'Could this be counted as reservist?' Edwin Goh had more gruelling military experience acting in When Duty Calls 2 than his NS

Edwin Goh had a less strenuous time during his own NS than on the set of When Duty Calls 2.
PHOTO: Instagram/Edwin Goh

After sustaining an injury during his basic military training (BMT) on Pulau Tekong, Edwin Goh missed out on some of the physical challenges of National Service (NS). Instead, he managed to get a crash course on it in the unlikeliest of places — on a drama film set.

The 28-year-old actor’s latest role in When Duty Calls 2 sees him as Wu Guanyan, who signs on to the Army Deployment Force (ADF) which provides specialised capabilities for humanitarian, disaster and anti-terrorism operations.

“We had a lot of overnight shoots,” Edwin told AsiaOne in a recent interview. “And there’s a scene where we do an exercise in full gear — with the helmet, vest and belt — and carrying the gun.”

Edwin said that, despite the shoot being done at night, just standing in full deployment gear had him drenched in sweat. 

“The gun was not particularly heavy, but if you carry it for the whole night, it will start to feel heavier and heavier,” he said.

PHOTO: Mediacorp

What was really heavy, however, was the backpack he and his castmates had to carry, weighed down with sand bags.

“I don't know the exact weight,” he said, “But some of us had to put the bag on while lying down on the floor, fasten the back straps and have someone to get us back up. That's how heavy it was.”

He considered that scene the most physically intense one he did for When Duty Calls 2 and was just glad they shot it in segments instead of having to do the whole exercise at one go like in real life.

“I was joking, asking if this could be counted as a reservist cycle because it's even more intense,” he said, adding the entire ‘army’ experience was longer than the actual BMT as they took about three to four months to shoot the drama.

PHOTO: Mediacorp

By comparison, Edwin had a less strenuous time during his own NS.

“I did maintenance for the commandos’ boats and I was in the supply company,” he recalled. “I went to Tekong but I had an injury during BMT and therefore I downgraded [in my Physical Employment Standards status] and never had such a gruelling experience.”

Edwin had mixed feelings about the scenes due to how physically demanding they were, but was glad he could experience what he missed during BMT. 

“I'm glad I actually could have a taste of it through a crash course on set.”

Watch Edwin in the new drama When Duty Calls 2. The show, which also stars Desmond Tan, Paige Chua, Kym Ng, Pierre Png, Felicia Chin, Tyler Ten and Nick Teo, airs on Channel 8 every Monday to Friday at 9pm. It is also available on demand for free on meWATCH.

ALSO READ: 'I felt like it was the first day of school': Felicia Chin nervous starting new job

drimac@asiaone.com