Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman,
The New Paper,
Nov 16, 2015
Cheryl Wee is officially the lucky girl who has captured the Ah Boys' hearts. Two of them, at least, and only on the big screen.
In period romance My Love, Sinema, which is being filmed in Ipoh, Malaysia, the 28-year-old local actress-singer plays a Chinese teacher who falls in love with a film projectionist played by Tosh Zhang, one of the stars of Jack Neo's hit local film franchise Ah Boys To Men.
The pair overcome several obstacles that keep them apart. In romance anthology 4 Love, puppy love develops between Wee's durian seller character and her pen pal, played by another Ah Boys To Men actor Maxi Lim. Both movies are slated for release next year.
"What can I say, I am one lucky girl," Wee told The New Paper at a media session for her Channel 5 period drama Mata Mata: A New Generation last Saturday. "Tosh even teased me and said I had one foot in each boat," said the daughter of Jean Yip and Mervin Wee.
The couple run hair and beauty business Jean Yip Group. Wee, who signed to Taiwanese management agency Gin Star Entertainment last year, praised her co-stars Zhang, 26, and Lim, 27. "I know (Tosh) from the movie and as a rapper, so I expected him to be outgoing, but he was really shy during our first few rehearsals.
But that worked for our roles because the expression of love was very subtle then," she said. She said of Lim: "He is very sweet. I was very touched by the fact that he came at midnight to say hello on my first day of filming, even though he didn't have a scene that night."
When asked to pick a favourite, she said: "It's hard to choose leh, don't like that, lah."
Wee has no shortage of suitors on the small screen either. For her TV acting debut in Mata Mata in 2013, Wee's character, Singapore's first female Assistant Police Superintendent (ASP) Elizabeth Lee, was caught up in a star-crossed romance with gangster-turned-policeman Lim Seng Hock (Daren Tan).
The third and final season set in the 1980s, Mata Mata: A New Generation, looks at the possibility that Wee and Tan - who play the children of their previous characters, Joyce Goh and Lim Kiat respectively - might reignite their on-screen romance, albeit as different characters.
The series premieres on Dec 7 at 10pm. Wee remained coy about it, only dropping this teaser: "Their connection is very different. It's a very innocent kind of love... you have to watch and see." After missing out on the series' second season aside from its first two episodes, she said her return to Mata Mata felt like "coming home".
"In a lot of ways, I miss playing Elizabeth. "Sometimes, the director has to remind me that Joyce is not Elizabeth. Elizabeth will always have a special place in my heart," said Wee, who will launch her first body wellness and weight management store under her brand Cheryl W. next month at Takashimaya.
A tale of 2 Ah Boys
It was not difficult for Tosh Zhang and Maxi Lim to build chemistry with Cheryl Wee on their separate movie sets. Zhang told TNP: "Initially, it was slightly awkward as it usually is meeting someone new whom you are going to work very closely with. But it did not take long before we broke the ice and warmed up to each other."
As food and fitness enthusiasts, the pair found themselves talking about their common interests. Zhang, who described Wee as "easy-going, fun and an absolute professional", admitted that he could not resist joking with Lim and calling Wee a "two-timer".
Lim described her as a "genuine and nice person". He said: "On several occasions, she bought the cast and crew cakes to be shared on set. "I think she's a natural on screen and doesn't come off as pretentious. Acting requires a lot of honesty and her awesome personality easily translates on screen when she acts."
So will one Ah Boy triumph over the other to win Wee's heart on screen? Zhang joked: "The battle is on between Maxi and me. Time to prove who's the better love interest when our movies are released."
Get The New Paper for more stories.