As chummy on screen as they are in real life, playing a pair of close-kit siblings in upcoming Channel 8 drama Three Wishes came naturally for Julie Tan and Shane Pow. Although the drama wrapped a few weeks ago, their strong camaraderie can be seen at the drama’s press conference last week as she endearingly calls him “kor” (older brother) while she is known as his “mei” (younger sister).
It helped that Shane was looking out for Julie like an older sibling when she was dealing with a breakup with her boyfriend of one year. “He takes care of me like a brother, listens to my rants when I’m in a lousy mood and even does squats with me,” she chortled.
“This relationship made me feel as though I have lost a lot, but at the same time, I understand myself better and am clear of what I really want, and that is someone who will stay by my side no matter one happens,” she said of her breakup.
Julie also shared that she could relate to a particular scene in the drama, having recently experienced a breakup in real life and admitted that having to go through it a second time—in her character’s shoes –left her heartbroken.
Besides her tear jerking scene, Julie had another emotionally taxing scene which took place in the hospital ward, after she woke up from a car accident. The actress, who turned 22 last month, wept so hard that co-actors Huang Biren, Thomas Ong and her co-stars, as well as the director and crew members cried along with her.
Julie, slated to film Tiger Mum next year with Biren as her step-mother, explained that crying was a way to vent her frustrations. “I accumulated so much negativity after the breakup. After that scene, I felt relieved. It was like I just did a detox.”
But while crying was of therapeutic value to Julie, who earned herself the nickname of “water tap” by the crew, her onscreen brother could hardly shed a tear no matter how hard he tried.
Shane Pow’s fear for tears
While his on-set sister cries like a tap, Shane found it challenging to cry on demand. “I am a calm person and will not show my feelings openly. I was worried when I read the script because I cannot even remember when was the last time I cried,” said Shane, who shared that Three Wishes is his first drama with a lot of emotional scenes.
It did not help that his onscreen family members could cry easily on demand. Shane felt the pressure, especially for scenes that required the entire group to cry together, as those have to be filmed again if any single person’s emotions are not at its fullest.
The actor, currently filming Ch8 variety show Hey Chef, tried ways and means to immerse himself in sadness, from listening to tear jerking tunes to observing his co-actors so that he could be influenced by their feelings.
Fortunately, he had the guidance of the veteran actors. He recalled a scene where Biren told him to “imagine this scenario” happening to his mother and that did the trick for him because “the tears started flowing,” he said.
Catch Three Wishes on Channel 8, Monday to Friday, 9pm, staring from Oct 27.
This interview is translated by Jovina Ng.