Stargazing

Filming starts on The Dream Makers

Published: January 24, 6:24 PM

Greetings and salutations, fellow stargazers! This is your Showbiz Sista swanning around with some of Caldecott’s biggest stars today. It’s a rare occasion that a MediaCorp TV Channel 8 drama stars four leading ladies and a crop of leading men, so you know that Channel 8 is pulling all the stops out for this: Its mid-year blockbuster, The Dream Makers. Filming kicked off today with a lensing ceremony attended by most of the cast, including Zoe Tay, Chen Liping, Rui En, Jeanette Aw, Chen Hanwei, Qi Yuwu and Desmond Tan.

The Dream Makers is the show about the people working in front of and behind the cameras at a television station, including the dark, seamy side of the entertainment business – and it’s highly anticipated that it will be a reflection of what goes on behind closed doors at Caldecott Hill.

Rumours? Scandals? The casting couch? Well, we don’t know yet – but according to Zoe Tay, who plays the head of a variety show channel, it’s more about the characters’ personal lives.

“The show was originally based on the lives of four girls and it was going to be in a corporate setting,” Zoe shared. “But since we are celebrating 50 years of local TV this year, they set the story in a TV station.” Besides Zoe, the other three girls are Rui En, Jeanette and Liping.

Liping, who plays a high-up in the drama unit, agreed with Zoe, saying: “We work in a television station. And this show is set in a television station. And there are so many actors working together. I’m looking forward to seeing the end result. Wow, I used the word ‘result’ – I sound like I’m really in upper management! These clothes help! They remind me that I’m playing a professional, not an auntie anymore!”

Liping’s real-life BFF Rui En plays a variety show producer. “I have a lot of space in this show to be as quirky, colourful and natural as I like,” she said. “It’s the first time I’m doing something where I can be natural to 100 per cent and I have a lot of space. So I’m just looking forward to every day. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a role like this.”

Does that mean we get to see what the real Rui En is like? The actress replied, enigmatically: “It’s hard for me to say which part of me is in which character because the fact of the matter is, for every character, I try to put in a little bit of myself, because it’s inevitable. As much as you try to be someone else, there will be certain things that only Rui En expresses that way, or only Jeanette expresses that way. I just look forward to bringing a lot of happiness and entertainment to the audience.”

Jeanette plays an actress just starting out, who, as her star rises, “loses herself” along the way, in Jeanette’s words, getting sucked into the vortex of materialism.

Has she ever felt that way herself? “Actually, maybe when I first came in, yes,” Jeanette admitted. “When I first started, I didn’t dare to ask any stylists to help me. I’d do my own makeup and it was really plain. And I’d get my own clothes, which was usually just a plain dress. And when I saw all the other artistes who were so made up, I’d feel so small! I’m very grateful that Johnny Khoo – he actually came up to me and said, ‘Jeanette, I want you to look good.’ And that’s when he offered to help me. I really appreciate that because I don’t think I would ever have opened my mouth – because I didn’t know that I could.

“So that time, I would think, ‘I wish I had nice clothes as well. But now, “I’m not a branded person; I don’t go shopping; I don’t buy things. I’m not one of those. But I really appreciate that I have a very strong team behind me to doll me up for events. And I think that’s enough.”

Catch The Dream Makers starting June 24, weekdays at 9pm on MediaCorp TV Channel 8. Showbiz Sista, signing out. Live long and pop corn!