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Dennis Chew shaves head for new drama ‘118’

Actor-deejay Dennis Chew shaved his head on Tuesday (August 5) for his role in the upcoming drama series 118, and says he has “no regrets” about doing it.

SINGAPORE: Actor-deejay Dennis Chew shaved his head on Tuesday (August 5) for his role in the new Channel 8 drama series 118, and told during an imaging session for the drama that he has “no regrets” about doing it.

Chew plays Wang Shun Feng, a character he described as “a simple, kind-hearted guy that is always the first to rush forward to help”, in the upcoming 190-episode drama about the colourful lives of two families living in Tiong Bahru.

“My previous hairstyle was too trendy. It’s all for the role. It was something I had planned to do ever since I read the script. I have no regrets shaving my head. This is actually my favourite hairstyle, and I think it also fits the character very well,” said Chew, pointing out that he had actually shaved his head about two years ago when he travelled to Bhutan.

“I had expected to do a lot of walking and mountain climbing so I shaved my head for that trip. It’s just that nobody really noticed because I was never on television. Now, I will be on television for a whole year (118 will run till next year) with this hairstyle! This is actually the first time I’ll be on television like this!” Chew added with a laugh.

The 40-year-old star, who currently co-hosts radio station Love 97.2FM’s morning programme, went on to reveal that he looked forward to playing Wang because he is very different from the hilarious characters he had played in The Dream Makers and World At Your Feet.

“It’s actually a challenge to play Wang because he is such a simple, innocent, happy-go-lucky man that it is very easy to fall into the trap of portraying him as being simple-minded or silly. I am really worried I’ll do that. It’s a very fine line [between simple and simple-minded], so I’m still figuring out how best to play him.”

Unlike other locally-produced dramas, 118 stands out because each 30-minute episode is shot in sequence and only about two weeks before it is aired.

The drama’s co-director, Wong Foong Hwee, said this allows the production team weave current issues into the storyline on the fly, and “lets the characters in the drama experience the same events the audience experiences”, so that the audience can better identify with the characters as well as “share a stronger connection” with them.

The drama also stars Pan Ling Ling, Liu Ling Ling, Chew Chor Meng, Chen Tian Wen, Xu Bin as well as Koh Ya Hui, and will air later this year on Channel 8.

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