Filming in humid Singapore is no easy feat and Taiwanese actor Blue Lan had a mild preview of what’s in store for him the next three months when filming for All Is Well, a Taiwan-Singapore drama co-production, officially kicks off in end January.
Blue, who was in town with fellow Taiwanese actor Liu Kuan-Ting to launch the upcoming Mediacorp and Eightgeman production, together with local actors Desmond Tan, Romeo Tan and Sheila Sim, was taken aback by our sunny island’s warm climate during this time of the year.
“I asked the staff about Singapore’s coldest period and they told me it’s usually coldest now - during the year-end period,” Blue chuckled, as he likened our year-end summer-like weather to Australia’s climate.
Unlike Blue, Romeo will be bundled up in layers, enjoying Taiwan’s chilly weather and road tripping around different provinces and cities for the next three months. He will be based there and good buddy Elvin Ng, whose scenes will take place in Taiwan, is set to join him there too.
The 33-year-old marvelled at the rare opportunity to combine “work” and “play” in a foreign country, and plans to fully immerse himself and live it up like a local during his ‘exchange’ trip.
TV viewers can expect All Is Well to present an all-new 360-viewing experience: the show spans two series and 40 episodes in total, and events happening in each country will occur concurrently as two parallel plots. The intricate plot is a win for TV fans who enjoy poring over every minute detail and uncovering Easter eggs in both stories happening in Singapore and Taiwan.
To smooth out story kinks and to ensure events are coherently connected, famous Taiwanese producer-director Wang Saudi of A Boy Named Flora A fame, and who is leading the Taiwan team, shared that the script has undergone six revisions so far in hope that the tale of “murder, mystery and mayhem will enthrall and entertain our Taiwanese and Singaporean audiences.”
Over in Singapore, the series will be helmed by Leong Lyelin who has done shows like Sudden, The Dream Job and My Friends From Afar, to name a few.
The drama, which is slated for a late-August 2019 release, also stars ‘queen of idol series’ Joanne Tseng, who will be filming most of her scenes in Singapore, as well as local actors Ian Fang, Chen Hanwei, Zoe Tay, Zhang Yaodong, Paige Chua, Rayson Tan and Denise Tan.
As we await more details to roll in, here’s what we know about the show so far: Romeo will be romancing an older Taiwanese actress to flesh out a May-December romance, Sheila will kick butt as a female cop, and Blue will play a good guy gone bad who locks horns with Desmond’s character on screen.
What is Blue Lan packing into his suitcase for his long-term Singapore stay?
If Blue could pack his wife Jade Chou and two kids ‘Little Basketball’ and ‘Blue Junior’ along with him, we think he probably would. The actor will be spending a good two to three months on this sunny isle as he will be playing a Taiwanese who was raised in Singapore in the drama.
“I might just bring one pair of jeans (chuckles), more shorts and quick-drying tops,” he replied, when asked about his packing essentials to combat the heat and humidity in Singapore.
“I think will bring them (his family) over, but it depends on the situation too. Maybe when my schedule is relatively freed up, I might arrange for them to come visit. I’m afraid of being in the situation where I need to leave for work early and only return at night – because I still need to work, and by the time I’m done, they’re all in bed. So that’s quite pointless … we really need to see how the timings match.”
Romeo Tan teases about his ‘May-December’ onscreen partner
Due to embargo restrictions, little can be said or shared about the identity of the Taiwanese actress who will be romancing Romeo in All Is Well. But what we do know is she’s “a household name” and a “respected figure” in Taiwan and Singapore.
So if could pick a Taiwanese actress he’d like to be romanced by, who would it be?
“Are you talking about Rainie Yang? (Laughs) She’s not really ‘Jie Jie’ (big sister) material, but it’d be great if it’s her… There are [actresses like] Ariel Lin, Lin Chi-ling Jie Jie who fit the requirements, but I think I may get bashed by many people,” he joked.
Romeo added that he will be travelling to Taiwan in early January, before production starts, to undergo culinary lessons to prepare for his role. “I need to learn how to cook so they will be arranging for me to train in a kitchen, and I need to learn how to ride a scooter because that’s my character’s main mode of transport in Taiwan.”
“I think I’m better at cooking western meals like steak and spaghetti. I have no problem with that, but Chinese food is harder because of the ingredients and the proportions of seasoning you’d need for the dish. So I think that’s the toughest,” he added.
Liu Kuan-Ting worries about putting on weight in Singapore
With helpful co-stars like Sheila Sim who already has a food itinerary all mapped out for them, Kuan-Ting shared his concerns about piling on extra kilos during his time in Singapore. “I think I probably will bring more exercise equipment and gear – because I hear Singapore has a lot of good food and I’m worried about gaining weight as filming progresses (laughs). I need to work out too.”
Playing a Taiwanese cop in this drama has its perks – he’s looking forward to running and high speed chase scenes. “So I can save time exercising and conveniently work out on set and burn some calories too,” he chuckled.
Desmond Tan wants to work with Jolin Tsai
Playing a scion of a large corporation, the bulk of Desmond’s scenes will be between him, Blue and Taiwanese actress Joanne Tseng in Singapore.
“She and I play high school classmates and grew up in similar environments. I might play a secondary school student – a ‘younger’ version of myself… I’m excited ‘cos I’ve seen their works and I hope to give the audiences a different [viewing] experience.”
After working with Taiwanese ‘goddess’ Amber An on The Big Day and ‘queen of idol series’ Joanne, who else does Desmond hope to collaborate with in future?
“I’m not sure why Jolin Tsai’s face popped into my head (chuckles). She looks so cool in her recent pictures and she hasn’t acted in a long time, so I’m putting out a love call to Jolin here… I hope to work with you and act with you in anything…
“I’m not a hardcore Jolin fan but I admire her work attitude and how she transitioned from being a singer to a singer-dancer, plus I think she has great fashion sense. I was most impressed by one of her stage performances from last year – her dancers were all at least a head taller than her, but that did little to diminish her stage presence, and she sang seven songs in a go. It was really impressive,” he quipped.
Will Sheila Sim be pushing back her 'baby' plans?
Like Kuan-Ting, Sheila will be playing a cop in Singapore and will need to undergo some physical training to get ready for the role.
So will this put a dampener on her childbearing plans, especially since she and her banker husband intend to start trying for a child in February?
“Actually, I haven’t thought about it and… I don’t dare to tell him about it yet,” she laughed. “I haven’t told him I play a female cop and don’t dare to tell him that I will be doing some action scenes. So, well, now the secret’s out (laughs). But work takes precedence, if I do get pregnant then, I’ll probably talk it out with the director to see what kind of precautions we can take.”