TV drama The Menu questions business of news

Hong Kong actress Noel Leung shares with Imagine TV Network about the role she plays in the new television drama The Menu.

Words by Imagine TV Network

In The Menu, Noel Leung plays Elma Wang, a domineering character who heads the newspaper department. In the television drama, three journalists -- each with different beliefs and standards of journalistic integrity -- contend with each other as they scramble to report on the news.

Image credit: cHK

Everything her character does, Leung remarks, is with the end goal in mind. "She does not care about the means [used], so long as she fulfils the objective she set out to achieve."

To drive sales of her newspaper, she uses the headlines to entice readers and puts a sensational spin on the stories, giving prominence to those that depict violence. It is a challenging role, Leung admits, but adds that she took it on because it was different from the other roles she had in the past.

Image credit: cHK

Before filming began, she spent time at home reading the scripts and becoming familiar with the scenes so that she can focus on giving a realistic portrayal on set. Even though the scriptwriters might have been inspired to craft certain characters in the drama, she remarks that she does not want to emulate her character on anyone.

Memorising her lines beforehand also helped her to focus on her acting but the screaming and shouting were difficult scenes to film. "After a day of filming, I felt extremely tired and my voice was almost gone," she says. "The character and my own personality are actually world's apart."

While she sees herself as being more gentle and kind-hearted, she says Wang is both fierce and domineering. "In every scene, she is scolding someone," she adds. By the end of filming a few months later, she says she felt entirely drained.

Image credit: cHK

The television series was filmed on one camera and there was immaculate attention to detail. "They took time to film each scene and to capture each line, dialogue, facial expression. In that respect, she says the television drama was filmed like how a movie would be filmed.

"There is much to look forward to," she comments. She has high expectations of the drama series and says the characters are intriguing. Though she has not seen any edited snippets of her performance, she says she will follow the drama series when it airs, watching each episode for the first time with the viewers.
The Menu premieres first and exclusively on cHK (SingTel TV Channel 510) from 10 March 2015.



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