The New Paper
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016
Thirteen years after popular Channel 8 series Holland V aired on our small screens, Jeanette Aw is back in another long-form drama - the second season of 118.
The 37-year-old local actress started filming the 218-episode show last week and has even picked up wushu for her first-time role as a triad gangster who is skilled in martial arts.
Aw's triad gangster father is played by Hong Kong veteran Ha Yu and she will be involved in plenty of fight scenes, to the point where she is slated to "beat up" at least half of the cast.
At the lensing ceremony of 118 Season 2 yesterday, Aw, who is one of the new additions to the large ensemble cast, alongside Bryan Wong and Elvin Ng, told The New Paper: "It feels the same as going into (any) new drama... it's just that (I need to) be prepared (for a show) that is going to take almost a year to complete.
"But the scriptwriter and executive producer told me that if I'm required for another drama, they will still release me for that. That's what I really like (about long-form dramas) - the flexibility of scripts because it's written as it (airs) and it's based on what audiences like."
Revolving around the lives of those running the Yao Yao Fa coffee shop, 118 Season 2 will have returning cast members such as Chew Chor Meng and Pan Ling Ling.
The series premieres on Nov 29 and shows on weekdays at 7.30pm on Channel 8.
Aw will be doing all her own stunts on the show, as the stunt team was confident in her abilities and had not planned to hire a stunt double.
The drama will also mark her first proper collaboration with Wong, 45, who plays a goody-two-shoes real estate agent, one of the characters who will get pummelled by Aw.
He told TNP: "I think it's going to be very funny (acting with Aw). I anticipate that we are going to have some long laughing moments because our threshold for jokes is quite low, but I'm not sure if the production team is going to enjoy that (because it means overtime for them)."
He is not worried about being too busy to take on other projects.
"It's good to know what you're going to be doing for an entire year, and acting has always been my first love," he said.
Ng, 35, will play a bodyguard nicknamed "Terminator". For now, he said his character has very few lines and all he has to do is "look suave and cool".
Ng, whose last brush with long-form dramas was 2007's Kinship, told TNP: "A lot of times for our 20-episode dramas, by the time we get into character and enjoy it, we'd probably be nearing the end of filming. At least for (118), we can keep the consistency and explore the characters more."
'Happy family' back for new serial
It was a joyous reunion for local film stars Chew Chor Meng and Pan Ling Ling on the set of Yao Yao Fa coffee shop at yesterday's lensing ceremony for 118 Season 2.
Chew, 47, was very happy that his on-screen "family" is together again - the first season ended its run in October - as the sense of "familiarity" and "chemistry" he shares with the cast members is something that is hard to come by.
He told TNP: "With new actors joining the cast, I'm (also) excited to see how the show can evolve."
Chew stars as Yao Yao Fa's former owner Hong Da Ming while Pan plays his wife. Their on-screen children are played by Dennis Chew, Xu Bin, Ya Hui and Somaline Ang.
Chew, who suffers from motor neuron condition Kennedy's Disease, which is also known as spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, said that his health has been "well-maintained" so far and he has not had to see his doctor since 2008.
"Now that I've finished season one and I know that I can overcome (the long filming hours), and with the addition of the new cast members, it should be better for me (in terms of schedule)," said Chew.
Pan, 46, who overcame breast cancer more than two years ago and only goes for check-ups every six months now, is also "very happy" to be back on set. She does not think her health will be affected by a long-form drama's hectic filming schedule.
She told TNP: "I don't think I will (relapse). This kind of thing is (in your mind)... I must stay positive."
This article was first published on September 21, 2016.
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