16 Jan 2018
Chen Hanwei and Rebecca Lim get romantically involved in Blessings 2
Photos: Toh Zi Yi, Channel 8/Instagram, Chen Hanwei/Instagram
Video: Goh Wen Kai
Four years after hit time-travelling drama Blessings aired, the cast of the well-received drama are slated to cross paths yet again, with a few new faces thrown into the mix to spice things up.
We won’t reveal too much about the plot just yet, but rest assured that the time-travelling element remains very much a centerpoint of the drama. What caught our eye, however, was the relationship between Chen Hanwei and Rebecca Lim’s characters in the show.
Rebecca, who joins the cast in the new season, will take on two roles: a well-off, educated daughter of a bank owner in 1918, as well as a KTV hostess in present day 2018. Her present day character soon becomes well acquainted with Hanwei’s Lian Da Xi, eventually carrying a torch for the 40-year-old.
At the imaging session yesterday (January 15), Rebecca revealed that she was a fan of Blessings and that she was thrilled to be able to take part in the sequel.
The actress also expressed her delight at being able to work together with Hanwei again, saying, “I’m looking forward to our scenes together. He’s played my father, and my uncle the first two times we worked together, so I’m really looking forward to seeing our chemistry as a couple,” she said.
She also brushed aside any thoughts of awkwardness between the two during filming, saying, “I’ve never felt ill at ease acting alongside him. I trust him fully, and I’ll just follow his lead during filming, [as] there’s a lot that I can learn from him.”
Her 1918 character will also be involved in a love triangle of sorts with Shaun Chen, who will be reprising his role as Lian Wen Ding, with whom she will have an arranged marriage with.
‘This is the first time I’m not romantically interested in him in a drama, actually! I’ve always carried a torch for him in our previous collaborations, and finally, I’m not in love with Shaun any more,” she laughed.
Continued on next slide: Chen Hanwei says no to intimate scenes?
16 Jan 2018
Chen Hanwei says no to intimate scenes?
Like Rebecca, Hanwei expressed his confidence in his co-star, adding that it will be “quite interesting” to act alongside her this time round.
However, he did not shake away the fact that it might be awkward initially, considering that the duo are friends off set.
“If you gave me the option to choose between acting romantically alongside someone I’m close to, versus someone I’m not, I’d choose the latter. But of course, we have to stay professional. When you’re too close with a person, you’ll be able to predict and anticipate each and every one of their moves while they’re acting, leaving no element of surprise, because we’re too attuned to each other’s movements,” he mused, adding that luckily, his fellow actor friends are experienced, and that it does not pose too much of a problem.
The actor also drew the line at kissing scenes, sharing that he doesn’t think that it’ll make for a nice picture.
“I’ve always felt that the more hot and heavy scenes are better suited for the younger generation. Honestly, not a lot of people would want to see older people kissing and getting intimate on screen,” he said.
It’s not a matter of acting ability, he elaborated, adding that it feels “a little weird” to him.
“A lot of the older couples don’t really show their affection physically as well, it’s more emotional for them. The little things, like their actions, I feel that those are more meaningful,” he said.
Continued on next slide: Zhang Yao Dong and Shaun Chen to collaborate for the first time.
16 Jan 2018
Zhang Yao Dong and Shaun Chen to collaborate for the first time
It’s no secret that Zhang Yao Dong and Shaun Chen are good pals, and the Malaysian actor could not conceal his excitement about their first collaboration in 17 years.
The two entered the industry around the same time, but have never had the opportunity to swap lines with each other. “Prior to this, the most we had were cameo appearances, we didn’t really have any lines with each other,” he revealed, adding that it has also been close to 10 years since he last worked together with Chen Hanwei as well.
2017 has been a packed year for Yao Dong as well. The actor finished filming for the upcoming Channel 8 drama, Gifted late last year, opened a new contemporary Asian fusion restaurant, and starred in a Disney concert.
The actor, who had just touched down from Penang, Malaysia, where he was filming a Chinese web drama yesterday, let on that he has been busy working on his self-produced short film series as well.
“I was both the producer and director [for the films], and we’ve just finished filming the first one, and are in the midst of preparing for the second and third,” he said.
“I originally wanted to start on the short films late last year, but there wasn’t enough time. I had wanted to spend around two to three months on each film, but my schedule couldn’t accommodate it. I actually have work commitments lined up all the way till June or July, so after talking it through with my team, I decided to tough it out for now, and I hope to finish everything by June this year,” he shared.
Continued on next slide: Will Yvonne Lim make her return to acting soon?
16 Jan 2018
Will Yvonne Lim make her return to acting soon?
Hanwei, who recently vacationed in Taiwan for 12 days in pursuit of the awe-inspiring ‘sea of clouds’ natural phenomenon, shared that he had also met up with former actress Yvonne Lim, who is based in Taiwan now.
“I met her last week, and actually talked to her about coming back for this drama [Ed’s note: Blessings was the last Channel 8 drama she acted in]. She really wants to come back but she can’tbecause of her kids.”
As filming for Blessings 2 will commence in two weeks’ time, with much of the filming taking place in Malaysia, it wouldn’t be possible for Yvonne to make a cameo appearance as well, sadly.
However, keep your fingers crossed, for Hanwei assured us that Yvonne will “be back soon”.