The last time 8days.sg spoke to Koe Yeet was in December, on the set of Titoudao: Inspired by the True Story of a Wayang Star, Mediacorp’s English-language biopic of Chinese opera dowager Oon Ah Chiam, in Ipoh. We were pressed for time then, with only a few minutes with the Malaysian actress — who plays the eponymous character — before she was whisked away to film what would be the farewell shot of the series.

When we catch up with Koe Yeet recently, things are different now: she has all the time in the world for us. “I am very free,” she tells us over Skype from her Kuala Lumpur home where she’s currently sequestered with her parents. “I have nothing to do.” (Our chat happened just two days before Malaysia extended its Movement Control Order, which took effect since Mar 18 to contain the spread of COVID-19, for another four weeks to June 9.)

By “nothing to do”, she means she’s been passing time watching movies and random YouTube videos, reading and updating her social media. “I’m spending a lot of time with my parents,” says Koe Yeet who has her own apartment before moving back amid the MCO. She was used to seeing her parents — her father owns a security company while mother is a housewife — once a week “but now, every day is Sunday.”

titoudao bts 5
Let's wayang a bit: Koe Yeet going through her stage action with the director. After doing 'Titoudao', Koe Yeet can speak a bit of Hokkien now. "My dialect group is Kwongsai, so I was never really good at it," she says. "In KL, no one speaks Hokkien. My mum speaks it but my dad doesn't understand it."    

Chatty and lively, Koe Yeet, 28, doesn’t sound like she’s been worn out by the lockdown. At the time of the interview, Titoudao is just one episode shy from its finale on Channel 5 and is about to be launched on Channel 8, dubbed in Mandarin. Koe Yeet, who’s also a trained barrister, is curious about how that version will turn out. She's in awe of the people redoing the voices. “It’s not easy, man,” she says. “I don’t know how they are going to do it. It’s going to be a da gong cheng [huge undertaking in Mandarin].”

Over the course of our conversation, we discussed her memorable moments in making Titoudao, her ambivalence about sharing relationship stories with netizens, and her thoughts on the ugly-cry scene which was turned into a bubble tea meme (our bad!). Here are six things we learnt from her…

 

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