The Tiger’s Apprentice: Meet Kheng Hua Tan & Deborah S. Craig – Mrs. Lee & Pig

by Andrew Nguyen

With the release of The Tiger’s Apprentice this month, Dorkaholics was invited to speak with Kheng Hua Tan and Deborah S. Craig who voice Mrs. Lee, grandmother to the main character Tom (voiced by Brandon Soo Hoo), and Pig, one of the twelve zodiac animals in the film.

Andrew Nguyen: Hi, my name is Andrew, and I’m from Doraholics, where we believe there’s a dork in everyone. It’s our responsibility to bring that dork out into the world.

Deborah S. Craig: My inner dork is already outside, so I feel strong, really.

Kheng Hua Tan: I am shamelessly a big dork, so very nice to meet you.

Andrew Nguyen: First off, I just want to say, happy Lunar New Year. I feel like this movie couldn’t have come out at a better time. The movie was vibrant and fun to watch. Throughout this film, the Chinese zodiac animals have diverse powers and personalities. If you could pick one of the animals to personify you, which one would it be and why?

Deborah S. Craig: Well, I strongly relate to the pig. The pig is the greatest zodiac – strong, sincere, abundant, loyal, down-to-earth, and agile. Delicious and a real ham.

Kheng Hua Tan: I’m born in the Year of the Tiger, the Water Tiger. For people who really know me, I think I am every inch a Water Tiger. From the outside, I may seem ferocious, scary, and intimidating. People associate those born in the Year of the Tiger with ferocity, especially women. But a Water Tiger is quieter and softer. I think I’m a big kitty cat inside. My daughter thinks I’m very gullible, and I agree. I identify with being a Water Tiger.

Andrew Nguyen: Those are great choices. The next question I want to ask is about the Easter eggs related to Asian culture in the movie, including having charms all over the house to ward off evil spirits. Are there any superstitious beliefs that you thought were silly before but now practice in your daily life?

Deborah S. Craig: If we state those, we are buying into our superstitions and could ruin them for ourselves.

Kheng Hua Tan: Well, I come from Asia, specifically Singapore, a melting pot of many different Asian races and people from the West. Although we may seem very urban, the heart of Singapore is still very Asian, with beliefs in myths, stories, folklore, and superstitions. For example, every Lunar New Year, I make it a point to buy new clothes and dress up in Chinese New Year colors. I follow through and carry it on through the generations in my family.

Deborah S. Craig: I believe in the power of imbuing each other with spiritual magic and sharing. I have this tiger handmade earring that gives me strength and power. I believe in leaning into the zodiacs, knowing the powers we get from each of them, and using that to become full versions of ourselves.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today. I had a great time learning more about both of you, and I can’t wait for the world to see The Tiger’s Apprentice, coming out very soon.

Deborah S. Craig: No cleaning on New Year’s Day, no cleaning, no sweeping away your fortune.

Where to watch The Tiger's Apprentice

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