From hosting variety shows to acting in dramas, Bryan Wong has maintained his bubbly persona — but this drama has pushed him to the solemn, stoic end of the emotional spectrum.
In an interview with AsiaOne for the new Mediacorp drama Soul Detective, Bryan expressed that his role in the show is very different from others he’s played before.
Explaining that his character in Soul Detective is “stoic”, “black and white” and very “bland”, the 51-year-old added: “Even in real life, I’m a very animated person, so for me to rein it all in took the hell out of me.”
In the drama, Bryan plays Ang Zhe Ren, the spirit of a deceased man who becomes a policeman of the netherworld and is tasked with recovering evil spirits that have escaped.
He possesses Peh Ye (James Seah) to pursue his objective, but Peh Ye soon discovers this and strikes a deal with Zhe Ren — both parties will help each other complete their respective tasks.
And while Zhe Ren slowly regains his human memories and emotions as the drama progresses, he appears devoid of emotion at first.
“The director and I said, ‘Okay, we cannot think about this in the way a human would react’, because I have to react as a spirit without memories, whose only protocol is to arrest people regardless of emotion,” Bryan said.
Despite the disparity between his personality and his role, it wasn’t a difficult or particularly challenging role. Instead, it was simply different.
Said Bryan: “What attracted me to this role is that I have to present it in a ‘so-not-me’ kind of way… it’s not the usual way to approach a character. All the characters I’ve played are human.”
The difficulty in shooting this drama came in a different form for him: His costume and the sweltering heat.
“The only challenging part for me was seriously just my outfit,” he said, laughing.
Showing AsiaOne pictures of himself in his long, black robe, Bryan shared the difficulties of acting in that costume.
“Especially when you have to do some action or fighting scenes… I’d be totally drenched [in sweat].”
Soul Detective also stars Jesseca Liu, Carrie Wong, Cavin Soh, Nick Teo and Guo Liang. It premieres Nov 21 at 9pm on Channel 8 and will also be available on demand for free on meWATCH.
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