I’m A Star: Ya Hui & Hong Ling’s rookie days

Last, but definitely not the least, these female stars round up our I Want To Be A Star interview series

These female stars round up our I Want To Be A Star interview series
These female stars round up our I Want To Be A Star interview series
27 Sep 2016

These female stars round up our I Want To Be A Star interview series

Videos: Tan Shi Qi

Last up on our interview circuit, we have Ya Hui and Hong Ling, who, despite their constant ribbing and good-natured teasing on set (comparisons of “Who’s prettier?" are an everyday occurrence, we’re told), are good buddies who even regard each other as sisters.

That being said, it’s make it or break it in showbiz, as the pair can tell you. The pair, who debuted nine and three years ago respectively, didn’t have the smoothest starts in entertainment. 

Read on for more.

Ya Hui
Ya Hui
27 Sep 2016

Ya Hui

My first steps into showbiz were...

I joined showbiz after joining Star Search in 2007. After that, the roles I were offered were all pretty small. Although I've never been a calefare, I didn’t have much screen time; I would only appear in 30 scenes in a 20-episode drama.

I had trouble remembering my lines and even said the word girlfriend instead of boyfriend. I had more than 10 NG (no good) takes, and the director kept sighing when I did it. I remember that I couldn’t get my expressions right in my first drama and the director called me over to have a look and asked me, “Do you think such expressions are acceptable?” and I was really hurt by his comment.

In the end, that scene was cut out altogether and I felt wronged. If I didn’t know how to do it right, he should have taught me how to do it… He could have said it in a more friendly and constructive manner.

Ya Hui
Ya Hui
27 Sep 2016

Ya Hui

Becoming an actor was…

I was from a Buddhist school so I’d be involved in Vesak Day performances. There was once a news programme came to film and I was caught on screen and my mother recorded that flash of me on television and would show it to everyone who visited.

I used to be excited about seeing myself on TV, but after my first drama, I felt awkward and embarrassed to see myself on screen. Even until today, I don’t dare to watch my dramas with my family and friends because I find it weird for some inexplicable reason.

Hong Ling
Hong Ling
27 Sep 2016

Hong Ling

My first steps into showbiz were...

I joined showbiz after being discovered on Hey Gorgeous and I’ve acted in a lot of small roles after that, such as a writer in Blessings, a reporter in Against the Tide, a nurse in a hospital and more.

I didn’t have any lines and the crew wasn’t friendly; they would raise their voices at me and I’d feel very wronged and cry when I got home. Being treated like this wasn’t easy, but I’d anticipate watching the shows I was a part of.

Ed’s note: Hong Ling’s benchwarmer days seem like a thing of the past, with her first leading role confirmed for upcoming Channel 8 drama Going Home.

Hong Ling
Hong Ling
27 Sep 2016

Hong Ling

Becoming an actor was…

I’d gather my family to watch my scenes with me, and I’d get excited even if the scene was just of me walking by for that split second. I’d tell everyone ‘That’s me! That person in the background is me!” (laughs)

Strangely enough, I don’t dare to watch the dramas that I’m in these days, and I’d feel embarrassed if people mention them to me.

The cast and crew take a group shot - looking ever so fabulous - after a long day of filming.
The cast and crew take a group shot - looking ever so fabulous - after a long day of filming.
27 Sep 2016

The cast and crew take a group shot - looking ever so fabulous - after a long day of filming.

In case you can't spot them, Ya Hui is the handsome young "man" with enviable facial hair in the back row. Hong Ling is probably easier recognised in this outfit in comparison. (Just in case, she's the one with holding the lotus flower in the front row, next to Shane Pow.)

WATCH: Dennis wants to take on a role of a child?
WATCH: Chew Chor Meng's most memorable calefare role: acting opposite Yang Libing
WATCH: Ya Hui is unrecognisable on set?

I Want To Be A Star airs every Monday on Toggle. For more information, check out toggle.sg/iwanttobeastar.

Catch the first 8 episodes for free here or watch all episodes on Toggle-It-First.

Related:
I'm A Star: Much ado about vampires
I'm A Star: Chew Chor Meng & Kym Ng's rookie days
I’m A Star: DJS’ (Dennis, Jeremy, Shane) rookie days
ACTING 101: I Want to be a Star’s calefare challenge
The who’s who of I Want To Be A Star

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