We get cosy with the stars of Taiwan's hottest TV serial of the moment.
Do tell us why “The Gift” (女王不下班) is a must-watch?
NT: “The Gift” is a must-watch because it is different from conventional Taiwanese idol dramas. This time round, the plot is interweaved with stories from each of the four sisters and different aspects of life such as love, career and kinship are pulled together to make up a vibrant storyline.
Moreover, the cast of “The Gift” is whole new one, so the audience can expect to see what dynamics the actors can bring onscreen this time round.
CW: “The Gift” has a theme that is different from other shows with the story revolving around four daughters who represent a different personality each. I see a lot of similarities between the characters in the series and the women in our modern society, as they face problems and challenges in various aspects of their lives, like in relationship, kinship and also in friendship.
It’s a drama series with a truthful depiction of our everyday life. I feel that the audience will be able to identify with the different characters and hopefully they’d be able to find out what it means to have genuine happiness in their own lives. So please do support me and follow this new series, “The Gift”!
Please let us in on any wacky experiences you had during filming?
NT: As I am playing the role of a fashion designer, I’ve actually started preparing before the filming started. I read up on the interviews conducted with famous designers to understand more about their lives and their personal taste.
The filming process is definitely enjoyable because all the actors are around the same age and new in acting, so we had a lot of fun and it was an undeniably pleasant working experience.
For instance, Lee Kang-Yi who looks composed on the outside is actually a muddle head in reality. She has a way to make us take numerous NG shots in a row. Hsiu Chieh-kai is also a very comical and humorous person despite his aloof façade onscreen.
For me, as my character is essentially different from the image Nicholas Teo portrays, so I struggle a little with the wardrobe that turns out to be a little too fashion forward at times.
CW: The whole filming process is actually a great experience on its own because this is the first time I get to travel overseas for filming.
As I’m playing a fashion editor in the drama, I get to wear different clothes every time I appear in a new scene, and not forgetting all the various accessories that comes along with every new look! I really enjoy playing around with all the different apparels.
But just as the role requires me to portray a strong, independent new age woman, I do need to don on heels that are about 9 inches high for most parts of the filming. The heels are torturous and I have to change to flats almost immediately, once a particular shot is done. My colleagues will rush over with the flats once the director shouts “cut!” and I will always return home with swollen and sore feet.
What was the craziest thing a fan had ever done?
NT: I think my fans are generally quite calm, maybe because I sing mostly love songs. If I have to recall, then the crazier fans will be those who would rush madly to the airport to send me off or to welcome me. But I’ve told them not to do that (Laughs).
There are also some who will send me branded goods as presents but I will return them back and will encourage them to use the money to do charity work or donate it to the needy instead. The fans really do understand and now they’ve already adopted a few children in my name. I think this is more meaningful.
CW:There were times fans would come to my hotel to wait for me.. They will loiter around the lobby area waiting for me to appear. Some would even be able to find out my room number and go knocking on my door directly.
But the one memorable incident was a female fan who appeared in a wedding gown with a exaggerated retro 80s hairdo, standing in the middle of the bustling Ximending. She turned up at that event just to attract my attention.
Can you tell us something endearing about your co-lead?
NT: Cynthia is a very serious and hardworking artiste. Not forgetting that she is very pretty as well. She is more accustomed to memorising her parts while I will tend to add in some impromptu actions or lines and not take the lines word for word.
In the beginning, we had trouble continuing with shooting because Cynthia couldn’t get used to the changes I made along the way as I acted. But all was fine after some time! I guess everything takes time.
We did get better and the filming was smooth after we became more familiar with each other’s working style. I do think that the co-actor in a scene plays a very important role.
Once I know that he or she made an effort to research about the character beforehand, I will feel better about doing my part and will be sure to give it my all so that the shooting process is smooth!
CW: Nicholas is a very professional actor who ensures that he is well-prepared before every filming session so I feel very comfortable acting with him.
He is also a meticulous and caring person. I remember on some days during filming that went late into the night, he will always buy Redbull for all the people on set to perk them up after the long hours of working.
Lastly, can you tell us if you have any plans to come to Singapore for a concert sometime soon?
CW: I do not have plans for concerts in the near future yet but you can expect me to be back in Singapore this year to publicise for a local Chinese production, “Devotion”.
“The Gift”《女王不下班》will be showing on Mei Ah Drama Channel (SingTel mio TV Ch73) from 8 June onwards, every Monday to Friday at 8.30pm.