Kissing, fighting, magic tricks: What’s new for Truth Seekers

Rebecca Lim, Ian Fang, Yusuke Fukuchi and drama cast discuss fresh skills and challenges

Kissing, fighting, magic tricks: What’s new for Truth Seekers
Kissing, fighting, magic tricks: What’s new for Truth Seekers
12 Apr 2016

Kissing, fighting, magic tricks: What’s new for Truth Seekers

Photos: Camelia Ting, Zara Zhuang
Video: Kimberly Tay, Charlene Chong

Learning is a lifelong process, as the cast of the upcoming Channel 8 drama series The Truth Seekers proves.

At the press conference held yesterday for the series, actors Chen Hanwei, Rebecca Lim, Desmond Tan, Yusuke Fukuchi, Ian Fang, Hong Ling and Brandon Wong introduced their characters in the show and gave us a sneak peek of the new experiences and personal firsts they went through while filming.

In this series, Hanwei, Rebecca, Desmond and Yusuke play a team of cold-case investigators on Hanwei’s CCI team who go over unsolved mysteries to uncover the truth.

Who had to learn new magic tricks for the camera? Who got muscle cramps from performing high kicks? Who snagged his first onscreen kiss in a local production? Click on to find out.

The Truth Seekers debuts April 28, 9 p.m. on Channel 8; it will be available on Toggle-It-First on April 21. 

Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
12 Apr 2016

Rebecca Lim

What’s new: Intense action scenes

Becks had to spar with Yusuke for the camera, and the actress, who admitted she has awful hand–leg coordination, demonstrated such a (lack of) talent at judo and taekwondo that it cracked her co-stars up, especially Hanwei — after performing a high kick, she got muscle cramps.

When she fell ill while filming Sealed With a Kiss last year, she ceased exercising, so performing such high-intensity action scenes wore her out.

“My father used to do taekwondo so I showed him my moves,” she said of how she practised for her fight sequences. “He said I was not bad, which actually meant I was terrible!” Rebecca said. “Otherwise he would have said, ‘Very good, so proud of you.’”

Catch up on Sealed With a Kiss here

Desmond Tan
Desmond Tan
12 Apr 2016

Desmond Tan

What’s new: Playing an extroverted goofball

The cool Duke is known for his serious demeanour on and off screen (his only comedic role so far is in the Channel 5 sitcom Spouse for House.) But as the bumbling investigator Hong Jun Yan (who has a bit of Wei Xiaobao and the Monkey King in him), Desmond plays a role so far removed from his own personality that at the start he found himself feeling exhausted.

“It’s not easy to maintain that energy level,” he said. “I’m not the high-energy sort so at first I had trouble adjusting.”

“In private I’m not a talker and I’m not as active (as Hong Yan) … Plus at that time I was on a diet (to slim down and tone up for that famous bikini scene) so to play such a character made me even more tired.”

Catch up on Spouse for House season 1 and season 2 

Ian Fang
Ian Fang
12 Apr 2016

Ian Fang

What’s new: Learning magic tricks

Another Duke in Truth Seekers, Ian plays a magician involved in one of the cases the CCI team investigate. And to look the part of a legit magician, Ian was coached by a professional — an hour before his scenes were to be shot.

Though Ian has dabbled in magic tricks before, they were simpler ones involving coins and playing cards. One of the six new tricks he mastered for this drama series had him throwing flames from his hand: He dunked his hand in ice water before he poured gasoline in his palm and set it alight. And one take wasn’t enough — to capture the process from multiple angles, Ian repeated the trick about seven times.

“After a while, it was like, ‘Hello, hand, are you OK?’” the Toggle Most Beloved Celebrity BFF Award nominee (along with Jeffrey Xu) recounted. “But I got a great sense of satisfaction from (doing my own tricks and stunts).”

Rebecca praised Ian’s efforts in perfecting his performance — she called his showmanship mesmerising, and that’s high praise given their intimate friendship. “Even when the camera wasn’t on him he would be practising the magic tricks,” Rebecca said of her BGB/BFF.

“During filming breaks we’d ask him to show us what he’s learnt, and I thought he did a convincing job of playing the part — I’d believe he really was a magician.” 

Yusuke Fukuchi
Yusuke Fukuchi
12 Apr 2016

Yusuke Fukuchi

What’s new: First onscreen kiss in a Singaporean production

Yusuke got to share an intimate moment with his onscreen love interest, played by Rebecca. “It’s not born of puppy love or a budding romance,” he said of his lip-lock with the actress. “There is a struggle or turning point in our relationship, so the kiss happened.”

Drawn into a reel-life love triangle with Rebecca and Desmond, Yusuke’s character starts off unhappy due to a dark episode from his past, but over time he comes to terms with it through his work at CCI. “To portray this evolution in my character is vital to me, so it was my biggest challenge,” he said. 

Hong Ling
Hong Ling
12 Apr 2016

Hong Ling

What’s new: Playing a psychic medium

Hong Ling plays Hanwei’s daughter, a psychic medium with the power to communicate with the spirit world, and in eight out of 10 scenes she talks to the dead.

“When I got the script I didn’t know how I would approach this role or how I should build on it,” she said. “So I went online to research the topic, and I found that when I’m in a trance I’m not myself, but I’m portraying the character whose soul has taken over me.”

Asked whether she was spooked playing a character that bridges the supernatural world, Hong Ling said no. “I kind of want to see a ghost, but at the same time I’m terrified of it,” she said. 

Chen Hanwei
Chen Hanwei
12 Apr 2016

Chen Hanwei

What’s new: Not having an iconic getup

The 27-year veteran of the small screen (and a Toggle Most Beloved Celebrity BFF Award nominee together with Zoe Tay) is best known for his intense acting and memorable looks — main villain Hu Weiren in The Journey: Tumultuous Times, dumpling stall owner Li Weiliang in 118, kind country chap Chen Wufu in The Best Things In Life, henpecked stay-at-home father Ye Zhengkang in Daddy at Home — but Hanwei’s happy to take a backseat in The Truth Seekers.

“Not every drama needs to have me in a stand-out getup,” he said. “What’s great about The Truth Seekers is the plot and cinematography, so us actors don’t need to do any extraneous moves to gain notice.”

The actor was relieved when he confirmed he wouldn’t have any fight scenes — the only thing he can’t do. “If I were still 28, I wouldn’t mind challenging myself in that,” the 46-year-old said.

Good thing those were left to Rebecca, he added. “The company knows better than to make me roughhouse on screen, because my coordination skills aren’t fantastic.”

On Rebecca’s assertion that he had laughed at her ungainly action sequences, Hanwei didn’t deny it. “She’s focused when she performs her moves, but certain things require a bit of talent,” he said.

“In fact, if you need a pair of actors to play siblings who are rubbish when they get into a brawl, call on Rebecca and me.”

Click on for more photos from yesterday’s press conference

Catch up on The Journey: Tumultuous Times, 118, The Best Things in Life, Daddy at Home

YES 933 DJ Kunhua hosted the press conference
YES 933 DJ Kunhua hosted the press conference
12 Apr 2016

YES 933 DJ Kunhua hosted the press conference

The four members of Hanwei's cold-case investigation team
The four members of Hanwei's cold-case investigation team
12 Apr 2016

The four members of Hanwei's cold-case investigation team

(L-R) Desmond Tan, Ian Fang, Brandon Wong
(L-R) Desmond Tan, Ian Fang, Brandon Wong
12 Apr 2016

(L-R) Desmond Tan, Ian Fang, Brandon Wong

The cast of The Truth Seekers
The cast of The Truth Seekers
12 Apr 2016

The cast of The Truth Seekers

(L-R) Hong Ling, Yusuke Fukuchi, Rebecca Lim, Chen Hanwei
(L-R) Hong Ling, Yusuke Fukuchi, Rebecca Lim, Chen Hanwei
12 Apr 2016

(L-R) Hong Ling, Yusuke Fukuchi, Rebecca Lim, Chen Hanwei

One-time BFFs Desmond Tan and Rebecca Lim play a couple in The Truth Seekers
One-time BFFs Desmond Tan and Rebecca Lim play a couple in The Truth Seekers
12 Apr 2016

One-time BFFs Desmond Tan and Rebecca Lim play a couple in The Truth Seekers

Rebecca Lim called her BGB Ian Fang's performance as a magician
Rebecca Lim called her BGB Ian Fang's performance as a magician "mesmerising"
12 Apr 2016

Rebecca Lim called her BGB Ian Fang's performance as a magician "mesmerising"

WATCH:
Rebecca’s fight scene in “Truth Seekers” made everyone burst into laughter! 

Related:
Has Ian Fang replaced Desmond Tan as Rebecca Lim’s BFF? 
Desmond Tan, Shane Pow bare their bods for upcoming dramas 
Desmond Tan goes from hunky duke to bikini babe 
Local celebrity BFF friendship stories 

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