Breakout: It’s a madhouse

Breakout: It’s a madhouse

MediaCorp is back with their biggest TV blockbuster of the year. Breakout stars Dai Yang Tian, Elvin Ng, Jeanette Aw, Christopher Lee, Guo Liang, Zhou Ying in a convoluted tale filled with love, hate, drama and the whole she-bang.

The 25-episode show is a first for many of the young stars – Zhou Ying takes on her first lead role while Dai Yang Tian and Jeanette Aw break out of their goody-two-shoes image to star as villains for the first time.

Artistes like Pan LingLing, Zheng Ge Ping, Darren Lim, Lin Meijiao, Belinda Lee and Y.E.S. 93.3FM DJ, Lim Pei Fen, whom we haven’t seen for awhile, will also return to our screens on Dec 6.

1. Synopsis
2. The Characters

  • Tang Ying (Zhou Ying)
  • Zou Jie Ming (Elvin Ng)
  • Yang Zhen Feng (Dai Yang Tian)
  • Yang Nian Qing / Ye Zi Qing (Jeanette Aw)
  • Situ Dong Cheng (Christopher Lee)
  • Yang Tian Wei (Guo Liang)

Synopsis: The story begins with Tang Ying (Zhou Ying) who is a 12 year old trapped in the body of a 25 year old. A victim of a tragic car accident, she wakes from a 13 year coma to find herself the lone survivor and her family dead. A phone call prior to the accident leads her to suspect the death of her family is a result of murder. In her journey to discover the truth, she must face the cruel and ruthless Yang Tian Wei (Guo Liang), and his children, Yang Zhen Feng (Dai Yang Tian) and Yang Nian Qing (Jeanette Aw).

UrbanWire met with the celebrities, who revealed juicy details about their characters and the show in a private media conference held at Four Seasons Hotel.

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Here’s a lowdown on the main characters:

1. Tang Ying (Zhou Ying)

Having to grow up 13 years faster on top of dealing with the cruel reality of her family’s death means lots of crying scenes for Zhou Ying.

“I have to cry everyday so when I go home, my head hurts,” laughed Zhou Ying. How does she pull it off, though? To prepare for the scene, the hardworking actress goes home every night to cultivate her feelings by thinking about sad things.

“When I think back about how I did it, I really can’t remember either! But every crying scene in the show, it’s real emotion and tears.”

There’s even a twist in the show where she falls in love with Yang Zhen Feng only to discover he is her enemy’s son. You will have to watch the show for the juicy details!

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2. Zou Jie Ming (Elvin Ng)

Zou Jie Ming is Tang Ying’s best friend and companion in the show. Despite being fond of Tang Ying, he cannot express his feelings for her but remains fiercely protective and loyal towards her.

To portray this role realistically, Elvin did his homework by watching movies like Rain Man, and Ocean Heaven, reading autism-related books, and visiting the Genesis School for Special Education to observe the children.

“I think to live in your own world, it’s also a very blissful existence.”

“…to other people, it looks like [Jie Ming]’s just sleepwalking through life, but when you think about it, what he perceives is different from normal people. Unlike the other characters, Zou Jie Ming isn’t caught up with the notion of revenge, so who is it that can see a clearer picture?” Elvin thoughtfully said.

Zou Jie Ming is also the only person that cannot be influenced by Ya Li Na (Belinda Lee), a witch capable of hypnotizing the characters to commit heinous crimes.

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3. Yang Zhen Feng (Dai Yang Tian)

Dai Yang Tian plays a villain for the first time and doesn’t do very badly in the show.

“I gave him my first screen kiss… and then he went on to film a passionate love scene with Belinda Lee later in the afternoon!”, Zhou Ying revealed to loud laughs from her co-stars.

He plays a sibling to Yang Nian Qing, and the two of them assist their father in his evil plans, though Dai Yang Tian begged to differ.

Getting a little more serious, the tall actor said, “I don’t think my character is bad at all actually… Yang Zhen Feng doesn’t have many friends. His loved ones died very early so it’s because of his family really – I think his starting point [for the things he does] is love. So anything that stands in the way of love – he will exterminate – It’s very innocent, though in a way that’s different from Elvin.”

“I believe everyone will know why Zhen Feng does the things he does when you watch the show,” he added cryptically.

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4. Yang Nian Qing / Ye Zi Qing (Jeanette Aw)

Part of the show will have Jeanette Aw take on a dual role as mother and daughter, Ye Zi Qing and Yang Nian Qing – or is it 5 new roles?

Jeanette’s character suffers from a split personality in Breakout due to the trauma she suffers from, having lost her mum at a young age.

Growing up in an unfavorable family environment, “she develops violent tendencies… though her split characters actually helped [Nian Qing] get through certain situations [in the show]”, explained Jeanette.

The cast praised Jeanette, who previously acted as the meek or oppressed damsel-in-distress for shows like Holland V and The Little Nyonya. She had to take note of her body language and speaking tone for her role this time around.

Said Guo Liang, “Acting with Jeanette on the show is a huge challenge we face everyday because when we go on set, we never know what to expect. She can say “I love you, Daddy,” but… is it a little girl, a demon, some insane person [saying it?]– you don’t know!”

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5. Situ Dong Cheng (Christopher Lee)

Situ Dong Cheng is a down-and-out former lawyer who was betrayed by both his wife, Fan Mei Qi (Lim Pei Fen), and his best friend, Wang Lian Zhou (Darren Lim). Like Tang Ying, he loses everything he treasured in life though a romantic plotline between him and Jeanette’s character eventually develops in the show.

“I think for this character… it isn’t tough because of the emotions but because the people I meet are really very strange. I must define this clearly. Beside me, there are crazy people, the murderers, autistic kids – or even amnesiacs. I’m the most normal person in this show!” the actor declared.

There’s even a slapping scene between Christopher and Pei Fen.

“I heard when she bumped into Fann (his wife), she said sorry from the main door all the way to the 933 studio!” he laughed.

Pei Fen playfully rebutted, “Oh no, I didn’t tell her about the slap! I only apologized to her for hugging you.”

“I get implicated with the Yang family in the show because of [her and] my scheming buddy,” said Christopher.

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6. Yang Tian Wei (Guo Liang)

This character is one to watch out for. Yang Tian Wei is, in fact, the whole reason for Breakout, and is based on a real-life person as well as the source of inspiration behind the show for story planner, Mr Ang Eng Tee,

Guo Liang even calls his character “a tragedy within a tragedy” and a ruthless character that the audience will hate when they watch the show. After all, he is the head of the Yang family and father to the evil siblings on the show.

“All I can say is… If you meet a person like my character, then you are really unlucky!”

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Catch Breakout from Monday to Friday on MediaCorp Channel 8.

Jeremy Lo takes all photos from Klix Photography, and drama stills are courtesy of MediaCorp.


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