Photos: Isadora Ong
Video: Tan Shi Qi
MediaCorp artistes Zheng Ge Ping and Sora Ma, who are going to be co-stars for the first time, were immediately met with one of their biggest challenges by acting as a May-December couple in Channel 8’s upcoming drama Hand in Hand.
On Thursday, Sora, Ge Ping and other leading actors like Bryan Wong, Jesseca Liu, Seraph Sun, Aloysius Pang and Ben Yeo attended the media visit at one of their regular filming sets and shared about their characters and their filming experience.
Sora, who will be playing one of her meatiest roles in her acting career so far, quipped about her character's complicated love triangle involving Bryan and Ge Ping.
The 31-year-old, who plays a lawyer named He Xin Ying in her thirties, gets acquainted with Bryan’s character Hong Mei Qiang and his family as she is placed in charge of the execution of the will of their just-deceased mother.
Though they eventually develop feelings for each other, she is already married to Ge Ping’s character Chen Hao Nan, a decision made unwillingly to escape the fate of marrying a man chosen by her mother.
As if the tussle between the two men is not already a challenge for Sora’s acting skills, the production team has increased the level of difficulty by inviting Hong Hui Fang to play her mother.
One could easily imagine the awkwardness between Sora, Ge Ping and Hui Fang on set when the on-screen couple have to act lovingly in front of Ge Ping’s real wife.
However, Sora shared in her interview with Toggle that she did not feel uneasy about the arrangement and even teased that she had “rightfully snatched Hui Fang’s husband” as Hui Fang agreed and pushed for their marriage in the show.
Zheng Ge Ping is not worried that Hong Hui Fang will be jealous
Though Ge Ping and Sora have a jarring age gap of 20 years in reality, the pair shared that they have no qualms when acting out intimate scenes in Hand in Hand.
Ge Ping revealed that Sora even made a personal request to the director to switch up the level of intimacy between the two in a kissing scene, changing the original plan of kissing Ge Ping’s face to locking lips.
Although the two are open with the boundaries of their intimate scenes on-screen, they remain respectful and draw clear boundaries once the “cut” signal is given on set.
Sora explained, “My friendship with Hui Fang is similar to a pair of sisters and we will also share about our personal lives with each other. As I know that Ge Ping is ‘my sister’s other half’, I am aware of the boundaries and the need to be respectful to him.”
Ge Ping added, “Hui Fang and I dote on her a lot as she is our junior in the industry. However, Sora and I still felt a little awkward initially (about acting as a couple) during our imaging session.”
However, he emphasised that he and Hui Fang are veterans in the industry and is not worried that she will be jealous, as they are able to make a distinction between work and reality.
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Men with muscles do not attract Sora Ma?
On Thursday, Bryan, the lead of the show, turned up in a black fitted tank top and a pair of knee-length denim shorts, flaunting his biceps and visibly-toned body that he had been training in anticipation of a scene where he will have to “run naked” on the streets of Orchard Road.
When asked about how she felt acting alongside her co-stars Ge Ping and Bryan who both sport a good physique, Sora unexpectedly replied that their muscles do not interest her.
“I don’t have a special liking for them (muscles) and it is not really what I look for in my other half.”
However, Sora shared that she still feels blessed to be surrounded by hunks, and repeatedly sang praises of Bryan’s muscles.
Ge Ping, known for his passion for body-building and his chiselled abs, also complimented Bryan’s muscles, saying they look “very good and very firm”.
While it seemed like Bryan is close to stealing all the limelight from Ge Ping, the 50-year-old proved otherwise as he has already gained a head start by filming a wet shirt scene, where his abs could vaguely be seen through his white top after Sora had splashed a bowl of water on him.
There will also be a scene where he would come to Sora’s rescue in only his boxers, as he has to hastily kill a cockroach for his frightened girlfriend.
Catch Hand in Hand when it premieres on Ch8 on Sep 24, Monday to Friday at 9pm.