KISS AND TELL: Smooching scenes “came naturally” for Desmond Tan & Oon Shu An

The ‘Mata Mata: A New Generation’ stars gush about their first impressions of each other; plus, Cheryl Wee reveals if she prefers being paired up with Daren Tan or Tosh Zhang

KISS AND TELL: Smooching scenes “came naturally” for Desmond Tan & Oon Shu An

Photos: Tammi Tan, Channel 5
Video: Vina Chia

Desmond Tan and Oon Shu An may have been working together for the very first time, but the actors had no trouble easing into their roles as lovers – or with the inevitable kissing scenes – in Mata Mata: A New Generation.

In the third and final instalment of the Channel 5 trilogy, Shu An stars as Patricia Yeo, a tenacious police officer who has a past with gangsters. During her juvenile delinquent days, she fell in love with bad boy Tommy Foo, played by Desmond.

“We met and just clicked right away,” Shu An shared in an interview with Toggle after an exclusive screening of the drama’s first two episodes at Shaw Theatres on Nov 14. “We didn’t have to ask a lot of questions before our kissing scenes; we got through with a few basic ones and then we were like, ‘Let’s just go’.”

Desmond concurred, “The trust level is super high – we didn’t feel awkward on set, even during the intimate scenes; it all came very naturally.”

In fact, the duo admitted that many onscreen smooching sessions had to be cut out because, according to Shu An, “at one point, it was getting a bit too much”. “We added them in to make the relationship feel more real,” Desmond explained.

KISS AND TELL: Smooching scenes “came naturally” for Desmond Tan & Oon Shu An

It probably helps that they both had favourable impressions of each other even before they met. Shu An gushed, “I’ll be honest: when I saw Desmond for the first time, I was like, ‘Wah, sibeh (very) handsome!’ (laughs) So I was a bit intimidated at first, but it was not difficult (to get along) at all.”

The duke took this chance to remind her that they actually crossed paths a long time ago at an event, although they only spoke very briefly on stage. It was then when Desmond, upon noticing Shu An, thought, “Who is this girl? She’s quite hot!” (His confession promptly led the actress to flail about excitedly and exclaim, “You just made my day leh!”)

Their good camaraderie became even more apparent to us when, upon sharing their Christmas plans and finding out that they might be in the United States at the same time, the 29-year-olds spontaneously started making tentative plans to meet up despite being in completely opposite sides of the country: while Desmond hopes to spend the holidays in New York, Shu An will spend five weeks in Los Angeles to meet her manager and for a gathering with her boyfriend, photographer Joel Lim’s family.

Could the visit mean that there are wedding bells ringing for the couple? “No, no, no, no, no!” she reiterated, laughing. “No rush, no rush. We’re very happy with where we are now!”

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