Who are you? Not the persona you present to others in hopes of acceptance. Not the person you transform yourself into when trying to get the job or the apartment.
Too often we find ourselves trying to assume a different identity to please others. Between friends, family, lovers, authoritative figures and more, it’s easy to lose a sense of your true self.
Then there are the comments telling you to “just push through” when you’re faced with a life crisis. Between the self-imposed persona and pushing through, life can leave you broken and spent.
In Ken Mok’s romantic comedy, The Right One, it asks, “who are you really?”
In this heartfelt and hilarious film, novelist Sara is dealing with writer’s block and mounting stress and pressure from her editor to make her deadline. However, she has a light bulb moment of inspiration when she meets the mysterious Godfrey who lifts her out of her blank page haze. But Godfrey isn’t who he seems, he too is living a lie as he consistently changes personas and alter egos to deal with his past and avoid reality.
Just as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, he discovers she’s been using him as an inspiration for her next novel, and disappears. Did Sarah just lose the best thing that has happened to her? Or can she find him and make things right?
The Koalition spoke to writer/director Ken Mok about his inspiration to transition from producing movies to creating movies, the impact of social media, finding your authenticity and more.
“There was a couple of inspirations for this script. I’m fascinated with Peter Sellers, he was a brilliant mimic, he could play any character on the planet and he lost himself completely in those roles. People who knew him in real life would say when he wasn’t playing a new role, he didn’t know who he was. I found that really fascinating, it made me think, ‘how could a person who’s so brilliant as an actor have such a weak sense of self identity?’ because they all said he was like a cipher, just like literally nothing, a blank and the only time he came alive was when he played a role.”“So I when I really started to think about that, I started thinking about ‘what could cause a person to be that way?’ To me the natural conclusion that you would come to is, ‘he must have had some of emotional trauma in his life.’ So that got the wheels turning about this kind of character and how I would use him in a script.”
“Then a few year ago I was reading this article about this social influencer, a very famous social influencer suddenly quit. The reason why she had quit she said was because everything she was posting was fake and she said it was just this idealized curated version of herself and she couldn’t deal with it anymore. That really started making me think about what’s happening in our culture in terms of identity and how in a lot of ways social media is corrupting identity. We’re all not representing ourselves in an authentic way. So when I took that idea and I took the idea of this man who didn’t know himself, it kind of just naturally lent itself to me writing this screenplay.
As a successful producer, Mok’s credits in reality TV include America’s Next Top Model, Pussycat Dolls Present, and Making The Band. However, he decided to change his career path to challenge himself creatively.
“I always wanted to write and direct movies for many years, and for many years I was writing spec screenplays but there was a long period of time where I just didn’t think my work was good enough. And so while I was working on perfecting or working on my craft as a writer, I had a lot of success in the unscripted world.”
“Then what really happened was after a number of years of doing this and doing this on a successful level, what happens is just as in anything in life, you kind of start becoming mechanical, it starts becoming rote. You always really want to challenge yourself creatively, really get the creative juices flowing to keep you excited about the business. I knew that at a certain point I really wanted to reignite my passion in this industry and I knew that in order to do so, I was going to go back into writing and directing film.”
To learn more about Mok and The Right One, check out our full interview below.