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Ex-Manhunt finalist gets big TV break

Shane Pow will be starring in the upcoming Channel 8 drama It Takes Two, alongside veteran stars. -TNP
Juliana June Rasul

Mon, Aug 06, 2012
The New Paper

To continue riding a motorcycle or not?

Former Manhunt finalist Shane Pow, who was involved in a motorbike accident late last year, still had not made up his mind - until he got his big break in TV.

Earlier this year, MediaCorp offered him a two-year contract. That helped him make up his mind.

The 21-year-old may just be MediaCorp's newest young hunk, thanks to a role in the upcoming Channel 8 year-end drama It Takes Two, which stars Chen Han wei, Kym Ng, Zheng Geping and Ann Kok.

But right before Pow heard from the broadcaster, he was almost hit by a taxi in the Siglap area.

He jammed his brakes and his bike skidded, causing him to injure his left ankle.

Pow has since sold his motorcycle.

"I was still thinking about whether I should continue riding when I got the call about being signed to MediaCorp. It (riding) was too much of a risk. If anything should happen to my face, that's it," he told The New Paper. "I decided to take the bus."

Despite not winning the Manhunt title last year, Pow was signed by talent management agency Beam Artistes, the organiser of the competition and home to personalities like Paul Foster and Andrea Fonseka.

When he got a call earlier this year from Beam boss Samuel Seow about MediaCorp's offer, he was lying in bed, still hurting from his injuries.

During his five-month medical leave, Pow piled on about 7kg.

No more abs

"I kind of let myself go. I was going out for supper quite often," he said. "My abs (from Manhunt) are all gone, so I've been trying to change my diet and exercise more since they say you'll look 10 kg heavier on TV."

His contract with MediaCorp starts this week, after Pow completes his full-time national service.

The mass communications diploma holder from Ngee Ann Polytechnic initially considered other jobs in the media industry, including radio deejaying, journalism and public relations.

Pow has modelled for a few print ads and earlier this year, he had a walk-on role with one line in Channel 8 drama Yours Fatefully.

He was also cast in the music video for this year's National Day Parade theme song, Love At First Light, which debuted last month.

"I've always wanted to be an actor, but I never really dared to try," he said.

It Takes Two is his big break, and he's excited and, at the same time, daunted by the prospect of acting alongside veterans like Chen and Ng.

The 34-episode series premieres in November.

In it, Pow plays the ambitious son of Chen's hawker character.

"I was a bit star-struck at first when I met them (the veterans)," Pow admitted. "I'm a bit scared to go on set because everyone there is very experienced. I don't want to hold up shooting just because I don't get things right."

"It's quite a heavy role for me, but it will be a good experience."

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