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An executive producer of Channel 8 drama, Reach for the Skies《不平凡的平凡》has praised veteran actresses Hong Huifang and Pan Ling Ling’s professionalism for working on the same set just a day after their spat went public on Sunday (July 22).
The feud came to light after a WhatsApp message sent by Hong alleging that Pan had bullied her and her family, was leaked to the press, reports Lianhe Wanbao.
In her message, Hong alleged that Pan had said hurtful things to her daughter, Tay Ying, about her past relationships, purported an unverified romance between her son, Calvert Tay, and actress Julie Tan, and even told Calvert to get vaccinations against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Pan has since apologised to Julie Tan and her family after Julie’s mother, Doris Khaw threatened legal action against Pan for casting aspersions.
Executive producer, Leong Lye Lin also revealed that there was a scene involving just Hong and Pan, where Hong’s character would tell Pan’s character about her tragic past, causing the latter to sympathise with her.
In the scene, Hong’s character hoped that Pan’s character would help to put in a good word for her in front of her on-screen daughter, portrayed by Kym Ng, and resolved the differences between the two.
At the same time, she also hoped to seek forgiveness for offending Pan’s boyfriend, played by Bryan Wong, and his on-screen father, played by Chen Shucheng.
Although shooting the scene took only 45 minutes, it could not have been easy for the two considering their feud in their personal lives, said the producer.
“The two are professional actresses. Moreover, those are private matters totally unrelated to work. They managed to put aside their personal differences and complete their tasks very respectfully. They never created any problems for the team.”
Asked if the two were awkward during the filming, Leong said:
“The two probably did not talk with each other much after the director shouted “cut”. Usually, they would be chatting. However, there were no discernible displays of animosity.”
Leong added that the two did not request for an alteration of the filming schedule or a change to their scripts:
“That’s why I say they are very professional. They did not give any problems to the team.”
When reporters asked if the Leong would change the script because of the feud, she revealed:
“There is no need to. I feel that they are able to separate their work and personal lives, and are able to perform professionally.”
She said that the interactions between Hong and Pan’s on-screen personas were limited, adding:
“The scene on Monday was the last scene that only featured the two of them. Hong’s character isn’t a regular cast, and will pass away from cancer in later episodes, so she doesn’t have many appearances left.
“Moreover, most of her scenes involve Kym and Shucheng.”
Reporters later spoke to Pan about the scene and she replied:
“Putting aside our personal matters, it is our responsibility to get into the characters and portray them realistically.”
Hong did not reply to the reporters’ queries.
Another cast member, actor Brandon Wong , who plays Pan’s suitor in the show, admitted that he did not know much about the spat between Hong and Pan.
“We are ultimately outsiders in this situation, and I never participated in the entire saga. Neither did I receive Hong’s WhatsApp message, so I cannot comment further.
“Only the two of them know the details, and only they themselves can resolve their differences.”
He recalled that he last acted in a scene with Pan last Tuesday:
“During this time working with the two of them, I did not feel that anything was amiss. My character does not interact much with Huifang’s character, but when I worked with Ling Ling last Tuesday, she seemed fine.
“Nothing was out of place.”