Chantalle Ng tells us why co-star Shane Pow is 'boyfriend material'

Toggle discovers a lesser-seen side of Chantalle Ng during our one week road trip with the actress for ‘The Distance Between’

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
08 Oct 2018

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'

Photos: Joanna Goh
Videos: Philip Ang, Charlene Chong

DIRECT FROM AUSTRALIA: Chantalle Ng is one of the sweetest young starlets on Stars Avenue – and possibly one of the biggest hearted ones around. We’re putting this down in black and white because we’ve seen how she and her mother, veteran actress Lin Meijiao, volunteered their time to care for and foster stray dogs; they even officially adopted a few cats and dogs along the way.

The 22-year-old’s treatment towards the strays says a lot about her character, or in this case “the heart of man” (according to 18th century German philosopher Kant, at least), and we’ve witnessed her steady growth over the years, from being mum’s tag-along at live shows to finally holding her own in showbiz.

She has matured as an actress too, from her early days playing Julie Tan’s side kick and BFF in Café 96 to finally scoring her first lead role in upcoming Toggle series, The Distance Between. And she does all these on the side, while juggling school commitments as a full-time student (she’s currently an information systems undergraduate at Singapore Management University).

When we visited the cast and crew on set in Queensland, they were in their sixth—and final—week of filming, tired but otherwise in good spirits; early mornings unfazed them and every scene wrapped early was a small victory on their cards. If there’s anything they’ve learned from their time spent on the road, battling the extremes of mother nature  while filming in Western and Southern Australia, it’s to ‘think positive’.

Plus, having Richie Koh and Shane Pow as her co-stars and travelling companions helped, said Chantalle, who shared that she had a tough time keeping a straight face for their “solemn scenes” when the cameras were rolling.

To get into cool and aloof ‘Coco mode’ she resorted to distancing herself from Richie because the mere sight of his face tickled her – and once she starts laughing, she can’t stop. That probably explains why she’s crowned the NG (no-good takes) queen on set. Chantalle cheekily explained it runs in her blood too, “It’s in my name man. I’m Chantalle Ng – Chantalle N-G. (Laughs)”

(Continued on next page: Chantalle explains why she is called a 'glutton' by her co-stars)

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
08 Oct 2018

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'

Jokes and laughter aside, the sight of Richie’s face is not the only ‘thing’ that gets her endorphins flowing. Food makes her really happy too, said Chantalle, a self-professed foodie.

Her love for food extends to her snacking habits (“she’s always eating - all the time!” revealed Richie), much to the chagrin of her co-stars who complained, albeit jokingly, about how she’s always shoving food down their throats. She has an arsenal of veggies (sometimes it’s spinach, which she boils in her room, or avocadoes) and “unhealthy snacks” like baked peas in her bags.

And when we gatecrashed her room for an impromptu bag check, we found all sorts of health supplements and a bottle of apple cider vinegar lying around.

“The healthy snacks are in my luggage for me to eat when I get back to my room, and I feel bad but I hope to share the load (the unhealthy snacks) with everyone,” she chuckled. But what goes around comes around.

“I’m always sharing good stuff with people, but it (the fats) come back to me,” Chantalle lamented, “Why is my life so tough? (Laughs) I’m worried about looking fat on screen, too, because—unfortunately—my face is usually the first area to gain weight, so I’m more conscious of what I eat. But when I see food my reaction is big, that’s why everyone says I keep eating.”

Adding resignedly, she quipped, “I’m already used to them calling me a glutton because that’s my nickname for every drama I’ve done.”

Now that we know what her co-stars think of her, what does Chantalle think of the both of them and why does she say Shane Pow is ideal boyfriend material? Read on for the full interview with Chantalle!


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Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
08 Oct 2018

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'

TOGGLE: Let’s talk about first impressions and how that has changed since working with Shane and Richie on this project for the past six weeks. Between the both of them, who gave you the biggest change of impression and why?
CHANTALLE: It’s Richie, I think. When I met him at Star Awards and from what I saw in C.L.I.F. 4, he appeared to be a quiet person and I thought he was quite cool and an easy person to work with. I’m not saying he is difficult now that I’ve worked with him, but I’ve seen his other side and I realised he’s quite a jokester. Because I’m afraid I might burst out laughing during our scenes, I’ve been pinching myself a lot, so most of my bruises are because of him. One look from him is enough to make me laugh, he doesn’t need to say anything.

The boys shared some Instastory videos of them working out together during their free time. Did you join in too?
Once (laughs), on our off day. When we first started filming, the three of us began working out in our rooms. I wanted to learn from the both on them and see how they maintain their bodies so I approached them and asked if I could exercise with them. After a while, I left because they are just too ‘professional’. They are at a different level from me so I went back to my room to do HIIT exercises instead.

So who do you think has a better physique? Richie or Shane?
We’re bundled up every day [because it’s winter], I can only say they both have slimmer faces than me! (Laughs)

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
08 Oct 2018

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'

This is not your first time working with Shane, so what is something new you learned about him during this work trip?
I think he’s an ideal boyfriend or husband leh. I told my friends in my group chat that I’ll be working with him before I came to Australia and my friends told me they’ve heard so much about Kimberly [Wang] prank calling him and how Shane never gets angry at her. And [they’ve said] he is really a Mr. Nice Guy. I realised that he really has no temper, and he is a really funny and caring guy. I told myself I’d look for a boyfriend just like Shane next time.

You guys tried your hand at many different Australian experiences, like feeding tunas in the ocean and doing quad biking in the desert. Share with us your most memorable experience.
The most memorable would be the scene where we had to jump into the sea to swim. It was very cold and both Shane and I had to jump in the waters. It was not comfortable and it was so cold. And I’m afraid of the water, plus you have to be careful at sea. The director said she could see fear written all over my face.

I have to sit on the scariest roller coaster (DC Rivals HyperCoaster) for one scene that we’re filming tomorrow [at Movie World] but I have a fear of heights and I don’t like such adrenaline activities. I’m more worried about that.

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
08 Oct 2018

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'

What is your biggest takeaway after spending six weeks on the road filming this project?
I think this entire drama is my biggest gain and my biggest challenge because I’ve been grappling with my character. I have been communicating a lot with the director and because I’ve been acting all these years but have never received any formal training for acting, I think I still have a lot of room for improvement.

After this show and doing a character like Coco, I realise I need to buck up further when I return to Singapore and think about how to sharpen my acting chops and how I should bring different characters to life. I see my flaws [from doing this show] and I hope to improve [on it] and that’s what I want to work towards when I go home.

Finally, what’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home?
(Chuckles) I’ll reach home in the evening at about 5pm and I told my mum to prepare steamboat for me. So I’m going home for a steamboat meal, I’m really excited.​​​​​​​

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
08 Oct 2018

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'
08 Oct 2018

Behind the scenes: Chantalle on the set of 'The Distance Between'

Watch The Distance Between on Toggle.

WATCH: What are Chantalle's travelling essentials?

Related:
First look at ‘The Distance Between’
Chantalle Ng’s mum Lin Meijiao won’t miss her when she’s away?
8 must-try Queensland experiences
5 places to get your breakfast fix in Queensland

Special thanks to Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland.

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