03 Oct 2018
Zheng Ge Ping hopes to work with Rui En on an action flick
Video: Charlene Chong
Earlier this year, actor-turned-producer Zheng Ge Ping was excitedly telling us about his debut as an executive producer (EP) with Toggle original series Close Your Eyes. Following his debut as a producer, he has taken on yet another behind-the-scenes project, this time for Channel 8 dialect drama, How Are You? (or Ho Seh Boh?).
Much like previous dialect drama series Eat Already?, How Are You is a collaborative effort between Mediacorp and the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and aims to share important messages to our silver generation through the show.
Among the new faces that will be taking on their first dialect drama are Romeo Tan and Joshua Tan, who will also be mentored by veterans such as Richard Low and Chen Shucheng.
Toggle sat down with Ge Ping at the lensing ceremony for the show, which was held last month at the West Coast Community Centre, to ask him if taking on producing work will equate to fewer acting projects and whether he would consider his children, Tay Ying and Calvert Tay, as potential guests on How Are You?
Plus, we also asked him about his “Join my project!” tweet directed to Rui En, which we saw as a hint at a future collaboration in the pipeline.
Read on for more.
03 Oct 2018
Will we be seeing Tay Ying and Calvert Tay in a dialect drama any time soon?
As the EP of How Are You?, Ge Ping shared that he does have a say in the casting process and had meetings with the rest of the crew, but the final decision in casting was made only if the actor suited the role, and if they had a certain grasp their dialect skills.
“Joshua is a bit different,” he chuckled. “His dialect skills are really ‘private limited’, but in this drama, he communicates mostly in Mandarin. His character came back to Singapore from overseas, so he gets to speak in a mix of Mandarin and dialect.”
With the younger cast not as confident in their dialect skills as compared to the veterans, the 53-year-old also let on that Chen Shucheng and Richard Low have become invaluable teachers who will correct them on their pronunciation and tonality before the cameras start to roll.
When we asked about the possibility of his children, Tay Ying and Calvert, having a guest appearance in the drama, he let out a hearty laugh before deadpanning, “I think they should concentrate on their Mandarin skills first.”
Explaining that he and his wife, Hong Huifang, don’t have the habit of speaking dialect at home to their children, he mused that while he’d rate his dialect skills at 55 over a hundred, Huifang would score a 70 while his children “will only have 10 marks to share between them”.
“Both of them will probably understand simple dialect, but if you use more complicated terms, they won’t understand what you’re saying,” he shared. “But if you scold them, they’ll definitely be able to understand all of it.”
In conclusion, Ge Ping shared, don’t expect to see a Tay family reunion on How Are You?, as he feels that his children’s dialect skills “are too poor to be shown in public”. Plus, with Calvert serving his mandatory military service, we’ll have to wait until he completes his service before he dives back into work again.
03 Oct 2018
Is something brewing with Rui En?
A day before we spoke to Ge Ping, he tweeted RBKD, Rui En’s fanclub, with “Power la girl ! I am impressed. Join my project! (sic)” in response to a video that they posted of Rui En practicing Muay Thai. When we asked him about it, however, he clarified that there are no confirmed plans as of now.
“We won’t be working on How Are You? for sure, because the casting has been completed for this drama. If I remember right, her Cantonese is pretty good, and I hope that I’ll be able to work with her in the near future,” Ge Ping said. “Of course, I want to work with her, and her making her drama comeback this time around is a good thing, and I hope that she’ll take on more roles too.”
Reminiscing about his past experiences working with Rui En, Ge Ping praised her as a “hardworking and talented” actress. Having worked together on Unriddle, Code of Honour and Against the Tide, the actor shared that they have grown close since then.
“If you’re not close to her, you might find her a little strange when she’s on set, but that’s because she’s immersed in her role. I’m very impressed by her professionalism because when she had to do action scenes in the past, she never said a word of complaint, even if she got hurt. There was once her entire toe turned black, and her hand was also injured pretty badly, but she didn’t say anything and continued filming. She really has a talent that shouldn’t be wasted,” he gushed.
Choosing an action-based drama as something that he’d like to work with her on, he shared that it’s been eight years since they filmed Code of Honour, and it’s “about time” they got to work on the next one.
Last but not least, Ge Ping also assured us that him taking on two consecutive EP roles does not mean that he’s bowing out of acting. “If there’s an opportunity, I’ll definitely still want to act. I’m still in discussions about some projects now, but for now, I want to focus on this and ensure that I do a good job.”
03 Oct 2018
The cast of 'How Are You?' poses for a group photo