried-and-tested bubblegum pop formula.

Widely loved for their string of unapologetic girl-crush anthems such as ‘Egoistic’, ‘Decalcomanie’ and ‘gogobebe’, the four-member powerhouse has always been known to portray a more mature, confident side of themselves in their music. But when they’re not performing in their element, the girls can be found laughing and goofing around just like any other person.

MAMAMOO Singapore

And that’s perhaps another reason why MAMAMOO has been getting so much love from legions of fans around the world: they’re real and never pretentious, as shown at their first ever fanmeeting in Singapore on 27 April at [email protected] Box. Although it’s a pity they weren’t able to showcase their complete repertoire of songs at a full-fledged concert, the members made up for it with entertaining Singlish banter and tons of swoon-worthy fan interactions (hugs and selfies galore!). Here are some of our favourite moments of the night:

#1 When MAMAMOO slayed the Singlish game

It has almost become a ritual for K-pop stars to go through a Singlish crash course in our country, and MAMAMOO is no exception. With some help from the emcee and translator, the members managed to pick up a couple of common phrases such as “Really meh?” and “Steady lah!” which they made sure to pepper generously throughout the show. A+ for effort!

#2 When HwaSun took a game of scissors paper stone way too seriously

Oh you know, just an ordinary day in the MAMAMOO household. We’re no stranger to their onstage shenanigans, so it came as no surprise when Hwasa and Solar (affectionately dubbed the HwaSun couple) unleashed their inner crackheads by engaging in a heated match of scissors paper stone. Meanwhile, a flabbergasted emcee attempted to calm the chaotic duo down, but to no avail. And just in case you’re interested to know, Solar won.

#3 When Wheein and Moonbyul teased the crowd with a snippet of ‘Moderato’

During the Q&A segment where they picked out fan requests from a board of post-it notes, a MooMoo requested for Wheein to dance to ‘Moderato’ with Moonbyul. Things got a little naughty midway through the dance, which resulted in Hwasa forcefully separating the pair and Solar hilariously commenting that “there are underaged kids in the crowd”. Not that we mind – give us more! 

#4 When they surprised MooMoos by wearing kebayas

While most K-pop acts would usually don a simple T-shirt for their encore stages, MAMAMOO upped the ante by paying homage to our Peranakan culture during their ending performance of ‘Waggy’. How stunning do the ladies look in their colourful kebaya dresses?

#5 When fans celebrated Wheein’s birthday with a chicken feet cake

At the end of the fanmeeting, Singapore MooMoos also made sure to reciprocate the love by celebrating Wheein’s birthday which was on 17 April. In a similar vein of extra-ness, fans presented the 23-year-old with a cake that resembled a hotplate of stir-fried chicken feet – one of Wheein’s favourite Korean dishes. You know what they say: like idol, like fans!

MAMAMOO Singapore

Ending the night with a rousing performance of ‘Um Oh Ah Yeh’, the fab foursome wrapped up the final stop of their Asian fanmeeting tour on a high. Even though they left us with plenty of fond memories to reminisce over, we sure hope to see MAMAMOO back for a full concert soon!

Photo credits: Wowstar Entertainment

More related stories: BLACKPINK Came, Conquered And Won Hearts At First Singapore ConcertDREAMCATCHER Sends Fans On A Trip To Nightmare City With First Singapore Concert5 Moments That Made Us Fall In Love With Lovelyz At Their Singapore Concert

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