Saturday, 26 January 2013 09:15

Chen Hanwei plays ‘Agony Aunt’ to celeb pals

The local actor gets into character for his latest Ch8 show and shares his thoughts on being paired with Zoe for the nth time

Text: Joanna Goh
Photos: Dang Hui Ling & Channel 8
Video: Ling Pak Wei & Fiona Lin

Chen Hanwei in The Dream Makers

Picture this: In one corner of the studio, Rui En preens and poses for the cameras as the crew make mental notes of her characters' 101 outfit coordination to prevent slip-ups at filming. At the other end of the tiny room, Zoe Tay perches herself on the sofa, taking tiny sips from a flask of hot water to battle the strong blast of cold wind from the air-conditioning unit above. In the midst of the fuss and mess, a bespectacled and preppy-looking Chen Hanwei steps in the studio in a hot fiery red suit...

The photography studio teems with excitement and chatter at the imaging session for the newest Ch8 drama production on the hill, The Dream Makers, and the vibe is infectious and understandable. After all, how often does one get to catch or work on a drama headlined by a mix of the station's top veterans and actresses?

Playing a celebrity host with a caustic sense of humour, Hanwei made clear that his Dream Maker role is unlike his previous "aunty or uncle-type of characters" in his interview with xinmsn outside the studio.

"He's [Yufan] a sharp-tongued person, eloquent and witty... As a famed celebrity host, a lot of female actresses are afraid of going on his programme, but once they guest star on it they'll become overnight stars," he said excitedly.

The Dream Maker's cast at the drama's lensing ceremony

The Dream Maker's cast at the drama's lensing ceremony

The method actor, who once lived with a chipped tooth for months and gained 8kg for his most recent incarnation as a rowdy potbellied hawker in It Takes Two, is known for his immense dedication to acting. Not going to extreme lengths this time round, Hanwei shared that his character will be imbued with Taiwanese personality Cao Qi Tai's hosting flair. "He's straightforward but witty, and carries himself well on stage. I'll try to be like him."

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