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Darishini Thiyagarajan
Friday, Sep 5, 2014

Showbiz

George Young in good graces

The New Paper | Darishini Thiyagarajan | Friday, Sep 5, 2014

HBO Asia will be releasing its third original production, Grace, this year. The four-part horror mini-series centres on a family man with a dark secret that threatens the lives of his family. Featuring a cast of Asian actors such as Singapore-based British actor-host George Young and Constance Song, Chinese-American Russell Wong, and Los Angeles-based Singaporean Pamelyn Chee, Grace was filmed almost entirely in Singapore. The series will premiere on HBO on Oct 17.

What is different about the role you play in grace, compared with your previous roles ?

This show is more of an ensemble piece. It has more family drama. It would be the first time I'm in a role where I'm a family man. My character is married to the eldest daughter in the Chan family.

It was all about the timing actually, because at this point in my life, I'm thinking that maybe I want to settle down with a family myself - and this role was dabbling into it.

Although the outcome in this series might differ from what my real life might turn out to be, it was a great combination of the timing and the role itself.

How did you prepare for this role ? 

It was really just bringing in experiences in terms of my long-term relationships.

But for the part about living with an external family, like with the in-laws, it was something I couldn't prepare myself for.

I went in without much preparation, because you are not prepared for the twists and turns that would happen in the show.

It's something unexpected, so you let that happen to yourself - which is why in terms of preparations, it was all just real-life experiences.

What did you learn from your cast members in grace ?

I learnt a lot from everyone. All of them have such talent.

I mean, we have Russell Wong here, who is a legend - he hates it when I tell people, I'm sure.

But he's someone I have always looked up to because he's of a similar mix to me, and he made it in Hollywood, but he still comes over to do stuff in Asia.

When it was time for both of us to get into the ring, to actually do a scene together, I learnt from him whenever I could.

We also have new people coming in, like Jean Toh, who plays my wife in the show. She has done a fantastic performance.

It's really great when we have someone like that who is of a certain level, and we could work together and be absolutely comfortable with each other in the scenes, making it very real.

Let's talk about the ALS ice bucket challenge you did last month. Did you have an idea of who you wanted to tag in the video ?

(He had tagged Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, among others.)

It was the ice talking for sure, but I had an idea about the people I wanted to tag.

There was Rebecca Lim, but a couple of people had already tagged her, so I had a space open for someone.

It made sense to tag someone who was at the top, and that was all that was in my mind at that time when tagging people for the challenge.

Do you think challenges like these help raise awareness for charitable organisations ? 

It's a good way to use social media. If you have got any sort of following, that is what you should use it for.

I mean, yeah, we can take pictures of food for social media - I'm guilty of doing it.

But why not use it for a good cause?

darit@sph.com.sg

This article was published on Sept 3 in The New Paper.

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