10 May 2018
Desmond Tan endures being dangled off eight-storey building for a day
Videos: Philip Ang, Aaron Ho
With filming of Toggle Original Bluetick drawing to a close, the 20-episode series, which first started filming in Shenzhen two months ago before heading to Hong Kong, and lastly, Singapore, the cast had much to share about their respective experiences.
The drama, which has plenty of suspense, action, emotional upheavals and plot twists, saw the actors take on challenges of their own – be it having to turn on the waterworks for most of the day (Hong Kong actress Scarlett Wong told us more about that), to the leads Desmond Tan and Bonde Sham having to be dangled off an eight-storey building for an entire day (and they had the bruises to show for it after), Toggle caught up with the actors to hear what they had to say.
What’s more, veteran actors Law Kar-ying and Liu Kai-chi, who have been the subject of “intense scrutiny” from the moment they stepped on set, revealed how they felt with all eyes watching them while they were at work, along with how they really feel about the younger members’ acting chops.
Read on for more.
10 May 2018
Desmond Tan sees his younger self in co-star Bonde Sham
Desmond shared with us that one thing that stood out in particular to him was how much Bonde reminded him of his younger self. “Ah Mui (as Bonde is affectionately known) and I didn’t talk much in the first two days of filming, because we didn’t know each other,” he let on. “But as I watched her act, I realised that she reminded me a lot of myself when I just entered showbiz.”
“There are some things that she might not understand, so when I shared some of my personal thoughts and experiences with her, I thought of myself 10 years ago,” the actor continued. “Being able to share with her what I’ve seen, what I’ve learned and watch her improve day by day made me especially happy.”
26-year-old Bonde, who is taking on her second drama role in Bluetick, shared that she enjoyed herself very much during the shoot, and despite the hectic filming schedule (they were so busy that they didn’t have time to visit a doctor when they got injured), she enjoyed herself very much.
“There was a scene where we had to fall from an eight-storey high building. All the necessary safety precautions were taken, but when we were dropped from the building, we would knock into things, so we were bruised all over,” Desmond recounted.
Bonde added that it wasn’t just her arms and legs that bore the brunt of the injuries, as her entire waist area was bruised after filming ended. “They had to wrap a band around my waist, and we were dangled from that for most of the day,” she shared. “We started filming early in the day, and even when night fell, they had to use lights to make it look like it was still day so that we could continue shooting. When I checked myself out in the mirror after the shoot, I noticed my entire waist area had turned purple!”
(Continued on next slide: Desmond on how he lost six kilogrammes while filming)
10 May 2018
Desmond on how he lost six kilogrammes while filming
If you’ve noticed, Desmond is looking much slimmer than before he set off for filming, and the actor had a good explanation for that.
“I filmed around 18 hours a day when I was there, so most of my time was spent either in the hotel or at the filming location,” he mused. “I lost five to six kilogrammes since we started filming. I didn’t have time to work out, and I didn’t eat a lot, so in the three weeks or so that I was in Shenzhen, I lost quite a lot of weight.”
Despite him going on an eating spree in Hong Kong during the four-day break that he had between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong filming sessions, he said that he’s still kept the weight off, in part due to the busy filming schedule that the cast has been keeping to.
“When I first came back to Singapore, I gave the makeup artists a shock because they asked me why my dark eye circles were so obvious! I told them more about the filming that I did overseas, and explained that even though it was tough, I enjoyed it very much. ” he chuckled.
(Continued on next slide: Why Desmond wasn’t nervous while filming with industry veterans)
10 May 2018
Why Desmond wasn’t nervous while filming with industry veterans
Having Law Kar-ying and Liu Kai-chi as your co-stars might have caused a lesser actor to sweat buckets, but not Desmond.
Before filming started, he admitted that the nerves got to him. “I was worried that my acting chops wouldn’t measure up, but the day before filming started, I was even more worried that I didn’t do enough homework, and started doubting myself,” he said.
All that disappeared once the cameras started rolling, as the 31-year-old explained, “I wasn’t really nervous after we started filming. Instead, I enjoyed myself very much because I did my homework well, so I could work with them, and they could work with me, and working together was a very enjoyable process.”
“For example, they would communicate through their eyes if they wanted the mood in that scene to change, and I would follow their lead. This was how we built up our cooperation and mutual understanding, so the entire filming process was really smooth,” he smiled.
After going home as the reigning Best Actor following last month’s Star Awards, Desmond won’t be resting on his laurels – instead, he now has even higher expectations of himself. “I’m not just representing myself, but also the entire Star Awards,” he mused. “After getting the award, if I don’t perform well while filming with overseas artistes or if my standard drops, people will think, ‘Oh, so that’s how Singaporean actors are like.’”
(Continued on next slide: Law Kar-ying and Liu Kai-chi praise the younger actors for their acting chops)
10 May 2018
Law Kar-ying and Liu Kai-chi praise the younger actors for their acting chops
Law Kar-ying and Liu Kai-chi might be might be 71 and 64 respectively, but these two veteran actors are definitely young at heart. Throughout the filming process, they always brightened the mood with their antics, which made filming all the more enjoyable for both the cast and crew.
Kar-ying, however, chuckled that he had “a lot of pressure” while filming this show, as he felt that all eyes were on him all the time. “It was almost as if they wanted to eat me up!” he laughed. “I know they want to learn from me, so whenever it was my turn to act, they would watch me so closely that I could feel the weight of their combined gazes as well.”
Another reason for his pressure was the “remarkable” level of the younger cast members, with Kar-ying and Kai-chi praising Wong You-nam for his ability to cry on cue. “He can cry in less than three seconds, and he doesn’t just squeeze out a few tears but he can start bawling in that amount of time,” they shared. “It’s so impressive.”
They also pointed out Desmond’s expressions and his good sense of filming as qualities that they were impressed with, along with Scarlett Wong’s gaze that was “so fierce, that you can tell that she’s fierce to the bone”.
(Continued on next slide: Scarlett and You-nam’s secret to turning on the waterworks)
10 May 2018
Scarlett and You-nam’s secret to turning on the waterworks
When we visited the filming set earlier this month, we were lucky enough to be able to catch Scarlett doing one of her emotional scenes, where she had to argue, and eventually cry, numerous times throughout the day.
When we asked her about this scene during the press conference, she expressed her surprise that we were there. “That was a really tiring day for me, actually,” she laughed. “I’m someone who believes that everything should be real. If my character falls down, it has to be me who takes the fall, and if my character cries, I have to cry for real. That’s why I insisted on using my real emotions during that scene.”
She admitted that the long hours of crying did take a toll on her, and she had to resort to natural tears to lubricate her eyes towards the end of the day. “The emotions were still real, but my eyes were so swollen that the tears weren’t flowing as well as when we first started filming,” she sighed. “The real expert at crying is next to me!”
She and Bonde then proceeded to praise You-nam for his ability to cry on cue, to which You-nam explained his simple, yet effective secret.
He let on, “People think it’s really hard to cry, but the secret is to talk to people more. When you listen to the stories that people around you tell, you’re able to know more about the sadness in their lives, and when you take these stories and shelve them in your mind, you’re also able to bring all of this sadness to the front of your mind when you have to film emotional scenes, and the tears will flow on their own.”
10 May 2018
The cast poses for a group photo
(Top) L-R: Hailey Chan, Johnny Hui, Colin Chan, Ya Hui, Sheila Sim, Jeffrey Xu, Scarlett Wong
(Bottom) L-R: Law Kar-ying, Wong You-nam, Desmond Tan, Bonde Sham, Liu Kai-chi
10 May 2018
Wong You-nam, Bonde Sham, Desmond Tan
10 May 2018
Hailey Chan, Sheila Sim, Scarlett Wong, Law Kar-ying, Bonde Sham, Ya Hui