Fam­ily mat­ters

The in­trigu­ing Mys­tiqueVal­ley draws Jess Teong home.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ENVIRONMENT - By SETO KIT YAN

The in­trigu­ing Mys­tique Val­ley draws Jess Teong home.

AS a jew­eller, Pe­nang-born Jess Teong has lived in dif­fer­ent place for the past four years. She was in Bangkok for two years be­fore mov­ing to Hong Kong, China, Canada, Viet­nam, Singapore and Ger­many.

Teong is now back in Malaysia as she was drawn to the in­trigu­ing script of Mys­tique Val­ley. In the Man­darin TV se­ries, Teong plays a woman who re­turns home from Aus­tralia, where she had been based for more than 20 years, to lend sup­port to her fam­ily.

The 30-episode fam­ily drama is pro­duced by lo­cal pro­duc­tion house Dou­ble Vi­sion, which had been court­ing Teong for the past few years but she was pre­oc­cu­pied with her gem­stone busi­ness.

She pre­ferred a more chal­leng­ing role and her char­ac­ter Ho Chan Qing in Mys­tique Val­ley fit the bill.

“She’s a very tough lady and is quite stub­born as well. She sticks to her prin­ci­ples, so peo­ple might find her an­noy­ing. She has only one goal and that is to save her fam­ily from some greedy peo­ple who are eye­ing the fam­ily wealth.”

Teong also added depth to her char­ac­ter by mak­ing her be­have dif­fer­ently to­wards dif­fer­ent peo­ple. “She quar­rels a lot with her mother. But to her brother and niece she’s a pleas­ant woman. She is feared by many when it comes to work or dis­agree­able is­sues.

“It’s a chal­leng­ing role for me be­cause in the past two dra­mas I played a mother. Though Chan Qing is mar­ried, she is child­less. She’s a fashion icon with a stun­ning im­age.”

Teong was also glad to be given a free hand to flesh out her char­ac­ter.

“My char­ac­ter changes her hair­styles and make-up, depend­ing on the oc­ca­sion.”

Shoot­ing on lo­ca­tion in Ba­hau (in Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan), Telok Gong (Klang, Se­lan­gor) and Gua Mu­sang, Ke­lan­tan, also made it very spe­cial for her.

“We did not shoot in the stu­dio at all. Many scenes were filmed in the jun­gle and some re­mote places. I even had the chance to han­dle a ri­fle!” said Teong in an in­ter­view in Petaling Jaya, Se­lan­gor, last month.

Teong, 45, a sin­gle mother of two boys aged 13 and 10, started off as a singer and model some 20 years ago. Along the way she be­came a jew­ellery en­tre­pre­neur.

Jok­ingly, she men­tioned a song in her first Man­darin al­bum ti­tled A Woman Can Be Beau­ti­ful Till 50. “I will be that for sure in five years!”

Teong’s pre­vi­ous TV dra­mas – Man Of The House (2007) and this

The cast of the Man­darin TV se­ries year’s 180-episode Your Hand In Mine that was aired on Astro AEC – were pro­duced by Singapore’s Me­di­a­Corp.

“In the first drama, I played a classy woman, the sec­ond a sad one, and now a tough one. Next, I want to play a bad woman!”

The cast

> Ho Zhong Xiong, 48 (played by Chen Puie Kong): As the only son in the fam­ily, Zhong Xiong has to en­sure the continuity of the fam­ily name. How­ever, he falls for bar singer Ke Qiu and mar­ries her against his mother’s wishes.

> Madam Ho/Zhang Jin Yan, 70 (Su­san Leong): Ma­tri­arch of the fam­ily who is pow­er­ful and high­lyre­spected. She runs the fam­ily busi­ness af­ter her hus­band’s demise.

> Chris Ho Chan Qing, 50 (Jess Teong): The elder sis­ter of Zhong Xiong is as stub­born and hot­tem­pered as her mother. Hav­ing eloped with her lover at 20, she re­turns home to at­tend her brother’s wed­ding and re­alises that her fam­ily needs her.

> Aun­tie Tao/Li Yu Tao, 68 (Ng Kim Ying): Madam Ho’s cousin who is also the Ho fam­ily house­keeper. She cov­ets the fam­ily’s for­tune and plots to pair her daugh­ter Shu Mei with Zhong Xiong.

> Lin Ke Qiu, 40 (Alice Yap): A bar singer who mar­ries Zhong Xiong when she be­comes preg­nant. Ke Qiu un­know­ingly gets in the way of Aun­tie Tao and falls vic­tim to her evil plot to take over the Ho fam­ily’s wealth.

> Xu Shu Mei, 36 (Ae­nie Wong): Aun­tie Tao’s gen­tle and sen­si­ble daugh­ter who lives at the Ho fam­ily res­i­dence with her mother. En­am­oured with her cousin Zhong Xiong since young, she hopes to marry him one day.

> Ho Qi Qi, 20 (Hishiko Woo): A wil­ful girl raised by Zhong Xiong as his daugh­ter, she falls for poor boy Tie Ming. But when she finds out that she is ac­tu­ally Aun­tie Tao’s grand­daugh­ter and Zhong Xiong is not her real fa­ther, she takes steps to pro­tect her in­ter­ests.

> Tie Ming, 25 (Elvis Chin): Qi Qi’s warm-hearted and pas­sion­ate boyfriend who was brought up in a poor fam­ily. While help­ing Qi Qi es­tab­lish her place in the Ho fam­ily, he makes a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. n Mys­tiqueVal­ley airs on Ntv7 at 10pm from Mon­day to Thurs­day start­ing to­day.

Tough cookie: Jess Teong gets to use a ri­fle in the TV se­ries.

All in the fam­ily:

Mys­tiqueVal­ley.

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