YouTube Sensation 'MyChonny' Stars In New Aussie Feature 'Sucker'

18/11/2015 3:06 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

When John Luc (aka "MyChonny") started his YouTube account at just 17 years of age, he had no idea it would become the success it ultimately has -- currently boasting a following of more than 2.3 million subscribers.

But even more inconceivable to Luc was that one day he would have the opportunity to star in a feature film -- something he says has always been his dream.

"I guess it goes back to when I started making YouTube videos when I was 17," Luc told The Huffington Post Australia. "Because I have an Asian family, they always wanted me to do stuff which I guess is quite stereotypical -- basically to become a doctor or a dentist. Entertainment wasn't really an option for me.

"So I had to really pursue it and say, 'I don’t want to study, I want to do this and I will do it myself.' Comedy was always a dream -- but then [to be involved in] a movie -- it still seems unbelievable to me."

'Sucker', directed by Ben Chessell and co-written by Melbourne comedian Lawrence Leung, is an adaptation of Leung's live show of the same name, and follows a young Lawrence (Luc) who is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle for the summer holidays after being caught cheating on his maths exam. By chance, he meets a conman called "The Professor" (Timothy Spall) who takes him under his wing, along with his daughter, the cynical Sarah (Lily Sullivan).

Luc first auditioned for the role four years ago, which may seem like a long time but is actually nothing in the scheme of things (it has taken Leung 14 years from the show's debut to getting it made into an actual film.)

Loosely based on his own teenage years, Leung told The Sydney Morning Herald he doesn't regret the time it's taken, stating now is an ideal time for different voices to be heard.

""It might be the right time in Australia for there to be a lead in an Australian film which is an Asian voice and a face," Leung told the SMH.

"In the end, audiences just want a cracking yarn, don't they? This is just another story people might really like."

The rarity of an Asian lead in an Australian film isn't lost on Luc, who appreciates the difficulty associated with getting local films made in the first place.

"I know how hard it is to get Australians film seen," Luc told HuffPost Australia. "Not to mention Asians on screen -- that's another big thing that doesn’t really happen down here.

"I think for Asians or ethnics it's really hard to break through in Australia. I still can't believe it's happened to me."

Luc also says he was well aware of the responsibility associated with assuming a lead role in a feature film when his past experience was limited to YouTube clips and webisodes.

"For my fans personally, they can see a different side to me, a much more mature, grown up side," Luc said. "I was able to do some dramatic acting rather than playing characters -- well I am, but I’m not playing the stereotypical Asian dad or Asian mum like I would on my YouTube channel. This is something real -- I've grown up a little bit from the computer screen.

Luc turned to Leung and Spall for advice if he felt he was struggling with a particular moment or scene, stating working with Spall (known for his roles in 'Harry Potter', 'Mr Turner' and 'The King's Speech') was like receiving "the best acting lessons you can get in your life."


Lily Sullivan and Timothy Spall in a scene from 'Sucker'.

"He was so nice and so helpful," Luc said. "If I ever stressed out -- because obviously this was my first time acting properly -- he would teach me how to do things.

"Also, being who he is, he's just a really hilarious, carefree, cool guy. He made the experience so fun and enjoyable."

Given Luc's success both as a YouTube entertainer and now a movie star -- have his parents now come to terms with the fact medicine isn't his true path?

"No, my true path will always be to become a dentist," Luc laughed. "No matter how well I'm doing in anything else, a doctor is what they want.

"Though having seen the movie they have said, 'well I guess you can make a living from this too.' But my mum still wants me to have a degree."

Sucker' will be released in Australia on December 1, 2015 with event Q&A screenings featuring John Luc & Lawrence Leung. Pre-book your tickets here.

Want to see more? Check out the clip -- exclusive to HuffPost Australia -- below.

Warning: this video contains coarse language which may offend some viewers.

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