Ann Kok loves her grandnieces – but not TOO much

The actress finally takes on her first English language project after over 20 years with Channel 5’s ‘Missing’

Ann as Anne in 'Missing'
Ann as Anne in 'Missing'
31/01/2018

Ann as Anne in 'Missing'

Photos: Tammi Tan, Channel 5
Video: Philip Ang

When we saw Ann Kok at Channel 5’s Double-Bill Screening last week, we couldn’t help but marvel at two things: the local actress has been in showbiz since 1993 (that’s probably before some of you reading this were born), and she is now a proud great-aunt of two (more on that later).

Another rather unbelievable fact is that she has never done an English language role in 25 years – despite being bilingual – until now: next month, viewers will finally get to see her on her first Channel 5 show Missing, in which she plays a mother who loses her son in Bangkok.

“I don’t know what took me so long to do my first English drama!” said the 45-year-old in a phone interview with Toggle (we were initially supposed to speak to her after the screening, but she had to rush off to another appointment when the event overran). “I just left it to my managers to select my roles and never made any requests – I just wanted to act, I never thought about the language.”

Ann was happy to report that she did not face any difficulties nor culture shocks when shooting the 15-episode thriller in Singapore and Thailand. “I’m used to travelling overseas for filming so I can adapt to situations very quickly, plus the show is co-produced by WaWa Pictures, whom I’ve worked with for many years, so everything still felt very familiar to me,” she explained.

Fans who sorely miss seeing Ann on screens more often will be glad to know that she is already preparing for her next project, a Chinese language one also by WaWa, although she remained tight-lipped on further details. She’s been taking up acting gigs on a freelance basis ever since leaving Mediacorp in 2014, with her most recent projects being Toggle Original Trapped Minds in 2016 and Channel 8’s Crescendo in 2015.

When asked what she looks for in a role now that she’s clearly a lot more selective on what to take on next, she said she will consider anything “interesting” and that doesn’t reduce her to a “flower vase” (beautiful, but without substance) or require nudity.

(Continued on next slide)

Ann and her adorable grandnieces
Ann and her adorable grandnieces
31/01/2018

Ann and her adorable grandnieces

In real life, Ann has also taken on a new – and more permanent – role, as grand-aunt to two adorable, chubby-cheeked baby girls, whom she introduced on Instagram last Christmas. Nothing we talked about during our entire conversation got her more excited than when we brought up her grandnieces, who are her nieces’ kids.

“I like to disturb them,” she said in a mischievous tone. “Some babies don’t like it when you get too close to them, but they just smell so good!”

Although she is clearly crazy about them, she told us that she does not shower them with gifts as they’re still too young to appreciate them, plus, she doesn’t believe in over-pampering children no matter how much you adore them. “I have 10 nephews and nieces, and I never spoiled any of them,” she stated.

That said, she isn’t sure if she will follow the same philosophy when it comes to her own children if she ever has them in the future. “That’s the problem: it’s hard to say if I will spoil my own kids,” she mused. “Everybody says they will or will not do something, but in reality they might be totally different. For example, I know people who are strict with other people’s children, but they really spoil their own kids to the max.”

When she’s not acting or cooing at her grandnieces (or having one of her #annkokmeltdown moments on social media), Ann is busy being the boss of castella cake shop Harmony Bakery in Johor Bahru, although she modestly told us that she’s “not in charge” and “just an investor”. “I only help out when my partners reach out to me,” she said, noting that business is “good” so far.

As of right now, there are no concrete plans to bring the bakery to our sunny shores, but when there are, Ann will play an important part in helping her business partners, who are all Malaysians, to understand the market here before an official launch.

When that happens, remember to jio us okay, Ann?

(Continued on next slide)

Photos: Ann Kok/Instagram

Rebecca Lim celebrated her birthday while filming ‘Missing’, but…
Rebecca Lim celebrated her birthday while filming ‘Missing’, but…
31/01/2018

Rebecca Lim celebrated her birthday while filming ‘Missing’, but…

Judging from the showreel that was played at the screening, viewers are in for one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride while watching Missing. And the atmosphere was, unsurprisingly, extremely intense on set as well. One particularly vivid memory Rebecca has happened in the wee hours of her 31st birthday in the midst of filming a long and heavy scene.

“It struck midnight on my birthday, but no one dared to wish me happy birthday, so they were all whispering it to me because they didn’t want to affect my mood,” she recalled. “But I just started laughing because it was so funny!”

Pierre, on the other hand, remembers the support he received after one of his beloved pet dogs passed away while he was filming in Thailand. “Everyone was very sympathetic and offered their condolences,” he said. “It was nice to see the whole team come together and bond.”

“We were especially nice to Pierre, but only on that day!” quipped Rebecca.

The Thai stars of ‘Missing’
The Thai stars of ‘Missing’
31/01/2018

The Thai stars of ‘Missing’

Thai actors Vivid Bavornkiratikajorn, Thaneth Warakulnukroh and Pae Arak Amornsupasiri could not stop gushing about the professionalism of the Singapore cast, and happily agreed that they would love to work on another one of our local productions. “But give me six months to improve my English!” said Vivid with a laugh.

Ann speaks at the 'Missing' screening
Ann speaks at the 'Missing' screening
31/01/2018

Ann speaks at the 'Missing' screening

The cast of 'Missing' with Executive Producer and Mediacorp Chief Customer Officer Debra Soon
The cast of 'Missing' with Executive Producer and Mediacorp Chief Customer Officer Debra Soon
31/01/2018

The cast of 'Missing' with Executive Producer and Mediacorp Chief Customer Officer Debra Soon

The cast of 'Missing' speaks before the media screening
The cast of 'Missing' speaks before the media screening
31/01/2018

The cast of 'Missing' speaks before the media screening

Ann's mouth-watering pictures of Harmony Bakery's castella cakes
Ann's mouth-watering pictures of Harmony Bakery's castella cakes
31/01/2018

Ann's mouth-watering pictures of Harmony Bakery's castella cakes

​​​​​​​Photos: Ann Kok/Instagram

Pierre Png as Sean in 'Missing'
Pierre Png as Sean in 'Missing'
31/01/2018

Pierre Png as Sean in 'Missing'

Rebecca Lim as Lynn in 'Missing'
Rebecca Lim as Lynn in 'Missing'
31/01/2018

Rebecca Lim as Lynn in 'Missing'

Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'
Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'
31/01/2018

Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'

Ann, Rebecca and Pierre in 'Missing'
Ann, Rebecca and Pierre in 'Missing'
31/01/2018

Ann, Rebecca and Pierre in 'Missing'

Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'
Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'
31/01/2018

Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'

Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'
Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'
31/01/2018

Ann and Rebecca in 'Missing'

Watch:
Missing stars share memorable moments on set

Related:
Rebecca Lim, Pierre Png and the ups and downs of their Channel 5 comeback

Missing debuts on February 12, 10pm on Channel 5.



Report a problem