MediaCorp veteran actor-host Bryan Wong is getting in shape to give his most daring performance on TV yet, in new Ch8 drama Hand in Hand.
During an imaging session on Wednesday, Bryan let on that there will be a scene where he has to “run naked” on the streets of Orchard Road, Singapore’s busiest shopping belt.
“Last time when I saw Felicia Chin and the rest running on Orchard Road wearing their bikinis (for The Champion), I laughed at them and thought: Aiyoh, so poor thing. Why do they have to make such a huge sacrifice?” he chortled. “I’ve never imagined that I would experience the same thing one day.”
According to the actor, he would “at least be donning a pair of underwear” due to censorship issues.
“I’d be extremely nice to the cameramen and director on the day of the filming. Hopefully they will take super long shots instead of many close-ups. I will also beg them not to use slow motion during post-production,” Bryan exclaimed. “When you are running, your body fat will be bobbing up and down. That is horrible right?”
To make sure his physique looks good on screen, the 44-year-old has started readjusting his diet and making frequent visits to the gym. Besides working out every day, Bryan is also drinking protein shakes on a daily basis to build his muscles.
Although he used to think that people who make lots of noise while doing weight-lifting exercises are very pretentious, the actor found himself becoming one of them now.
Should his six-packs fail to show up in time, Bryan jokingly shared that he has thought of an ingenious backup plan. “I will train my chest muscles to grow so big that everyone will focus on my ‘moobs’ and not other parts of my body!” he chuckled.
Meanwhile, the acclaimed actor has also been going for sunbathing sessions. “But when I lay beside the pool in my trunks, I realised I am fair like steamed chicken, unlike others who have a nice bronze tan. That made me feel very embarrassed,” said Bryan.
Bryan feels odd acting as a couple with Sora Ma
In the drama, Bryan will be taking on duo roles, Hong Jin Cai (father) and Hong Mei Qiang (son), for the first time in his acting career. However, the thespian revealed that the two characters will not appear together in the same frame and that they have very distinct personalities.
The biggest challenge for Bryan this time around is the portrayal of Hong Mei Qiang, a well-built but insensitive dude who behaves recklessly and speaks without thinking, which is the complete opposite of the actor’s real-life personality.
“I would need to change my manner of speech, posture and body language [for the role],” he reiterated.
In addition, Bryan revealed that he will be caught in a love triangle with Sora Ma and Zheng Geping in Hand in Hand. Even though he previously met Sora during the filming of Ch8 variety show The Games We Played, the two are not well acquainted with each other.
“Having to act as a couple when we are working together for the first time is very weird,” Bryan admitted. “If you pair me with an artiste whom I have not collaborated with but (we) are familiar with each other, that’s okay. But Sora and I are really not close.”
Self-proclaiming himself to be someone whose funny bone gets tickled easily, Bryan is worried that he will cause many NGs during filming.
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Acting is Bryan’s calling
Bryan may be an award-winning host, but he still considers acting as his calling even after all these years. In fact, participation in more drama projects was one of the conditions he listed during the discussion of his contract renewal with MediaCorp last June.
“I joined showbiz with the intention of becoming an actor. Circumstances led me to start hosting. I later discovered that sometimes it is not about what suits you, but what the company thinks is suitable for you. [The company] found that I was pretty good at hosting and then I was involved in variety programmes one after another. But I often feel that I still prefer acting,” he explained.
In 2013, Bryan resumed his role as an actor after nearly 10 years. The glib-talker has since taken part in several projects including Gonna Make It, In the Name of Love and You Can Be an Angel Too. His sublime performance as hairstylist Ah Man in Gonna Make It not only garnered widespread positive reviews, it also earned him a “Best Actor” nomination at Star Awards 20.
“To be honest, I have tried all kinds of hosting gigs. The viewers have also grown with me along the way. When we reach a certain point in life, what we seek is simple happiness and that, to me, is being able to do what I like,” the actor said earnestly.
This interview is translated by Dang Hui Ling.
Catch Hand in Hand when it premieres on Ch8 on Sep 24, Monday to Friday at 9pm.