Reed out, Rice in

NEW LEAD: US actress Elizabeth Rice (top) plays the lead role in Kelvin Tong's new horror The Faith Of Anna Waters. Nikki Reed (above) had to pass on the role due to other commitments. 

Kelvin Tong's maiden Hollywood film The Faith Of Anna Waters was to star Nikki Reed of Twilight fame.

But the Hollywood actress-singer is out of the picture.

A clash in scheduling was the reason, said Tong.

Reed, 26, is best known for her work in The Twilight Saga movies, where she played vampire Rosalie Hale.

"Nikki has a Nashville concert that she can't get out of," Tong, 41, said.

"By the time we confirmed all our cast, we found out some of them can't do within Nikki's schedule."

So the local director was faced with a huge dilemma - to sacrifice a supporting cast of US actor Matthew Settle, Australians Colin Borgonon and Adina Herz that he really wanted to work with for Reed or vice versa.

In the end, Tong gave up Reed and US actress Elizabeth Rice stepped in to take her place.

"We met Elizabeth at the same time as Nikki, so she's no replacement," Tong clarified.

Rice, 28, had a recurring role in US television series Mad Men.

"Honestly, I'm still at the stage where actors choose me," said Tong.

"I don't get to choose actors."

He added: "I'm hoping that the quality of my scripts will attract them, then maybe when I meet them and their agents, it'll be easier to pitch to them my films.

"Getting them to come to Singapore to film is a really hard sell."

Said Rice: "Kelvin's story was intriguing and the character he wrote for me was someone I've never played before."

Despite still recovering from jet lag, the Los Angeles-based actress was eager to start work as she "is curious about Singapore".

- Joanne Soh