Portraying one-half of a loud-mouthed, abrasive couple opposite veteran comedian Chapman To was an invigorating experience for Hong Kong singer-actress Fiona Sit.
The 30-year-old pixie-faced star, best known for her sweetie-pie girlfriend roles in romantic flicks such as 2 Young (2005) and The Break-Up Club (2010), relished the opportunity to play a different kind of role.
And more importantly, to ham it up big-time in her latest big-screen outing.
In the slapstick comedy Mr and Mrs Gambler, which opens here on Thursday, Sit and rotund funnyman To are Flora and Manfred, a pair of boorish compulsive gamblers who find themselves falling in love with each other after being held captive by loan sharks.
"Acting with Chapman, it's super fun... Hiscomic timing is great," gushed Sit to TheNew Paper over the phone from HongKong, where she is working on her new Cantopop album.
"He's very playful all the time... When we do scenes together, I don't have to worry if I'm going overboard.
"In fact, we're pretty competitive on set. We try our best to outshine each other to emerge the funnier one."
With To around, improvisation naturally becomes the order of the day, added Sit.
"Fifty per cent of what you see on screen is a result of our spontaneity."
Well, just not the gambling bits, she confessed.
One of the hardest parts about her role was the overwhelming amount of knowledge she had to accumulate about mahjong, poker, blackjack and other gambling games, all within a very short time. "Prior to filming, I knew none of them," revealed Sit.
"I seldom gamble, and initially, it was really difficult, especially mahjong, which I knew nothing about.
"The crew had to teach me how to react when I threw out the different types of tiles - like what my facial expressions should be and what degree of happiness I should express."
It remains to be seen whether Sit's on-screen chemistry with To will rival the camaraderie she shares with actor-singer Jaycee Chan, her co-star in 2 Young and The Break-Up Club, and singer-songwriter Khalil Fong, whom she has performed duets with on several occasions.
She shares such good rapport with the two Hong Kong male celebrities that the paparazzi have continually linked her romantically with them over the past few years, despite their constant denials.
"In the past, whenever I read those gossipy news, it'd upset me and I'd cry," admitted Sit.
"But now, I'm too tired to even come out and clarify... I'd rather spend time working on my songs and live performances."