Photos: Louis Teo & Joanna Goh
Video: Vina Chia and Teng Siew Eng
Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to hear stories of usually strait-laced and goody-two shoes Rebecca Lim pranking her co-stars, including Zoe Tay, venerable Queen of Caldecott Hill whom everyone affectionately calls “Ah Jie”.
But that she did (probably with the help of growing an extra gut or two overnight) on the set of upcoming Channel 8 drama, You Can Be An Angel Too, when she told Ah Jie “diam lah!” just as they were beginning to film a serious scene for the show.
For the uninformed Singaporean, “diam lah” is a Hokkien-mix-Singlish phrase usually said to mean “keep quiet” or – to put more crudely and accurately – “shut up”. And this prank began when fellow conspirator Bryan Wong learned that a director once jokingly told Rebecca, who was back then in the midst of memorising and rehearsing her lines for another drama, “Diam leh! Enough already. You’re okay [with the lines].”
What followed afterwards was a series of hilarious “diam lah” pranks executed by evil twin duo Bryan and Becks, who tasked this “very serious mission” upon themselves with the aim to “prank everybody by the end of the production.”
For the record, nobody was spared from it – not even Zoe. The director, cast and crew even had a special “today is prank Zoe day” dedicated to pulling it off, said mastermind Becks, in her interview with xinmsn at Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Thankfully no heads rolled and no “Becks” was harmed in the pranking of Ah Jie. Instead, everyone broke out in laughing fits, especially Bryan who reportedly laughed the loudest, when they saw Zoe’s expression to the sudden remark. Gesturing her reaction to us, Ah Jie pretended to stroke Becks’ face lovingly and said: “Aiyo! You’re turning naughty!”
“My impression of Rebecca has always been good, but I think Bryan brought out her naughty side,” said Zoe, laughingly, as she recalled the incident, “The both of them play loggerheads who’d bicker non-stop with each other in the drama and so maybe because of that they get along well. I had the impression that she’s a quiet and gentle girl. But it changed when I saw her laughing heartily on set (after the prank).”
Apparently, “Queen” Zoe wasn’t going to let it go without some form of revenge of her own and a payback prank was duly returned to Becks on the last day of filming, in their last scene together.
According to the mother of three kids, what she did was to give Becks a very “uncharacteristic” reaction from her character which is to peer over the latter’s shoulder when she was deep in thought, reading a text message sent to her in said scene.
“It gave her a big shock because I’m not a nosy person in the drama,” chortled Zoe. “After that scene, I walked out of frame and started laughing uncontrollably! Her expression was priceless and I even added some lines in that scene to make it more convincing! (Guffaws).”
While they had their share of fun and jokes, Zoe who plays head nurse Zhou Ruo Yun said, on more serious matters, that she was most stressed by the medical jargon and procedures they had to memorise and be familiar with for their roles as nurses in this drama.
And a scene that left a deep impression on her, she said, was when she had to perform the Last Office rite for one of the dead patients in the drama.
Coming out of it with newfound perspective on life, she shared, “When we were filming, it suddenly struck me that when you’re lying there, that’s just it. Nothing matters anymore. It was a very peaceful moment and then it dawned on me: ‘I need to live well.’”
You Can Be An Angel Too premieres on Ch8, Jan 5 (Mon) at 9pm.
WATCH: Zoe tells us of the prank she played on Rebecca
Stay tuned for more interview stories with the cast!