Photos: Teo Sijia
Video: Foong Mien Shi
Shane Pow says he would never be the third party and wreck a relationship, but the 25-year-old actor got a taste of being an older married woman’s lover in the new Mandarin romance film 4Love — and it thrilled him.
“People say there’ll be retribution if you [become the third party],” he said. “I wouldn’t break up someone’s relationship because I’m afraid it’ll happen to me one day, so it wasn’t bad playing the paramour — acting is about portraying something I wouldn’t do in real life.”
Shane is featured in one of the four independent stories that make up 4Love, a collective effort by four local directors — Raihan Halim, Gilbert Chan, Sam Loh and Daniel Yam — to bring to life tales of contemporary relationships and marriage. Filming commenced in September.
Starring opposite Oon Shu An and Louis Wu, who play a childless married couple facing the seven-year itch and a gradually loveless union, Shane has a second go at an intense love scene, after his steamy on-screen tryst with actress Seraph Sun in the 2014 movie Ms J Contemplates Her Choice.
But having to seduce Shu An for the camera was extremely awkward for Shane: He hadn’t been paired with a more senior actress (she’s 29) for such an intimate scene before, and their first day on set together involved them baring more than just their souls to each other.
Shu An, however, has her way of preparing herself and her co-star for love scenes. “Many think of only the feelings of the women when it comes to intimate scenes, but often forget about those of the men,” she said. “So I will discuss with [my co-star] where I should place my hands, whether he minds my touching him and other such details, or he might think I’m trying to cop a feel!”
Having played a Japanese porn star opposite Alaric Tay in the 2015 sex comedy feature film Rubbers, Shu An can be trusted to put her co-star’s mind at ease no matter how demanding the scene.
“We both wanted to finish the scene quickly, and we cleared it in two or three takes,” Shane said of his co-star. “Only the first take was awkward, but after that scene we were quite comfortable with each other.”
One-eighth of the Dukes and a former ManHunt contestant, Shane made an unusual request of the director Sam Loh for his intimate scene with Shu An: He didn’t want to appear topless on camera.
“I didn’t think there was a need to do that,” he said. “The love scene [in Ms J Contemplates Her Choice] was crucial to the movie, but it isn’t the same for this film.”
But fans of Shane (and his bod) needn’t fret — the actor isn’t ruling out appearing topless on screen for good. “It depends on the plot,” he said. “For professional actors, we’ll do whatever the plot demands.”
Let’s hope plot demands and fan demands are one and the same in future.
4Love is presented by mm2 Entertainment and will hit theatres in the first quarter of 2016.
This story is translated by Zara Zhuang.