The butler did it… in Singapore!

By Shawne Wang

Based on a smash-hit television series (and novel) of the same name, The After-Dinner Mysteries stars the enormously popular Sho Sakurai as crime-solving butler Kageyama; Keiko Kitagawa as his wealthy mistress; and Kippei Shiina as Kazamatsuri, Reiko`s clueless boss in her day job as a cop.

The reason all three actors and their director Masato Hijikata were in Singapore? The film was shot almost entirely in locations that would be familiar to us all. This time, the mystery to be solved occurs on a luxury cruise liner our very own Superstar Virgo. Key scenes were also filmed in Raffles Hotel and around Marina Bay Cove.

Cast and director were all happy to chat about their work on the film and the time they had spent in Singapore. Hijikata observed that they had had to come to Singapore twice, as the iconic Merlion had been under renovation the first time round. Sakurai and Kitagawa both maintained that they are very different from their characters, while Shiina commented wryly that he did not wear pristine white suits and strike ridiculous poses as his character is wont to do.

There was one difference between filming the movie and the television series that stood out for Sakurai. “I got to interact with the other actors in the cast, which I don`t get the chance to do as often in the TV show!

Sakurai also revealed that he has not really watched many shows to get into the mindset of a detective although he did watch British programmes like Jeeves & Wooster to better understand how a butler should carry himself.

The cast also delighted their fans at the red-carpet premiere of the film. After a screening which drew gasps and rapturous applause, Sakurai endeared himself further to his fans by greeting everyone in Singlish. He confessed a love for chicken rice and admitted that he had eaten by himself unrecognised by two girls sharing his table at a hawker centre in Little India.

Kitagawa, too, had greatly enjoyed her time and the fashion in Singapore. She hoped everyone in Singapore would check out the film on opening day, which happens to coincide with her birthday.

The After-Dinner Mysteries opens on 22 August 2013.