Lo and behold, Tay Ying may be the next rising action star to look out for in the Singapore entertainment industry.
The 27-year-old actress displays her martial arts skills in her portrayal of Lin Xinya, a female bodyguard, in the latest Mediacorp drama Shero.
Speaking to AsiaOne at the press conference last Tuesday (May 30), Tay Ying, who received news that she would be playing the role in September last year, said that she went back to her Taekwondo coach, whom she had trained with since she was nine years old, to practise further. She currently has a third dan black belt in Taekwondo.
She added: "I also have a personal trainer and have some stunt training outside. I have been practising with them for about two years."
To improve her stamina, Tay Ying also increased her training frequency.
She said: "I pumped up my training from about two to three times a week to every other day. I am doing something almost every day; for example, being in the gym [and] doing fight choreography."
"Stamina is important because you are doing not just one fight choreography once, you are doing it multiple times," she added.
While Tay Ying's style of acting is different from that of her father, veteran actor Zheng Geping, she said that he did teach her a thing or two about looking good on screen.
She shared: "Dad taught me how to look sharper and nicer on screen. Because doing the action is one thing, managing your expression and your entire posture is another thing.
"Some angles might look weird, but some angles will look nice. So sometimes it's not just about what we learnt in martial arts. It is a very different technique when we bring it to screen."
Shero is an action-thriller drama about a female bodyguard company with the titular name that was started by Zhang Yinxi (Carrie Wong). When Yinxi goes missing during an assignment, her sister Yinchen (Joanne Peh) joins the company to continue her legacy while working together with Yinxi's secret project partner Yue Ruixiang (Romeo Tan) to find out the truth behind Yinxi's disappearance.
As Yinchen and Ruixiang fall for each other while edging towards the truth, they realise that the mastermind behind Yinxi's disappearance is someone that has been beside them all along.
When speaking about her character Xinya, Tay Ying said that Xinya is a character that is cool on the outside but warm on the inside.
She said: "Xinya is a cold and conservative person, but she is actually very kind-hearted. She has a serious personality because she has a pretty dark past, and her trauma led her to become very closed off. She only [starts] to open her heart up as something happens along the way in the story."
To release negative emotions from playing Xinya, Tay Ying indulged in some Blackpink music at the end of every filming day.
She shared: "I think it helps that I drive to and [from] work, so when I am driving home, I usually take the time to unwind and package everything. I listen to music to come back to reality."
Her go-to song? Blackpink's Tally.
Tay Ying also looks forward to playing more action roles in the future.
She said: "I love watching action, and I think generally everybody loves watching action shows too. If we can produce more [action series] that would be great. I genuinely enjoy doing action scenes. It is a feeling of adrenaline, and also since I was trained from young, I might as well make the most of it."
She added that a lot of work is involved in filming action sequences behind and in front of the cameras, and for actors, the first thing that they have to overcome when filming such scenes is the fear of falling and pain.
Tay Ying explained: "There is bound to be impact and pain when we do action scenes... I have [the] foundation and training, so I am not afraid of falling now because I know how to catch myself."
Speaking about roles that she would want to take on as a challenge in the future, Tay Ying said that she would be interested to play a police officer when the opportunity arises.
She said: "I think the job itself is quite interesting. I want to learn more about the role of a police officer. It's not too much about the character, because in every single role, every character is very unique. There is no one particular character that I want to play, but more of the job scope of the character and what revolves around her."
Shero premieres June 12 and airs on weekdays at 9pm on Channel 8. It will also be available on demand for free on meWATCH from the same day.
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