By now, you probably would have heard of the return of the C.L.I.F. series, which is into its fifth season. This time around, a brand-new cast has come on board, with the exception of two not-so-brand-new faces: Rebecca Lim and Pierre Png.
Rebecca played forensic scientist Moon Liu in C.L.I.F., while Pierre was villain Chen Yanjun in C.L.I.F. 2 and 3. In C.L.I.F. 5 however, they both play very different roles, with Rebecca portraying an Inspector in the Police Coast Guard (PCG) and Pierre joining the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as a Senior Investigation Officer.
During the imaging session that took place in late March, we spoke to the two actors about returning to the series, albeit with a very different character, and gleaned what they feel about their respective ‘reincarnations’, as they called it.
Rebecca said with a chuckle, “To be very honest, I don’t even think my mum remembers I was in the first season of C.L.I.F.. If people didn’t really pay attention, there might not be anyone who actually noticed that I was there.”
She explained that her character was only part of the series for one investigation, which she described as “not significant enough to be jarring”.
Fair enough. What about Pierre, whose bad guy character everyone loved to hate?
“First of all, (my character) Chen Yanjun died in season three,” he said with a laugh. “It’s not like he got away and came back to become a bad guy again, which would actually be an interesting storyline.”
Pierre continued, “Rather than finding it potentially jarring for the audience, I think it could turn out very interesting. My previous character was a civilian but this time around I’m a policeman, so with all the authority and cases that have been passed to me, it requires a different style of acting.”
The only similarity, he said, is his outer appearance, which he deadpanned that he can’t change at will.
“From what I can see, I don’t see any challenges playing a different character. I’ve always managed to play my characters differently, and I don’t think this will be any different,” he continued. “From the way I walk, talk, to the body language, the kind of impression that you give changes if you change all of that. That’s how an actor can bring a fictional character to life.”
With this reincarnation thing out of the way, we asked the pair, who called themselves jiak kantang (fluent in English but not as much in Mandarin) about working on their first Mandarin project together in a while.
Rebecca said with a mock sigh, ”When we were chatting earlier on, I kept telling him, ‘We shouldn’t be speaking in English!’ but I think the both of us know that isn’t going to work out very well.”
She shared that their characters aren’t on very good terms, which means that they will be doing a fair bit of verbal sparring. “We’ve both improved so much in the past few years, so I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Rather than seeing it as a problem, it’s an opportunity to improve ourselves.”
Pierre agreed, calling Rebecca “wonderful to work with, although she probably isn’t qualified to be my language teacher.”
This comment sparked an instant debate over who has a better grasp of Mandarin, and while we aren’t quite qualified to give our judgement on the matter, we can assure you that the verbal sparring that they’ll be doing for the cameras will go very well.
Stars gear up for ‘C.L.I.F. 5’