- POSTED: 25 Sep 2013 18:22
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Singapore actress Julie Tan talks about playing Su Xiao Xiao, a reformed delinquent who dreams of being a hairstylist in “Gonna Make It”, and reveals that she was an “Ang Moh Lian” in her younger days.
SINGAPORE: She has played sweet young things in numerous television shows since she joined showbiz.
And Singapore actress Julie Tan is a little sick of playing nice girls.
She finally got the chance to step into the shoes of a very different sort of character in the upcoming drama “Gonna Make It”.
Tan plays Su Xiao Xiao, a young delinquent from a troubled family who gets thrown into prison for smashing a bottle over a gangster’s head in the show.
Upon her release, Su vows to chase her dream of becoming a hairstylist.
She later studies under Liu Ah Man (Bryan Wong), a top hairstylist who charges over a thousand dollars per session at his salon.
Along the way, Su falls for the gentlemanly Oscar Yang (Xu Bin), the scion of a hair salon empire.
Yet, her aggressive old self continues to surface, whenever she comes into contact with the young gangster Li Feilong (Edwin Goh) who is infatuated with her.
“It’s a breakout role. It’s not the typical very demure and sweet role, unlike my previous few roles,” said Tan excitedly.
She added that she loved how her character grapples with her “Inner Lian” as she struggles to break free from her past.
“I get to explore, I get to show a variety of expressions, I get to show a different side of me and I am very happy,” said Tan.
From "Ang Moh Lian" to actress
Playing Su was, in some ways, a little bit like playing a younger version of herself.
The actress revealed that she was actually “very rebellious” like Su when she was a student.
Tan described herself as being an “Ang Moh Lian” (a sort of English-speaking female delinquent), recounting how she once ignored all the rules and just sunbathed in school with her friends, instead of going to class.
She and her friends would also stand threateningly outside the classroom of anyone who crosses her classmates.
But that is all in the past now.
Tan expressed that she, like her character Su, has matured over the years and is now focused on developing her acting career.
The young actress revealed that she pulled out all the stops to prepare for her role in “Gonna Make It”.
Unleashing her "Inner Lian"
After doing a lot of research, Tan managed to find the best way to sit, walk and even eat to look convincing as the strong-willed, slightly unrefined Su.
She was perhaps a little too successful.
“The way I sit is all slouchy. The way I look at other people is also different.
“My mum, she couldn’t take it because it was so different from my usual self,” said Tan, bursting into laughter, adding that she also often sat in an unladylike manner.
“During that period, my friends would go ‘Can you sit properly?’, but I’d still sit with my legs open!”
Apart for that, Tan also took months of classes to learn basic hairstylist skills in order to look the part.
“The producer and the staff all volunteered to be our guinea pigs.
“I even helped our cameraman cut his hair!” said Tan enthusiastically.
However, she insists that she is no expert with the scissors, and was just happy no ears were harmed during the production of the show.
"Gonna Make It" airs 9pm every weeknight from September 30.