Posted: 10 Sep 2012 02:24 AM PDT
Seeking Justice In The City proves to be quite a challenge for its lead actors.
A SLOPPILY dressed, street-smart lawyer who behaves in a roguish manner but with a sense of righteousness. No, we are not talking about Kevin Cheng's breakthrough role in the Hong Kong TVB series Ghetto Justice.
A look at Qiu Jian Zhi, the protagonist of Ntv7's new legal drama Justice In The City, brings to mind Cheng's character Law Ba. An attorney who doesn't dress or talk like one, Jian Zhi is smarter than he appears to be and has a heart for championing the rights of the underprivileged.
Portraying the role is Malaysian actor Shaun Chen, who is now based in Singapore.
"Comparisons are inevitable. Even I found the roles (of Jian Zhi and Law Ba) similar," Chen said at a recent press conference.
Before you write him off as a Law Ba wannabe, the 33-year-old Chen, a popular actor in Mandarin TV series in Malaysia and Singapore, assured that would not happen.
"I actually turned to a friend for inspiration. He's a thirtysomething consultant yet he keeps his hair long and talks and acts like a rogue," he said.
Of course, the 30-episode series would not be complete without an equally interesting female protagonist. Local beauty queen-turned-actress Chris Tong plays Zhuo Hui Qi, a lawyer who is far from your usual cold, expressionless professional who goes by the book. Having been scarred by an unpleasant childhood experience, she is smart and ambitious, yet emotion-driven at times.
It's not Tong's first time donning a lawyer's robe. She played a lawyer opposite MediaCorp leading men Tay Ping Hui and Qi Yuwu in the 2010 drama series The Family Court.
She spoke about her latest role: "She tends to pour a lot of feelings into the cases. At times, her feelings, along with an unpleasant occurrence in her childhood, get in the way of making a sound judgment. She has her blind spots and can be extreme in her approach at times."
The two, who take opposing sides in court, see their private lives intertwined when Hui Qi becomes Jian Zhi's tenant.
They may display unmistakable confidence in the court in the series, but Tong said she tends to forget her lines, which are laden with legal jargon.
"The dialogues were long and we had to film about 20 scenes in a day. At the end of the day, I didn't feel like I'm acting anymore. I felt as if I was a real lawyer," said Tong, adding that her co-star forgot his lines as much as she did.
"It happened all the time. But he worked so hard. Instead of eating with us, he would usually be at one corner memorising his lines," she added.
Chen had been working non-stop throughout the four months of filming and only had 11 days of rest in between. It eventually took a toll on him during the final two weeks.
"It was Chinese New Year. I was diagnosed with dengue fever and ended up having to stay in Kuala Lumpur to undergo blood tests for two weeks," he recalled.
Of course, with a story about two sharply dressed, good-looking lawyers, viewers can expect plenty of on-screen chemistry between the leading stars.
Tong, 29, recalled having to film "a truly embarrassing scene" after they only knew each other for two weeks.
"In the series, Shaun's mother, who is my landlady, tries to get me to move out by putting cockroaches in my room. While we're trying to get away from the pests, I accidentally fell and landed on top of him."
Was it awkward? Well, Tong said she was more distracted by the cockroaches than anything else.
Justice In The City is screened on Ntv7 Mondays to Thursdays at 9.30pm, starting tonight.
Posted: 10 Sep 2012 02:24 AM PDT
Actor Jason Lee talks about playing a sensitive, down-to-earth single father in Up All Night.
WE all know Jason Lee as the actor who plays the irreverent, thirtysomething criminal who vows to do good deeds and make up for his past offenses in My Name Is Earl.
But the two-time Golden Globe nominee is not about to let the iconic role – or the even more iconic moustache – define his career.
Up All Night, Diva Universal's latest comedy treat, takes a light-hearted look at the ups and downs of parenthood.
In the series, Lee switches things up by playing Kevin, an affable guy-next-door (he literally lives next door from the new parents, Reagan and Chris Brinkley played by Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) who dates the career-minded talk show host Ava Alexander (Maya Rudolph).
Lee talks about his role on the series.
How did your guest spot on Up All Night come about?
They just reached out to me and I got very excited – great cast and great show. Since Memphis Beat got cancelled, and it had been a while since I had done any kind of comedy on television, it was really cool to come back and work on a great show.
What was it like working with the cast of Up All Night?
Fortunately, they're all very cool people, and as a guest star, you hope to just blend right in and have fun and feel comfortable. Everyone else has been totally inviting. There's a lot of improv and goofing off.
I thank them for making me feel right at home.
With Maya, for instance, I think there's great chemistry there. She is very playful.
You have a young daughter. Do you see yourself in Reagan and Chris?
I'm a father twice over. So, yes, absolutely. And it also helps playing a dad on the show because I can relate and identify with that energy of being a father. I hope that translates well. My character's daughter on the show is about 11. So, it's a good fit.
The show is hilarious, and it's been getting so much attention. Was it the chemistry between the actors?
It's definitely the chemistry, and also the amount of talent the actors bring to the table. The writing is really sharp, too. It's got heart. It's accessible. It's not better than thou. It doesn't have that sort of comedy undertone to it. At the end of the day, it relates to people.
How does Kevin compare to Earl?
Kevin is more straight-laced and clean-cut. He doesn't have an awesome moustache, unfortunately. It's definitely funny to see this sweet kind of guy who sort of grounds Maya's character. I like that, I get to be funny and also a bit sweet.
Going from Earl, which was kind of outlandish at times, and certainly a blast to do, it's nice just to see, as an actor, what it feels like to play it straighter.
What drives you as an actor?
Not knowing how something's going to turn out, trying to figure it out, and then seeing if it works. Scene by scene, you're dissecting your every movement with the director and the other actors. Maybe I should enter from this door? Maybe I should say the line like this? How about we tweak this? It's about experimenting and seeing what works. If it does work, you take a little win. If it doesn't, you try to figure out what went wrong. So, it's a constant learning process. – Article courtesy of Diva Universal
Up All Night airs every Monday at 10pm on Diva Universal (Astro Ch 702).
Posted: 10 Sep 2012 02:21 AM PDT
IN a strong start to South Korea's new drama season, Tale Of Arang has been sold to Japan with a record-breaking price that easily surpassed the amount set by this year's biggest hit, Moon Embracing The Sun.
"What I can say is that this is even more surprising than the amazing record set by Moon Embracing The Sun – 100mil won (RM270,000) per episode," a PR official from MBC said, without revealing the actual amount.
Industry watchers assume the Lee Joon-gi and Shin Min-a's starrer could have measured up to 200mil won (RM540,000) per episode, which makes the 20-episode series worth a whopping 4bil won (RM11mil).
Lee is one of the most in demand actors by TV and film producers, as a few of his previous works have been commercially successful in the country and neighbouring Asian countries as well.
His note-worthy works include The King And The Clown (2005), the actor's film Fly, Daddy, Fly (2006), Iljimae (SBS, 2008) and Time Between Dog And Wolf (MBC, 2007). – Reuters
|You are subscribed to email updates from The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|