Down Serangoon Road

Down Serangoon Road
From left: Pamelyn Chee, Ario Bayu, Alaric Tay and Don Hany.

PAMELYN CHEE, 33

Actress Pamelyn Chee (right) does not have big, doe-like eyes. Thank goodness. "I think because of my small eyes and the way I am, I'm luckier as I'm not typecast when I go to Channel 8. I've done a variety of different roles for them and I'm grateful."

Chee, 33, adds: "There're so many pretty girls that having a different look might help sometimes." In Channel 8 hit drama The Little Nyonya (2008), she played a liberal, educated woman. And in 2010, she took the lead role of firearms expert Vivian de Cruz in the Channel 5 action drama Point Of Entry.

But it is as spunky, aspiring sleuth Chen Su Ling on HBO Asia's period drama Serangoon Road, which premieres on Sunday, that she might gain a wider fanbase, given the pre-debut exposure it has in publications such as The Hollywood Reporter.

The character is a strong one, whose sociopolitical views often clash with those of the traditional Peranakan family she comes from. Su Ling does administrative work at Cheng Detective agency, owned by Patricia Cheng (Joan Chen). When Patricia's husband dies, Su Ling becomes an assistant to Sam Callaghan (Australian actor Don Hany) to uncover the truth behind the death.

Speaking to Life! after wrapping up her final scene in Serangoon Road, she tries to convince reporters that she is more Chinese than people think she is.

She says: "People have said that I'm very 'ang moh pai' (Hokkien for Western-oriented face).

But she adds with a laugh: "I spend a good part of my life speaking Mandarin to most people.

"I'm so superstitious. Most Chinese grow up with that and to rid yourself of it is pretty much impossible.

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