Roz Pho and Carla Dunare­anu Talk About HBO Asia’s Sent

Roz Pho and Carla Dunare­anu, the bub­bly stars of HBO Asia’s first lo­cal com­edy Sent, tell us what it’s re­ally like work­ing on lo­cal pro­duc­tions and why “com­pe­ti­tion is good”.

CLEO (Singapore) - - NEWS -

Roz and Carla are not re­ally the kind of women you’d ex­pect to be cast in “sen­si­ble” roles. At least not af­ter they breeze into our shoot, talk­ing up a storm and giv­ing the cam­era a tonne of en­ergy.

But on Sent, the first HBO Asia se­ries en­tirely shot here, they re­spec­tively play a timid jour­nal­ist and a sen­si­ble wife – quite a con­trast to their ac­tual per­son­al­i­ties. So what was it like work­ing on this HBO project?

How did you both get in­volved with Sent?

Roz Pho (RP): I saw a cast­ing call for it, and be­cause I know the cast­ing di­rec­tor, I asked about it, and she said no. She said it was be­cause they were told to try and not au­di­tion peo­ple from Tan­glin. So then I was, like, “Please, please, please, just tell me what you need and I’ll come in and show you some­thing dif­fer­ent.” Fi­nally, she said OK. So I kind of begged my way into the au­di­tion.

Carla Dunare­anu (CD): I had a call from Alaric [Tay, the di­rec­tor of Sent], and I just freaked out. I was like, “OMG, I’ve seen a lot of his work. I’m a big, big fan.” So I went in the next day, and read for the au­di­tion.

Was it very dif­fer­ent work­ing with HBO com­pared to other lo­cal pro­duc­tion stu­dios?

CD: Oh, ab­so­lutely. Whether they were buy­ing food for ev­ery­one or peo­ple from the art de­part­ment – ev­ery­one just had so much pride in their work, which is some­thing that I think is lack­ing in lo­cal pro­duc­tions, where peo­ple feel their job isn’t as im­por­tant as some­one else’s. So they ei­ther slack or…

RP: ...Or they think the au­di­ence won’t no­tice the dif­fer­ence. Ev­ery­body was re­ally into their jobs on set. Do you re­mem­ber the guy who han­dled all the props? He would be wip­ing all the fin­ger­prints off the paint­ings and we’d be, like, “You can’t see it, it’s in the back­ground.” And he’s like [makes squeak­ing clean­ing sound] un­til the di­rec­tor was, like, “Get out!”

Could Sent take lo­cal pro­duc­tions in a new di­rec­tion?

CD: I think it’s healthy com­pe­ti­tion. When peo­ple see what can be achieved with the re­sources we have here, it’ll in­spire oth­ers to do some­thing of a sim­i­lar stan­dard or bet­ter.

Was there any­thing you felt you learned from this pro­duc­tion?

RP: I think the one thing that’s lack­ing in a lot of lo­cal pro­duc­tions is ad­e­quate time for re­hearsals, and I think this helped us a lot. Also, the chance to get things per­fect. I was work­ing on a pro­duc­tion re­cently where the pro­ducer was, like, “We’re over-run­ning, that’s good enough.” I wanted to do an­other take, but he was, like, “No, mov­ing on.” The di­rec­tor and I were re­ally mad be­cause we felt we were sac­ri­fic­ing qual­ity. For Sent, if it wasn’t funny, Alaric would be, like, “Let’s go over it.” I can’t re­mem­ber what scene it was, but there was one where we got the writer to come in and we worked on that one short scene for like two to three hours just to get it right.

The hu­mour in the whole show seems re­ally re­lat­able. I’m sure we’ve all felt like send­ing an e-mail we shouldn’t.

RP: Yeah. But for my char­ac­ter, Char­lie, Alaric wanted a more sub­dued, nat­u­ral tone. I found that quite hard to do be­cause ev­ery­one’s en­ergy is [raises arm] up there, while I’m just whis­per­ing. So I would be, like, “Alaric, are you sure?” And he would be, like, “Yes, just pull back, pull back.”

CD: It’s hard be­cause you want to join in the fun with ev­ery­one!

So can we ex­pect a sec­ond sea­son?

RP: It was def­i­nitely shot in a way that would make it pos­si­ble. It was a lot of fun, so I hope it hap­pens.

CD: If the first sea­son does well and it gets a very good fol­low­ing, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do a sec­ond sea­son.

It does seem very re­lat­able.

CD: Yeah. There aren’t a lot of shows like that now. RP: And I like how ev­ery­one has their own story. So you have the main guy, Jay Bu­nani, who’s try­ing to redo his life, and [Carla] has her fam­ily scenes, and I have mine with Nikki [Char­lie’s boss]. It’s great – ev­ery­body has some­thing hap­pen­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.