“Stupid” Tien Hsin gets to act smart in new law drama

Plus, the Taiwanese actress’s ‘Best Interest’ co-star James Wen talks about his humiliating first day on set

Hans Chung, Tien Hsin and James Wen
Hans Chung, Tien Hsin and James Wen
06 Dec 2018

Hans Chung, Tien Hsin and James Wen

Photos: Tammi Tan

Wednesday’s (Dec 5) Asia TV Forum & Market trade event got a little bit of extra star power thanks to Taiwanese actors Tien Hsin, James Wen and Hans Chung, who were in Singapore to promote their new drama series Best Interest as part of the Taipei Multimedia Production Association’s Taiwan TV Showcase.

Best Interest is billed as Taiwan’s first legal drama and centres on a group of lawyers and the various trials (including literal ones) and tribulations they face in life and their careers. Due to the highly intellectual and technical nature of their characters’ professions, it didn’t surprise us when the trio declared - in unison - that mastering their lines and all the legal terminology was the most challenging part of this project.

That said, they also gushed about having a very enjoyable time on set, especially Tien Hsin, who plays a no-nonsense, somewhat cold-blooded senior lawyer.

“I’m actually quite a stupid person in real life, but in this show, I am very smart!” laughed the self-deprecating 43-year-old actress in a group interview with local media. “I think this role was the ultimate test of my acting skills, and I’m very pleased because I believe everyone will see me as a very intelligent and powerful woman.”

(Continued on next slide: James Wen’s humiliating first day on set)

James Wen’s humiliating first day on set
James Wen’s humiliating first day on set
06 Dec 2018

James Wen’s humiliating first day on set

Someone who went through a not-so-fun incident on the set of Best Interest was poor James. The 40-year-old father-of-one admitted to having a rather humiliating first day at work while filming a scene where his prosecutor character visits the victim of a crime in the hospital.

“I won’t go into detail about the background of our relationship in the show, but the other party felt like I had betrayed her, so she spat in my face and gave me one big slap!” he recalled. And yes, he really did end up with a face full of drool. “I told her to actually spit on me, but I did not expect her to use so much saliva!”

Thankfully, they only needed that one take for the spitting, but James needed to be struck two or three times for different camera angles. “That was probably the most severe slapping I’ve ever endured in my life,” he winced. “What’s more, I had to just sit there and take it.”

Tien Hsin, who looked just as shocked as the rest of us as James recounted this disgusting and painful-sounding anecdote, admitted that she was not aware that any of it had happened, and praised her co-star for his huge “sacrifice”.

(Continued on next slide: What does Tien Hsin’s husband think of her role?)

What does Tien Hsin’s husband think of her role?
What does Tien Hsin’s husband think of her role?
06 Dec 2018

What does Tien Hsin’s husband think of her role?

When asked what Tien Hsin’s husband of two years, Korean photographer Kim Yeong Min, thinks of her new drama, she reported that he was very impressed with its many long takes (which, as its name suggests, is one long continuous and uninterrupted shot).

“Since he’s a photographer himself, he gave his opinion from a professional and technical standpoint regarding angles and such,” she said. “He didn’t really pay too much attention to the quality of the acting, but he just thinks that this show is generally quite good.”

So, is she upset that he didn’t really focus on her efforts (she is his wife after all)? “No lah,” she smiled. “Since he’s also basically in the same industry as me, I would want him to judge my work as one of my peers.”

Then, as if deliberately trying to steer the focus away from her personal life, Tien Hsin went on to lavish praise on the entire Best Interest crew. “We could engage in discussions with anyone, from the lighting guys to the makeup artists, on how to make each other and this show even better.”

She continued, “That’s quite a rare situation because sometimes, you might worry about unintentionally offending someone, but everyone had a fantastic attitude, and that was important because this is Taiwan’s first legal drama, so the more we communicated with each other, the better.”

(Continued on next slide: Why didn’t Tien Hsin and Hans Chung meet Christopher Lee?)

Additional photo: PBE Media

Why didn’t Tien Hsin and Hans Chung meet Christopher Lee?
Why didn’t Tien Hsin and Hans Chung meet Christopher Lee?
06 Dec 2018

Why didn’t Tien Hsin and Hans Chung meet Christopher Lee?

Of course, no chat with overseas celebs would be complete without going into the touristy things they did - or plan to do - during their free time on the little red dot.

Tien Hsin revealed that as soon as she arrived in Singapore, she went for a plate of Boon Tong Kee’s famous chicken rice, which she labelled “a must-have” and “so good I could cry”. Besides that, she also expressed her wish to visit the Night Safari to see tapirs, and also to spend a day having fun at Universal Studios.

Sadly, it didn’t seem like there was time for her and Hans to reunite with their former co-star Christopher Lee, who worked with them in Taiwanese dramas A Good Wife and Mr. Right Wanted respectively.

“I gave him a call two days ago but I think he’s really busy,” said Hans, 35. “He has to take care of his son and deal with various other matters of his own, so unfortunately we won’t have time to meet up.”

Oh well, there’s always next time!

Click through for more pictures from the Asia TV Forum & Market’s Taiwan TV Showcase!

Additional photo: TPG

Stars at the Taiwan TV Showcase
Stars at the Taiwan TV Showcase
06 Dec 2018

Stars at the Taiwan TV Showcase

Tien Hsin, James and Han were joined by the cast of Taiwan-Singapore co-production All Is Well, Romeo Tan, Sheila Sim, Desmond Tan, Blue Lan and Liu Kuan Ting, as well as Marco Liao, host of Never Ends​​​​​​​.

Hans, Tien Hsin, James and the producer of 'Best Interest' on stage
Hans, Tien Hsin, James and the producer of 'Best Interest' on stage
06 Dec 2018

Hans, Tien Hsin, James and the producer of 'Best Interest' on stage

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
06 Dec 2018

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
06 Dec 2018

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
06 Dec 2018

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview
06 Dec 2018

James Wen, Tien Hsin and Hans Chung during the group interview

Related:
Tien Hsin releases wedding news: “I am married!”
Tien Hsin shares her tips to having a healthy marriage

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