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Love in Taipei: Our Interview with Award Winning Film Director Arvin Chen Ep 252

By Felicia Lin

My guest on this episode of Talking Taiwan is the film director Arvin Chen. He just directed Love in Taipei, the film adaptation of Abigail Hing Wen’s bestselling YA novel Loveboat, Taipei.


If you’re a long-time listener of Talking Taiwan you may remember when I interviewed Abigail about her bestselling YA novel. That success was preceded by 12 years of writing and over 20 drafts of the novel. It was also in that episode that she announced that Loveboat, Taipei was going to be made into a film.

I remember watching her journey afterward on social media as the film was being shot in Taiwan during COVID. Arvin directed the film version of the book Love in Taipei and I had a chance to speak to him recently about the film.

Some of you may be familiar with some of Arvin’s other films, Au Revoir Taipei, Will You Love Me Tomorrow? and Mama Boy.

 Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • The iconic scenes of Taipei that are captured in the film, Love in Taipei
  • What it was like shooting at the Grand Hotel because Arvin got married there
  • Some of Arvin’s favorite scenes from Love in Taipei
  • The challenges of shooting huge crowd scenes
  • Arvin’s favorite types of scenes to shoot
  • What it was like shooting in Taiwan during COVID
  • How the casting was an open call and what that process was like
  • How Arvin usually writes and directs his films, but Love in Taipei was adapted from the YA novel Loveboat Taipei and Arvin was not involved with the screen adaptation
  • Arvin’s directing approach to Love in Taipei
  • How to capture the essence of the Loveboat experience
  • The Loveboat program and what it is
  • Parallels between Arvin’s experience of going back to Taiwan in his 20s and that of the characters of the film Love in Taipei
  • What has changed and stayed the same about Taipei since Arvin went there to live and work in 2001
  • How Taiwanese food has been softly exported around the world
  • The music that was selected for Love in Taipei
  • The Mandarin Chinese language version of the Whitney Houston song, How Will I Know
  • The role of or choreography in Love in Taipei
  • How Ashley Liao had to learn modern dance moves in a matter of weeks for her role as Ever Wong
  • If anything unexpected happened during the filming of Love in Taipei
  • What Arvin likes about the romantic comedy genre
  • What it was like to co-write the script for Arvin’s latest film Mama Boy
  • Changes in the Taiwanese film industry over the last 20 years
  • How Taiwan has a thriving film industry because of commercial filmmaking and local film crews with technical know how to work on an American movie
  • How Arvin’s films could be someone’s introduction to Taiwan or a Taiwanese movie
  • Films that introduced Taiwan to Arvin and that Arvin would recommend people watch
  • A more recent Taiwanese film that Arvin would recommend
  • How working with film director Edward Yang influenced Arvin
  • How Arvin’s directing style differs from Edward Yang’s
  • What it is about Taipei that inspires Arvin
  • What Arvin has been working on and what we can expect from him in the future
  • What Arvin hopes that audiences come away with after watching Love in Taipei


Related Links:


Arvin Chen:


Love in Taipei on Paramount Plus:


Love in Taipei Official Playlist on Spotify:


Loveboat, Taipei:


Shih Lin night market:


The Grand Hotel:




Edward Yang (film director):


Yi Yi:


Ang Lee (film director):


Eat Drink Man Woman (film):


The Falls (film):


Pachinko (TV series):


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About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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Her empathetic easy-going  yet deeply-informed style of conversation and mastery of the topics has elevated Talking Taiwan to the Top 5% of all podcasts in the World.
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