The cast of ‘Home Truly’ and their New Year wishes

GOODBYE 2016, HELLO 2017: The stars weigh in on how the year ended for them

The cast of ‘Home Truly’ and their New Year wishes
The cast of ‘Home Truly’ and their New Year wishes
05 Jan 2017

The cast of ‘Home Truly’ and their New Year wishes

Video: Tan Shi Qi

It’s a brand new year, with a brand new lineup of dramas in store for audiences. Starting the ball rolling is Channel 8 drama Home Truly, which will debut on January 10. A large part of the drama takes place on a fish farm, which stars Zhang Zhen Huan, Hong Ling, Pierre Png, Chen Shucheng, Cavin Soh, Rayson Tan, Hong Hui Fang, Priscelia Chan, Li Wenhai, Meixin and Adele Wong.

Pairing up for the first time are leads Zhen Huan and Hong Ling, who revealed that their height difference – Zhen Huan is 1.84 meters tall, while Hong Ling is 1.6 meters – made for some hilarious moments on-set. “She couldn’t wear heels while we were filming, so there were a couple of times when the camera was focusing on me and you couldn’t see Hong Ling at all,” Zhen Huan chuckled. “I spent most of the three months or so that we were working on this drama staring at his chest!” Hong Ling chimed in.

Rounding up their love triangle is Pierre Png, who shared, “This is my first time working with her, but I must say that I really like her attitude – she works really hard and I think she has the potential to go far.” While the pair has a large age gap between them – Pierre is almost twice her age at 43, while Hong Ling is 22 – the actor mused that there was no awkwardness at all between them.

Given that this is most of the cast members’ first presser of the year, we took the opportunity to check in with them on their New Year resolutions. For more on how Zhen Huan hopes to leave his gastric issues behind him, Pierre on how his 2016 was full of ups and no downs and Hong Ling’s dreams of becoming an action star, read on for more.

Zhen Huan’s woes when he experiences extreme emotions
Zhen Huan’s woes when he experiences extreme emotions
05 Jan 2017

Zhen Huan’s woes when he experiences extreme emotions

“When I get overly excited, upset, angry, happy… All sorts of extreme emotions cause my gastric to act up,” the duke revealed. His digestive system started acting up in 2016, and despite multiple visits to the doctor, he shared that the only solution is for him to gradually recuperate and get his health back in check.

“There were scenes in which I had to cry, and that actually caused me a bit of gastric discomfort, but such instances are unavoidable, so I immerse myself in my role and I’ll be able to block it out,” Zhen Huan let on. “In 2017, I hope that I’ll be able to leave my gastric pains behind.”

His health woes were not the only obstacle he encountered during filming. With his character, nicknamed Sotong Ball, working on a fish farm, he spent about two months filming at a fish farm in Lim Chu Kang and an offshore kelong, where he was at the mercy of the blazing sun.

“When you’re at a fish farm, it’s unavoidable that there will be a fishy smell no matter where you go. I remember a particular scene just before we broke for lunch, where the smell was so overwhelming that I had no appetite afterwards!” he chuckled. 

Hong Ling’s dream of becoming like her idol Jackie Chan
Hong Ling’s dream of becoming like her idol Jackie Chan
05 Jan 2017

Hong Ling’s dream of becoming like her idol Jackie Chan

She might not look the part, but Hong Ling has big dreams of becoming an action star just like her idol, Jackie Chan. “I told Pierre about my interest in martial arts and he taught me some moves in between takes,” she let on. “Sometimes, he’d rush at me immediately after they yelled ‘Cut!’, but he said that it was important for me to know some form of self-defense, just in case.”

Pierre furrowed his eyebrows when we told him of Hong Ling’s goal for the New Year before shaking his head and going, “Naw, I don’t think she’ll be able to make it as an action star right now.” Pausing to think about the possibility, he continued with a smile, “She might not be able to become one right at this moment, but based on her personality, I’m pretty sure that she’ll be able to do it if she really wants to.”

In I Want To Be A Star, Hong Ling’s character had a large birthmark on her face and in Home Truly, she spent so many hours under the sun that her once pale skin has now become sun-kissed, but the actress is taking it all in her stride. “If the role calls for it, there’s nothing I won’t do,” she declared. “Even if I have to shave my head, I’ll do it as long as the script calls for it.”

Pierre: I hope my 2017 will be as good as the past year
Pierre: I hope my 2017 will be as good as the past year
05 Jan 2017

Pierre: I hope my 2017 will be as good as the past year

Out of the entire cast that we spoke to, Pierre was the only one who declared, “There’s nothing bad about my 2016 – I had a fulfilling 2016 and my loved ones all stayed healthy. Career-wise, I did well and there is nothing that I would change.” His wish for 2017 is simple: “For my 2017 to be as good as my past year.”

Career-wise, he starred in Beyond Words and The Gentlemen in 2016 and picked up a Highly Commended award at the Asian Television Awards for Best Supporting Actor in Rise. He also took part in Mulan The Musical, which led him to muse later on in the interview that what he’d aim for this year is to take on another musical.

Mulan The Musical runs from now till February 5 on select nights, 8pm at the Resorts World Theatre. Tickets priced at S$128, S$98, S$68 and S$38 (excluding booking fees) are now available on SISTIC.

Hui Fang: I wish I had spent more time with my mother
Hui Fang: I wish I had spent more time with my mother
05 Jan 2017

Hui Fang: I wish I had spent more time with my mother

Hui Fang’s mother passed away last October and the 56-year-old became visibly emotional mid-interview, excusing herself for a short break before apologising for her tears. “When I was younger, my mom used to call me often, but I’d always tell her that I was busy with filming,” she explained.

“Later on, she stopped calling me when she started to get unwell, and it was my turn to start calling her. She used to be a very chatty person, but she’d reply with one-word answers after she got unwell,” Hui Fang continued.

These days, she shared, she’s been feeling lonelier with her children Calvert, 16, shuttling between Shanghai and Singapore to prepare himself for showbiz after signing on with Addy Lee’s management agency, Starlist, and Tay Ying juggling both school and her internship.

Her husband, Zheng Ge Ping, is also busy with acting and his other workloads, and Hui Fang laughed that while she will be prioritising her health above all from now, she will not be cutting down on her workload. “If I do that, I’ll be even lonelier because I’ll have nothing to do!” she chuckled.

As for her New Year’s wish for 2017, she explained, “My wish for 2017, 2018 and every year after that is the same – for my loved ones and I to be healthy, happy and have more time to spend with the family.”

Cavin Soh and Adele Wong play a married couple in Home Truly
Cavin Soh and Adele Wong play a married couple in Home Truly
05 Jan 2017

Cavin Soh and Adele Wong play a married couple in Home Truly

Cavin shared his wish for 2017: for himself to be less strict towards his five-year-old son, Kayden. "I tend to be very strict with him but I hope that I'll be able to better control my temper towards him this year (...) Otherwise, when he grows older, he won't feel comfortable enough to share his troubles with me."

Rayson and Priscelia pair up in Home Truly as a business-minded couple that hails from Thailand
Rayson and Priscelia pair up in Home Truly as a business-minded couple that hails from Thailand
05 Jan 2017

Rayson and Priscelia pair up in Home Truly as a business-minded couple that hails from Thailand

Meixin's character is a single mother who has a penchant for stealing things
Meixin's character is a single mother who has a penchant for stealing things
05 Jan 2017

Meixin's character is a single mother who has a penchant for stealing things

Shucheng chuckled that he didn't visit the fish farm but will consider it if there is a sequel
Shucheng chuckled that he didn't visit the fish farm but will consider it if there is a sequel
05 Jan 2017

Shucheng chuckled that he didn't visit the fish farm but will consider it if there is a sequel

Home Truly debuts January 10, 9pm on Channel 8; watch it on Toggle-It-First.

WATCH: Zhang Zhen Huan was worried about coming face to face with a crocodile!

Related: Hong Ling promoted to female lead in Home Truly

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