“The role’s physically draining,” says Romeo Tan about playing Zi Le, a baker with Tourette syndrome in new Mediacorp drama Happy Prince. For the uninformed, Tourette's is a neurological condition that causes people to make sudden movements or sounds — or tics — that they can't control.
“There are a lot of emotions and movements involved with playing a character with the disorder," he tells 8days.sg at the drama's press conference last week. "There was one particular scene where I felt like I used up an entire's day worth of energy. I slept very early that night."
In fact, Romeo was so absorbed in the role that his personal trainer noticed that the actor had started exhibiting tics while working out. "It took me about two weeks to get out of the character," he tells us.
Here, Romeo shares with us his experience learning about people with Tourette's and how he hopes the show can correct the misconceptions people have of the condition.