[Interview with Can Yalçınkaya on the Turkish website Oteki Sinema, published 26/09/14. The original Turkish introduction and text is here]
Can: How did you first become aware of Weng Weng's work and decide to make a documentary about him?
Andrew: It was back in the dark days before the Internet when I first stumbled upon a ninth-generation bootleg of For Y’ur Height Only and I think my mind exploded the moment I saw a karate-kicking midget Bond in a pageboy haircut and white flared suit taking on an army of goons dressed in Hawaiian shirts and Seventies porn mustaches. It was transcendent, beyond absurd! At the same time there was something intangible about its star which I instantly connected with, and decided it may be my life's mission to find out everything there is to know about him. That was the early 90s and here we are more than twenty years later, and I'm STILL learning about the enigmatic Weng Weng!
Andrew: We can thank Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines, for becoming a global phenomenon, if small-scale and short-lived (literally!). Her 1982 Manila International Film Festival was designed to sell Filipino films to the world - ironically, it was the Philippines' most idiot of films, For Y’ur Height Only, that actually sold. I mean, the film went everywhere - I even have a reproduction of a Turkish poster as well as advertising materials from Pakistan, Finland, the Middle East, etc etc... It may be the main reason why I tracked down Imelda to film her for the documentary. Other than being the most notorious character in Philippines' history, her DNA is forever linked with Weng Weng's - their fates are now forever intertwined, thanks to our movie!
Can: Do we know anything about Weng Weng's actual spy work?
Can: From the documentary (and the Q&A that took place after the SUFF screening) it sounded like you've become personally attached to Weng Weng and his surviving family's story. How did this affect the course of the film over the years?
Andrew: Favourite moment, singular? Impossible to choose! Top three? The eight years of visiting the Philippines is an ever-changing process of immersion.
Can: Can you tell us a bit about your next project?