Filming for When Duty Calls ends with a literal bang

The stars had to battle it out with terrorists for their final scenes

Filming for When Duty Calls ends with a literal bang
Filming for When Duty Calls ends with a literal bang
30 May 2017

Filming for When Duty Calls ends with a literal bang

Photos: Elis Ching, Toh Zi Yi
Videos: Tan Shi Qi, Vina Chia

 IT’S A WRAP: After three months of filming for upcoming Channel 8 drama, When Duty Calls, our local actors bade goodbye to the drama with a bang.

The last two major scenes for the drama, which will see loads of stunts, high-level special effects and participation from real-life military personnel (Ed’s note: Close to 40 servicemen from the SAF and Home Team and even a Battalion Casualty Station, four Fast Response Vehicles and a Red Rhino, were involved in this terror attack scene) were filmed and completed within the last two weeks.

The scenes, which were filmed at Mattar MRT Station on the Downtown line, saw Felicia Chin, Desmond Tan, Paige Chua and Jasmine Sim helping with the evacuation efforts as the terrorists had planted bombs both inside a train, as well as at Mattar MRT Station itself. Both Desmond and Paige also sustained injuries from their heroic efforts.

However, it was a bitter-sweet farewell for the stars whom Toggle spoke to on-site.

“I was really happy while filming this series, the camaraderie between my co-stars were great. We have a total of four directors for this drama, but we [the actors] were given the freedom to discuss how we wanted to flesh out our characters, and even change our lines to better suit our characters occasionally. I really enjoyed the filming process,” Desmond Tan shared.

It seems that the trying times and physical challenges that the cast experienced together throughout the course of filming had brought them closer together.

When Pierre Png was shooting his final outdoor scene on May 17, co-star Romeo Tan came down to the filming site, a scorching hot side-road just outside the Nicoll Highway MRT station, with drinks in hand for the cast and crew.

Other than bringing drinks and much-needed encouragement, Romeo also stayed for a good two hours, snapping pictures and observing the action.

Similarly, when Desmond, Paige, Felicia and Jasmine filmed their big scene, where they were caught in a train station that had bombs planted in and around it by terrorists, co-stars Kym Ng and her on-screen son, new face Richie Koh made a trip down to the filming site, to offer some much-needed moral support and snacks.

Click on to find out more about what went down during filming these two days!

Desmond Tan
Desmond Tan
30 May 2017

Desmond Tan

All eyes were on Desmond that day, who shared that his character will get injured while attempting to save a kid as a bomb goes off in the train station.

In order to craft his ultra-realistic wound, the actor had two special effects makeup artists working on his arm, to make it look more roughed up. The 30-year-old also had to strip out of his shirt for a scene, where he’ll be wheeled out of the train station in a stretcher, due to his serious injuries.

Desmond shared that filming for When Duty Calls has left him with a very welcome “present”.

“I’ve gotten more fit over the past few months. While filming, I’ve become more toned and muscular, and put on close to six kilogrammes, all of it muscle mass,” the actor shared.

Desmond also revealed that when faced with a similar situation in real life, he believes that he’ll be pretty similar to his character.

“I will definitely try to step up and help. While it will definitely be harder if they have weapons, I will enlist the help of others to help subdue them [the terrorists]. We can’t all be sitting ducks waiting for death anyway,” Desmond declared.

Paige Chua
Paige Chua
30 May 2017

Paige Chua

While the actual bomb blasts and explosions will be added into the scene in post-production, with the help of special effects, Paige shared that she’d love to have the chance to experience a reel-life explosion, complete with real fire and special effects in one of her future dramas, if possible.

“I do feel honoured to be involved in this production. Other than being able to gain access to a number of top-secret military areas while filming, I’m also able to experience the feeling of being in a leadership role in the military (Paige plays a naval captain in the drama), without actually going through BMT (Basic Military Training) and enduring hardships,” Paige, who previously shared that a number of unsuspecting servicemen had greeted her while she was in character at a naval base, laughed.

Felicia Chin
Felicia Chin
30 May 2017

Felicia Chin

The ever-chirpy actress, who plays an army medic in the show, shared that she had done a lot of research before filming commenced, in order to better understand her role, as well as the different protocols and army lingo used by true-blue army medics.

“I’ve asked many different people close to me [for help], and some of them happen to be medics as well. So I’d ask them, ‘Why did you choose to sign on and become a medic?’, and more. Sometimes, when there’s a break during filming, I’ll take the opportunity to approach some of the servicemen and medics and ask them more about their roles as well,” she shared.

The actress also added that she hopes to be able to portray an accurate picture of what being an army medic is really like.

Pierre Png
Pierre Png
30 May 2017

Pierre Png

Unlike the rest of the actors, who filmed both indoors and outdoors for their final scenes, Pierre’s scene was fully outdoors, with filming taking place from 8am till 6pm.

When Toggle caught up with Pierre his break at around 3pm, the actor was taking shelter in the shade of one of the military vehicles involved in the shoot, looking visibly tired, and for good reason.

In that particular scene, Pierre and his fellow military personnel were involved in a stand-off with the terrorists, who had managed to breach their first point of defence. There will also be a gun-fight between the two parties, which resulted in a number of casualties. As a result, Pierre had to run back and forth in the hot sun multiple times, readying his equipment and getting into position, a task that understandably tired him out.

However, the actor confessed that he much preferred filming in his army uniform, despite the sweltering weather.

“It’s more comfortable [as compared to filming in civilian wear]! I’m not sure how to explain it, but I’m sure that all the servicemen who’ve served in the army before will get me,” Pierre shared.

He also let on that when he first received his script, this was the scene that he was most looking forward to.

“This is actually my character’s first time doing his in-camp training, and he has to learn a lot of things. But, his attitude slowly changes as the drama progresses. My character finally gets a chance to protect his country in this scene as well, and it really does feel like a perfect ending,” the actor let on.

Click on to get a sneak peek at what went on behind the scenes at the two shoots!

Pierre makes for a very convincing marksman indeed.
Pierre makes for a very convincing marksman indeed.
30 May 2017

Pierre makes for a very convincing marksman indeed.

Pierre gets ready for his big shoot-out scene.
Pierre gets ready for his big shoot-out scene.
30 May 2017

Pierre gets ready for his big shoot-out scene.

Pierre's teammate was hit in the crossfire.
Pierre's teammate was hit in the crossfire.
30 May 2017

Pierre's teammate was hit in the crossfire.

The actor seeks some respite from the blazing hot sun.
The actor seeks some respite from the blazing hot sun.
30 May 2017

The actor seeks some respite from the blazing hot sun.

Surprise visitor number one, spotted!
Surprise visitor number one, spotted!
30 May 2017

Surprise visitor number one, spotted!

Romeo Tan paid a visit to the filming site to offer moral support and drinks.
Romeo Tan paid a visit to the filming site to offer moral support and drinks.
30 May 2017

Romeo Tan paid a visit to the filming site to offer moral support and drinks.

Romeo was seen getting down and dirty to shoot some pictures for his own photologue.
Romeo was seen getting down and dirty to shoot some pictures for his own photologue.
30 May 2017

Romeo was seen getting down and dirty to shoot some pictures for his own photologue.

Desmond Tan, Felicia Chin, Richie Koh, Jasmine Sim and Paige Chua
Desmond Tan, Felicia Chin, Richie Koh, Jasmine Sim and Paige Chua
30 May 2017

Desmond Tan, Felicia Chin, Richie Koh, Jasmine Sim and Paige Chua

Kym Ng and her on-screen son, Richie Koh, dropped by with snacks for everyone.
Kym Ng and her on-screen son, Richie Koh, dropped by with snacks for everyone.
30 May 2017

Kym Ng and her on-screen son, Richie Koh, dropped by with snacks for everyone.

Ouch! Desmond's wound looks mighty painful indeed.
Ouch! Desmond's wound looks mighty painful indeed.
30 May 2017

Ouch! Desmond's wound looks mighty painful indeed.

Jasmine Sim and Paige Chua
Jasmine Sim and Paige Chua
30 May 2017

Jasmine Sim and Paige Chua

Paige sustained an injury from the initial bomb blast.
Paige sustained an injury from the initial bomb blast.
30 May 2017

Paige sustained an injury from the initial bomb blast.

Desmond and Paige will have a romantic relationship in the drama
Desmond and Paige will have a romantic relationship in the drama
30 May 2017

Desmond and Paige will have a romantic relationship in the drama

Paige and Desmond share a sweet moment together.
Paige and Desmond share a sweet moment together.
30 May 2017

Paige and Desmond share a sweet moment together.

Desmond went bare-chested for this scene
Desmond went bare-chested for this scene
30 May 2017

Desmond went bare-chested for this scene

Filming is hard work indeed!
Filming is hard work indeed!
30 May 2017

Filming is hard work indeed!

Doesn't this remind you of Victorian era women squeezing into their corsets?
Doesn't this remind you of Victorian era women squeezing into their corsets?
30 May 2017

Doesn't this remind you of Victorian era women squeezing into their corsets?

And voila! One injured army sergeant, reporting for duty.
And voila! One injured army sergeant, reporting for duty.
30 May 2017

And voila! One injured army sergeant, reporting for duty.

Guess who Felicia Chin is giggling at?
Guess who Felicia Chin is giggling at?
30 May 2017

Guess who Felicia Chin is giggling at?

Felicia was tickled pink by the sight of a bandaged Desmond
Felicia was tickled pink by the sight of a bandaged Desmond
30 May 2017

Felicia was tickled pink by the sight of a bandaged Desmond

Felicia Chin and Desmond Tan goof off on set.
Felicia Chin and Desmond Tan goof off on set.
30 May 2017

Felicia Chin and Desmond Tan goof off on set.

Watch:
What does Pierre Png find most challenging about acting in When Duty Calls?
Paige Chua vs Felicia Chin: Who is more like Desmond Tan’s ideal type?

Related:
Channel 8 drama ‘When Duty Calls’ gets real on terrorism
Bruises and body aches on the set of When Duty Calls
“Siao on” or slacker: what were stars like in the army?

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