Catch Them If You Can

Magdalen Ng

TAIWANESE MTV VJ Linda Liao may play the prized catch in Channel 5's new dramma, Chase.

But nothing can be further from the truth, the 24-year-old says of her high school days in Canada, where she grew up.

At recent press conference, she recalls that while filming the scene where her characterr Ellie rejects the school dork played by Thai MTV VJ Uttsada Greg Panichkul, more commonly known as Utt, she told the director:" Can I not do this please? I was in his position in the past."

Utt, too, claims affinity with his geek role. "I was like that from junior high to high school and went after a few girls"

Chase, a collaboration between MediaCorp TV, Singapore-based production house Film Formations and the Media Development Authority (MDA), deals with love, friendship and family ties.

The 13-episode series kicks off next Thursday and sees Liao making her acting debut. It is also the first time that Utt, 31, has been cast in a homegrown dramma.

Asked why the pair was picked, Mr. Lee Chang Yong, managing direcor of Film Formations and the producer for Chase, says MediaCorp, Film Formations and the MDA decided that "exportability of the leads would be part of the criteria".

"As far as English language drama is concered, we don't have many exportable faces," he adds

Utt plays Gabriel, whose unrequited puppy love for Ellie haunts him. When they reunite 10 years later, sparks fly. The drama series also stars homegrown actor Keagan Kang and Karen Tan, who play Gabriel's best friend and mother respectively.

Utt says filming was enjoyable as "the cast and crew were very tight".

"I enjoyed working and shopping with Linda," he adds.

His co-sar had an equally good time.

"I went in knowing that I would make mistakes, so there was no pressure,"she says.

On Utt, she says: "He's more like a good friend o me."

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December 2003 - January 2004