The intriguing MystiqueValley draws Jess Teong home.
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!”
> 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: