8. Brotherly bond – Todays News
William San and Coby Chong play siblings again in Summer Brothers.
LOCAL actors William San and Coby Chong have become as close as brothers after starring as a pair of siblings who go through thick and thin together in last year’s Forget Me Not.
“I call him Ah Gor (elder brother in Hokkien) nowadays,” said a beaming Chong.
San chipped in: “We don’t hide anything from each other, and we talk about everything.”
Moreover, San, who is four years older than Chong, has taken on the role of big brother. “I scold him (like a brother) all the time! Ah, I just have to settle with taking care of him for the rest of my life!” he quipped, sighing dramatically.
It’s a chemistry that translated well on-screen. San’s spark-filled interactions with Chong, who plays his mentally challenged little brother in Forget Me Not, was very moving and helped make the drama series a hit.
One can expect the same kind of chemistry again in the new drama Summer Brothers.
However, far from being a protective big brother, San is a dispirited ex-badminton star who despises his mentally disabled younger brother Ah Di (Chong). Being apart for 20 years after their parents divorced, their paths cross when their mother (played by Remon Lim) finds out that she is dying from cancer and is determined to bring the brothers together.
Summer Brothers also features the bubbly Lim Jing Miao as Xiao Mei, a kind and naïve girl whom Ah Di befriends in the series.
“We didn’t have to warm up or try to get to know each other. It was a lot of fun and we’re really passionate about this drama series. No matter how tired I am, the sight of the gang lifts my spirits instantly. We would laugh and have fun, and time would just fly by,” said San.
Chong, 32, is happy to be given the opportunity to play the adorable Ah Di again. He is not at all worried that he would be typecast.
“Look at Mr Bean, nobody cares whether or not he’s been typecast. I’m grateful to have landed such a memorable role,” he said.
In the process of reconciling with his brother, Ah Di experiences many ups and downs that shake his simple and peaceful world. The baby-faced actor had referred to award-winning performances by Hollywood stars such as Sean Penn in I Am Sam and Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?.
“Ah Di has the mental capacity of an eight-year-old. So, I also studied children’s facial expressions and tried to incorporate them into my character,” he revealed.
For San, the challenge was in portraying a highly skilled badminton player because he doesn’t play badminton in real life.
“Former top women’s singles player, Wong Mew Choo, who was the consultant for the series, asked me: ‘How long have you not been playing badminton?’ and I replied, ‘30 years’,” recalled the 36-year-old star.
“As you can imagine, it’s impossible for me to be as good as the professional players after only a few lessons. So, I did some of the badminton scenes, while others are taken care of by stunt doubles. It helped save a lot of time.”
Thanks to his role, the actor is rediscovering the beauty of the sports.
“Apart from the basic skills, I’ve come to realise that I have many friends who play badminton. I would love to play it when I’m free since I have a racket now (laughs)!”
Summer Brothers is aired Mondays to Thursdays at 9.30pm. A friendly tournament featuring the cast, and which is open to the public, will be held on July 29 at USJ 23, Subang Jaya, Selangor. To find out more about upcoming events on the show, log on tontv7.com.my and tonton.com.my, or follow the Ntv7 Facebook and Twitter.
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