Daniel Henney makes special appearance at Honolulu International Film Festival with film, ‘Shanghai Calling’

Photo: Shanghai Calling

What are some reasons why Korean drama fans should check out the Honolulu International Film Festival?…

These days, it seems that HIFF is bringing in more Korean films to satiate Hawaii’s love for Asian films and to feed the growing enthusiasm towards Korean films. It could be the due to the rise of Korean drama fans and audiences in the Hawaiian Islands. This past season’s lineup sported a wealth of Korean films that have hit theaters in Korea and made a popular splash, such as The Thieves.

Another reason to check out HIFF?

Well, you never know who you might see…

This past Friday, Daniel Henney make a special guest appearance at the festival for his new film, Shanghai Calling.

Okay, so the film wasn’t Korean. It was based in China and Henney plays a Chinese-American lawyer

in New York City, who gets sent to live in Shanghai for three months, only to find culture shock,  scams, the expat community and expat love.

Personally, having lived in Korea, I appreciated the expat angle and stereotypes the story took and Henney’s character is comedic, which is a refreshing change for him. It’s the first film which seems to have allowed his acting to loosen up and feel dimensional and just more charming in personality. Anyways, he pulls the comedic bits really well and the director, Daniel Hsia has thankfully, utilized him for more than his good looks! Hopefully, we’ll see Henney do more roles like this in the future.

The film throws all its trick punches in the first half of the movie, but gets a little slow towards the middle when the storyline steers away from the subject of cultural adaptation in order to follow lighter storylines; but overall, it’s smartly shot as a love letter to Shanghai (showcasing gorgeous city scenery), it has a great supporting Asian cast, which added fun flavor to the story (when the storyline drooped) and impressively,… the entire film was shot in one month! Phenomenal!

P.S. Interesting interview with Henney by Asian in NY (whom I actually nabbed the above photo from).

For you K-drama & Daniel Henney fans in Hawaii, …

Yes, the handsome celebrity did make an appearance, so fan hearts can swoon. He managed to quickly slip through the crowds without being noticed and actually sat through the entire movie to emerge later for the Q&A session with the director at the end.

If you blinked your eye, you might’ve missed him!

But if you have, you next chance to see him will be in Hawaii Five-O (read here). Apparently, the actor was called into Hawaii earlier in order to guest star on the show and in a part which may quite possibly lead to a recurring role!

Welcome to Hawaii, Daniel. We look forward to your return!

Photo credit thanks to: Ekam26 on instagram