Carrie Wong embarks on crash diet for alien role

The actress is working towards her goal weight of 48kg for upcoming Channel 8 drama ‘My Friends From Afar’

Carrie Wong embarks on crash diet for alien role
Carrie Wong embarks on crash diet for alien role
27 May 2017

Carrie Wong embarks on crash diet for alien role

Photos: Tammi Tan
Videos: Sarah Tay

Extra-terrestrial beings are set to take over local TV screens later this year when My Friends From Afar premieres on Channel 8. The 25-episode drama centres on a group of aliens from a dying planet who are tasked to check if Earth – specifically Singapore – would make a suitable new home for their people.

Taking on the character of alien leader SY9-3870 is Carrie Wong in her first supernatural role. Although the 23-year-old is already naturally slim, she shared that she wants to shed even more kilos before filming commences.

“I wasn’t specifically asked to lose weight but the director said I must be skinny,” she told us at yesterday’s imaging session. “And I realised that all of my costumes’ pants are super tight, so there’s no room for extra weight!”

In order to reach her goal of about 48kg to 49kg, Carrie will be cutting down on fried dishes, alcohol and carbohydrates all the way until shooting ends – an arduous task for the self-proclaimed rice lover. Instead, her limited food intake consists of apples, bananas, grilled chicken, nuts and coffee (sugar-free ice Americano, of course). Her mother also cooks soup that is healthy, filling and non-fattening.

“A lot of people think I’m crazy but that’s the standard I want to maintain,” explained the 174cm-tall actress. When asked if she has any concerns about her health, she said that it is a necessary sacrifice to make for work, and that she’s been loading up on fruits and vegetables to ensure she gets enough nutrition.

Of course, the diet is proving to be effective: Carrie has already managed to drop all the pounds she packed on during her recent Korea trip, where she indulged in the typical touristy habit of nonstop eating. However, the achievement is still not enough for her.

“I’ve managed to return to my pre-holiday weight, but I want to be even thinner than before,” she said.

While we admire her dedication to her craft, we’re hoping she doesn’t take things too far.

Continued on next slide: How much did Carrie spend on shopping in Seoul?

How much did Carrie spend on shopping in Seoul?
How much did Carrie spend on shopping in Seoul?
27 May 2017

How much did Carrie spend on shopping in Seoul?

In addition to her gastronomical adventure in Seoul, Carrie also unleashed her inner shopaholic, especially in the myriads of cosmetics stores. Her estimated damage? A whopping $4,000, give or take (and that doesn’t even include her flight ticket, transport and accommodation costs).

“I was shocked when I came back and checked my bills!” she admitted. “I bought mostly makeup, especially from brands that you can’t get in Singapore.”

However, arguably her biggest feeling of accomplishment came from getting the chance to put her Korean skills to the test by talking to the locals. Carrie has been receiving private language lessons from a Korean teacher – but it’s not because she has plans to break into the Hallyu showbiz scene.

“Besides aiming to watch K-dramas without subtitles, one of my biggest motivations [for learning Korean] is so that I can converse with Song Joong Ki one day! (laughs)”

She may not have had the chance to charm the Hallyu heartthrob (yet), but Carrie managed to catch the eye of some locals during her Seoul trip. “I was sitting in a café when some guys beside me decided to chat me up,” she said. “We added each other on Facebook, so perhaps we can meet up again during my next trip there.”

Ooh. So, cute or not? “Not bad lah! (laughs)”

Aloysius Pang is excited to get pregnant in the show
Aloysius Pang is excited to get pregnant in the show
27 May 2017

Aloysius Pang is excited to get pregnant in the show

While his co-star Carrie is diligently counting calories to slim down, Aloysius has been gorging on food and hitting the gym in order to bulk up for his role as worker alien TP5-1487, who basically does whatever his leader SY9-3870 commands. So far, he’s successfully gained 3kg over the past couple of weeks, and wants to put on another 4kg.

Besides that, the 26-year-old has been checking out alien-related shows – including popular Korean drama My Love From The Star – to prepare for My Friends From Afar. He shared that he’s particularly looking forward to two things: a scene where the aliens see poop for the very first time, and his character getting pregnant and giving birth.

You read that right. Looking genuinely excited, Aloysius recalled watching a film called Junior, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character goes through a male pregnancy. “It’s not every day a man has the chance to portray that!”

With this new acting gig underway, Aloysius revealed that he will be dedicating more time and energy to the drama compared to his new wood plastic composite company, which he launched with his brother after officially leaving Mediacorp last month.

“I had a discussion with my brother and we agreed that whenever I have a drama to film, he will take care of the business, but I will still entertain customers whenever necessary,” he said.

Le Yao returns to TV and tackles her first action role
Le Yao returns to TV and tackles her first action role
27 May 2017

Le Yao returns to TV and tackles her first action role

Like Carrie, Star Search Shanghai winner Le Yao is also working to take off a few kilos – but not as drastically – for her role as the fierce, butt-kicking boss of a secret society. So far, she’s lost about 6kg through regular diet and exercise, and is 2kg shy of her goal weight of 52kg.

My Friends From Afar marks the 35-year-old’s big return to TV since 2010’s The Family Court (besides appearances in smaller projects like 2016’s My First School), and it will also be the first time she’s taking on an action-packed part, complete with fight scenes. Although she is new to martial arts, she believes her experience with dance and yoga will help her to master the physical challenges in no time, plus, there will be stunt choreographers on set to take care of her.

During our interview, Le Yao expressed her gratitude to the crew for being understanding of her busy schedule as a mother-of-two (she has two boys, aged three years and nine months) and the executive principal of an enrichment centre. She also makes regular trips to Shanghai to film web series Le Yao’s Baby Diary.

“In general, my daily life and other activities have not been affected; I just need to work on weekends [for My Friends From Afar],” she shared.

Shaun Chen is happy to be busy and tired
Shaun Chen is happy to be busy and tired
27 May 2017

Shaun Chen is happy to be busy and tired

In My Friends From Afar, Shaun plays Tian Sheng, who is arguably the most handsome and stylish – or at least, he tries to be – durian seller we’ve ever seen. The earthling eventually falls for Carrie’s alien character – a refreshing interspecies romance that Shaun is anticipating.

With so many back-to-back dramas (he is also on currently-airing drama The Lead) and a growing family to take care of (baby no. 2 is due to be born at the end of July), we had to ask the 38-year-old: how is he coping with so many things on his plate?

“It is a bit tiring,” confessed Shaun, who has 17-month-old daughter Nellie with his wife Celine. “But it’s a happy kind of tiring and all completely worth it. (smiles)”

He went on to share that his expectant missus will be jetting back to her hometown in Malaysia at the beginning of next month to start preparing for delivery. Shaun, on the other hand, will take a few days off from filming to be with her when the baby arrives.

My Friends From Afar debuts on December 6, 2017, 9pm on Channel 8.

Click through for more photos from the imaging session of My Friends From Afar!

The aliens Brandon Wong, Carrie Wong and Aloysius Pang
The aliens Brandon Wong, Carrie Wong and Aloysius Pang
27 May 2017

The aliens Brandon Wong, Carrie Wong and Aloysius Pang

Aloysius Pang
Aloysius Pang
27 May 2017

Aloysius Pang

Carrie Wong and Aloysius Pang
Carrie Wong and Aloysius Pang
27 May 2017

Carrie Wong and Aloysius Pang

Unlike their previous collaborations, they will not be romantically linked in this drama.

Le Yao and Larry Low
Le Yao and Larry Low
27 May 2017

Le Yao and Larry Low

Shaun Chen
Shaun Chen
27 May 2017

Shaun Chen

Shaun Chen and Carrie Wong will be paired up in the drama
Shaun Chen and Carrie Wong will be paired up in the drama
27 May 2017

Shaun Chen and Carrie Wong will be paired up in the drama

Brandon Wong
Brandon Wong
27 May 2017

Brandon Wong

Brandon plays alien TN8-5252.

Shaun Chen and Le Yao pose for a picture together
Shaun Chen and Le Yao pose for a picture together
27 May 2017

Shaun Chen and Le Yao pose for a picture together

Watch:
Carrie Wong got hit on in Seoul?
Which cast member lost 7 kg for the show?
Aloysius Pang: It pains me to see my parents being disappointed 

Related:
Aloysius Pang: This is the first time I’ve let my parents down

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