Zoe Tay, Rebecca Lim play mentor to the cast of While We Are Young

The two actresses shared more about how they encourage their younger co-stars onset

Zoe Tay, Rebecca Lim play mentor to the cast of While We Are Young
Zoe Tay, Rebecca Lim play mentor to the cast of While We Are Young
13 Jun 2017

Zoe Tay, Rebecca Lim play mentor to the cast of While We Are Young

It’s the first day filming at school for majority of the cast of While We Are Young, and their anxiety is palpable, for good reason.

In this upcoming Channel 8 drama, up-and-coming young actors, as well as second-generation celebrities feature heavily. With many of them having little to no experience as actors, it was no wonder they openly confessed to being “really nervous” when Toggle caught up with them for a short interview in between filming breaks.

Standing out from the gaggle of school uniform clad actors were local actresses Zoe Tay and Rebecca Lim, who will take on the role of teachers in reel life and real life, it seems, judging from the words of advice they had shared with their younger co-stars.

Toggle spoke to Calvert Tay, the son of local actors Zheng Geping and Hong Huifang, Joanna Theng, the daughter of ophthalmologist Dr Julian Theng, Marcus Guo, the son of local actor-host Guo Liang, Shalynn Tsai, former actress Chen Xiu Huan’s daughter, as well as Zoe and Rebecca to find out more about the day’s filming and what they thought of their co-stars.

Click on to find out what advice did Zoe and Rebecca share with their new co-stars.

Zoe Tay
Zoe Tay
13 Jun 2017

Zoe Tay

“I never thought that I’ll be filming alongside the children of my friends one day,” Zoe laughed when asked about her thoughts on filming thus far.

“Truth be told, their characters on set are really different from how they act when I meet them privately. When we meet outside, I’m their elder. But when it comes to filming, they’ll start to approach me on their own accord. Maybe it’s because their parents aren’t around, so they’ll interact with me more, and I’ll start to learn more about their individual personalities as well,” the actress shared.

In order to allow her co-stars to feel more at ease, the actress often jokes around with them, both on and off set, so that they wouldn’t feel so distant from her.

Zoe also let on that she has actually rolled up her sleeves to cook for the cast and crew once, when they were filming a scene in a house with a kitchen.

“The Chinese cured meat rice (lup mei fan) I posted on my Instagram account that day was actually something that I’d cooked for everyone to eat during filming. Since the house had a kitchen, we decided to whip up a meal together and eat together, just like a family. The production team wouldn’t have to head out to buy food as well, so they can rest more,” she smiled.

But, what’s her number one piece of advice for her younger co-stars?

“The most important thing is to relax, after all this is a school-themed drama. They don’t really need to to overthink things.”

Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
13 Jun 2017

Rebecca Lim

As it was Rebecca’s first day filming together with most of her “students”, apart from Chantelle Ng and Calvert, she shared that she did not go out of her way to approach them, as they were still a little unfamiliar with each other.

“[But] I’m pretty confident that it’ll all be OK in the end,” she laughed.

When asked if there was anyone whom she found to be particularly mischievous, Rebecca replied, “Rather than mischievous, I feel that they’re too obedient! They’re only 17, 18 years old, but their way of thinking is just like an adult. Take Calvert as an example. Although he’s handsome, he doesn’t act like a playboy at all. Instead, he’s really really obedient. There was a scene where he’d have to scold me numerous times. But, he kept apologising to me, because he’ll 'be rude' to me later.”

The actress also praised Calvert for being a fast learner, adding that if she or Zoe spots anything that he might be able to improve on, they will relay it to him so that he can improve even more.

Calvert Tay with Zoe, who plays his on-screen mother
Calvert Tay with Zoe, who plays his on-screen mother
13 Jun 2017

Calvert Tay with Zoe, who plays his on-screen mother

As he had already filmed a number of scenes alongside Rebecca and Zoe last week, Calvert was slightly more at ease compared to everyone else, though he still confessed to being “really nervous when filming first started”.

“But, filming’s really fun, so I’m always looking forward to filming,” he added.

He also let on that filming with Rebecca was the most stressful, as she’s a “really really good actress”.

“I feel slightly stressed, because I wish to be able to reach her level [of acting] as well,” Calvert revealed. He also shared that he still gets nervous when he has a scene together with Zoe as well.

Calvert feels particularly grateful to director, Luo Wenwen, as well, saying, “She’s very patient, and has really helped me a lot. Whenever I mess up my lines or portray a scene incorrectly, she’ll always direct me in a way that allows me to understand easily. She’ll also help explain to me how to put myself in my character’s shoes, and if I’m unable to imagine a certain scene, she’ll use real-life examples for me.”

For all the help he received on set, the 17-year-old revealed that his parents have largely left him alone to figure out the world of acting. “I’ll go through my script with my mum sometimes. But, they feel that they shouldn’t teach me how to act, as they don’t want me to imitate whatever they say. They want me to be able to develop my own acting style, so they’ve advised me to work hard and create my own acting style on set.”

Shalynn Tsai
Shalynn Tsai
13 Jun 2017

Shalynn Tsai

It was the first day of filming for Shalynn, who had quite a number of lines during her very first scene.

“I was quite nervous in the morning, but everyone was very welcoming, [which helped with my nerves],” Shalynn revealed. “But, I think my nerves helped with my character as well, because my character is supposed to be someone with a lot of anxiety, so the director told me to channel my anxiety into my character, which really helped.”

Shalynn shared that her celebrity mum, former actress Chen Xiuhuan did not rehearse much with her, like Calvert’s parents.

“She read through my script and roughly told me how I can portray my character, and told me to relax and have fun, but right now, she’s off enjoying herself in Japan,” Shalynn laughed.

The 17-year-old also shared that she actually prefers for her mum to refrain from visiting her on set.

“It’ll be stressful for me, even though I’d love for her to come and support me,” she shared, before adding that the stress might just be a boon after all, as it’ll help to ramp up the anxiety of her character.

Joanna Theng played the younger version of Rebecca's character in Channel 5’s Mata Mata 2: A New Er
Joanna Theng played the younger version of Rebecca's character in Channel 5’s Mata Mata 2: A New Er
13 Jun 2017

Joanna Theng played the younger version of Rebecca's character in Channel 5’s Mata Mata 2: A New Er

“I don’t feel like I performed well on the first day, but, I’ve been slowly easing into my character as time passes. The team has also been slowly bonding, Auntie Zoe and Rebecca jie jie has also been teaching us a lot,” Joanna shared.

When asked who the most stressful actress to act alongside was, the teen revealed her admiration for Zoe. “Her professionalism is just, radiating from her! I was a little nervous, because I wanted to try my best and match up with her, but it was impossible!”.

The veteran actress has also shared quite a bit of acting know-how with her co-stars, with Joanna spilling the beans.

“She taught all of us to say our lines slowly, and not to rush through it. She also taught us to actually feel and draw out our inner emotions when saying our lines, and to refrain from just doing it at face-value,” Joanna let on. “She even shared her food with us! She gave us biscuits, because you’ll tend to feel hungry during a break, but you can’t have a big meal, so she gave us biscuits to tide us over.”

The students goofing around with their teachers
The students goofing around with their teachers
13 Jun 2017

The students goofing around with their teachers

L-R: Marcus Guo, Shalynn Tsai, Calvert Tay, Joanna Theng
L-R: Marcus Guo, Shalynn Tsai, Calvert Tay, Joanna Theng
13 Jun 2017

L-R: Marcus Guo, Shalynn Tsai, Calvert Tay, Joanna Theng

Poor Marcus bore the brunt of everyone's teasing for this picture
Poor Marcus bore the brunt of everyone's teasing for this picture
13 Jun 2017

Poor Marcus bore the brunt of everyone's teasing for this picture

Zoe Tay gets a quick touch-up as the cast rehearse their lines
Zoe Tay gets a quick touch-up as the cast rehearse their lines
13 Jun 2017

Zoe Tay gets a quick touch-up as the cast rehearse their lines

Joanna's parents popped by with dim-sum for everyone
Joanna's parents popped by with dim-sum for everyone
13 Jun 2017

Joanna's parents popped by with dim-sum for everyone

Watch:
Rebecca Lim: Terence Cao is our on-set “food caterer”!

Related:
ALL GROWN UP: Introducing the next generation of local stars
Zoe Tay preps for sons’ teenage years with new drama
I don’t want to be a stage mum: Chen Xiuhuan

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