'I felt very vulnerable': Chantalle Ng on filming assault scene in new drama and how co-star Ayden Sng was 'a wreck'

PHOTO: Instagram/Chantalle Ng

After her breakout role in My Star Bride, local actress Chantalle Ng continues to push herself in her acting.

The latest challenge? An assault scene in her new drama, where her character is restrained by hooligans and has her clothes ripped off.

In a phone interview with AsiaOne yesterday (May 5), the 26-year-old shared that filming the scene sapped so much of her energy that she was knocked out for 10 hours straight afterwards. 

She recalled the tedious amount of preparation it took to set up the scene, including a lot of stick-ons, duct tape and towels. She also mentioned the large number of production assistants on set to help cover her with towels felt like "almost half of the females at Mediacorp" had come to help out. 

"I wasn't looking forward to that scene, you know, because it is one of the heaviest scenes emotionally for me in that show. And I have never experienced something like that in real life," she shared.

"So, I felt very vulnerable. I had to just go on set and see how I would react to it. It wasn't something that I could fully prepare myself emotionally for."

Chantalle Ng and Ayden Sng in a still for The Unbreakable Bond. PHOTO: Mediacorp

Chantalle was speaking to us to promote her upcoming drama The Unbreakable Bond, where she takes on the role of Shiyuan, a strong and independent woman who has a difficult family background. 

The series puts a twist on the usual girl-meets-chaebol plot as it centres around two brothers, Gu Yunze (James Seah) and Gu Yuncong (Ayden Sng), who are heirs to a large medical group.

Yunze, who has been sick since birth, relies on Yuncong to donate his bone marrow and other organs to sustain his life. The pair meet Shiyuan at a nursing home and are quickly attracted to her, sparking a love triangle.

The drama press conference held yesterday was attended by James, Ayden, Guo Liang, Pan Lingling, Richard Low, Ian Fang, Fang Rong, Rayson Tan and Seow Sin Nee. Chantalle joined in virtually via Zoom. 

James Seah (left) and Ayden Sng in a still from The Unbreakable Bond. PHOTO: Mediacorp

Chantalle admitted she had some anxiety during filming, especially since it's such a traumatising moment for Shiyuan. 

She added: "I made sure to walk into that warehouse film set in character and not as myself because my role is very different from who I am in real life. I didn't want to show how Chantalle would react in that scene, I was really trying to be Shiyuan. How would she react if she were to meet circumstances like this?

"In the end, the result wasn't as screamy. There wasn't a lot of big emotions. Even after that scene, how she managed it, it was a lot calmer than how Chantalle would react."

Chantalle Ng and Ayden Sng hugging in a scene from the Unbreakable Bond. PHOTO: Mediacorp

Chantalle bared only her back in the scene and she doesn't consider it very revealing, since her red gown in the recent Star Awards showed that same amount of skin. 

While the scene was physically draining, a steamy romantic scene with actor Desmond Tan in the English series Derek pushed her limits as an actress more, she told us. 

'Ayden was a wreck'

In that scene, Ayden's character Yuncong is also attacked by the hooligans and forced to witness the assault.

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Chantalle shared a sweet account of how Ayden supported her during filming. 

"I think he was a lot more emotional. And I think it's right, you know, because if we were to compare who is more traumatised from this experience, I don't think Yuncong would be any less than my character, to watch somebody you love go through something like that," recalled Chantalle. 

"I remember he was very emotional and sad. He was also trying to be there for me, even though he was a wreck himself. He was crying and very sad that this happened to our characters. At the same time, he was trying to get a towel to cover me in between takes so that was quite funny."

'You have to manifest such things'

Chantalle shared that she feels quite proud of The Unbreakable Bond as she adopted a different acting style.

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After snagging the Female Show Stealer and Favourite CP honours for My Star Bride at Star Awards 2022, as well as winning the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste trophy, it begs the question: How will Chantalle continue to maintain, or surpass, such levels of success in her young career?

"I truly believe that it will still go up. I feel like you have to manifest such things," said Chantalle. "I refuse to believe that this is the best place that I'll be and so, I think with that, the universe might match my kind of energy and give me something even better."

The Unbreakable Bond premieres May 16 on Channel 8 and meWATCH. 

estherlam@asiaone.com