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Jesseca Liu gives in to her urges

March 23, 2011

SINGAPORE: Malaysian-born Singapore actress Jesseca Liu led an idyllic life in Malaysia when she took a break from acting last year, learning the ropes and managing her family’s spa business there.

But she couldn’t escape the fact that she still loved acting.

“Acting is a bit of an addiction,” said Liu during the press lunch for her new show, Channel U’s “Secrets for Sale”.

So when the chance to play Jia Qi – a tough-as-nails policewoman-turned private detective searching for the truth behind her brother-in-law’s mysterious disappearance – in the currently airing Channel U drama “Secrets for Sale” came along, she pounced on it.

“If you don’t act for a long time, and you watch television, you will start thinking how you would play the characters you see on television and start to have this strong urge to act,” she explained and in the end, she gave in to her urges.

“Right from the start, my boss told me I and Christopher Lee’s character featured extremely heavily throughout the show and were the two key characters that linked the various story arcs together. It is a big challenge.

“He said if I turned in a weak performance, people might stop watching after the first episode and it all fell on our (she and Lee) shoulders.”

“He really said that!” the former Caldecott Princess said, throwing her hands in the air as she recalled the pressure she felt when she took on the part.

But it was precisely this challenge and the show’s intricate storyline that made Liu head back to Singapore to work on it, though getting to work with showbiz veteran Christopher Lee on the show was also a big plus.

Risqué poster

Liu said Lee, who plays Ren Yi, a flirtatious photographer that teams up with Liu’s Jia Qi to earn some money and pay off his debts, was a great co-star.

He let her do whatever she needed to do to flesh out her character, even if he had to suffer for her to do so.

“My character is quite abusive towards him. In the show, I slap him, twist his arms, and hit him. But he just told me to go for it and not hold back when we did the scenes.

“It actually felt awkward because I haven’t worked with him for a long time and the script called for me to force his head down onto a car’s windshield in our very first scene together,” said Liu sheepishly.

Was it as awkward as the photo shoot for the drama’s promotional poster?

The poster showed Lee and Liu looking as though they were caught engaging in some hanky panky in a dingy back-alley.

“I found that really funny and surprising.

“When we shot the poster we were just laughing all the way!” she said, pointing out that the poster also contained a smaller image that showed the pair to be actually studying a stack of photographs.

It was designed to reflect the theme of the show that things are not always what they seem.

“We did more awkward things in the show so the shoot for that poster was nothing,” said Liu nonchalantly, sweeping her cascade of shoulder-length hair from her face.

Even more awkward?

“You’d have to watch the whole show to find out!” said Liu with a laugh.

“Secrets for Sale” airs every weeknight, 10pm on Channel U. Past episodes are available on’s Catch-up TV service.

source : CNA

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