Benjamin Tan on punching Elvin Ng in the face: I thought my career would be dead

PHOTO: Instagram/elvinngchoonsiong, Instagram/bentanzx

When young local actor Benjamin Tan received the script for the new Chinese drama Mister Flower, one scene left him panicking — he had to punch the very popular actor Elvin Ng in the face.

The 27-year-old was very worried that a small slip-up would lead to the end of his career. 

At the virtual press conference for the series on Thursday (Dec 17), he told AsiaOne: "I actually got so worried that I called up my manager and told her, 'Oh my god, are you kidding? I have to punch him in the show? What if I really punch him in the face by accident? My career is dead.'"

He added that all newcomers like himself would tend to feel intimidated by the more senior actors. Just the fact that he would be acting opposite Rui En and Elvin was enough to worry him.

However, after filming the scene, Benjamin realised the experience "wasn't that bad" and that his worries were "all in his mind". He said a stunt director was present to guide them on the camera angles and how to execute the 'punch'. 

Benjamin Tan (extreme left) and Elvin Ng (extreme right) in a scene from Mister Flower. PHOTO: Mediacorp 

"We just followed the motions and rehearsed a few times before the actual take. Once we were comfortable, (we shot the scene)," he recalled. 

In Mister Flower, Benjamin plays Sherman Lee, whom he describes as a "mean hooligan".

He said: "When I got the script, I didn't want a straight-up gangster who's always, like, smoking etc, so I tried to make the character slightly funnier. So I guess it's something to look forward to in the drama because you will see a totally different side of Benjamin as compared to my other dramas and even myself in my personal life."

Elvin plays Gao Yufei, who is regarded as a playboy by the people around him. However, the reason why Yufei can't commit to a relationship is because he hiccups every time he tries to kiss a girl. 

Rui En and Elvin Ng in a scene from Mister Flower. PHOTO: Mediacorp 

Benjamin also shared that he and the rest of the cast became "very close to one another" after three months of filming.

"After a while, we sort of became friends with each other. So, when it comes to filming, you tend to loosen yourself more. I guess it's something that all of us have to learn in the process," he added.

"At the end of the day, they are obviously our seniors in the industry but at the same time, we are also colleagues and we are helping each other make the drama a better one. So, we just have to get over it ourselves and let loose instead of thinking too much." 

The 20-episode Mister Flower also stars Rui En, Julie Tan, Shane Pow, and Hong Ling. It will be available on demand for free on meWATCH from Dec 28, and on Channel 8 from Dec 31 at 9pm. 

ALSO READ: 'You can choose to let go if you want to': Benjamin Tan's mum still in a coma after 5 months, with new conditions every other day

annatan@asiaone.com