Malaysian actress Tong Bing Yu regrets taking on a role that required her to go nude for a sex scene in a Chinese drama series
In the series The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang, which is set in Singapore, Tong portrays a fox spirit — also known as 'huli jing'. The modern interpretation of the term describes a woman who seduces married or romantically involved men.
Although she was aware that the script requires nude scenes for her role, the 38-year-old actress — who is also known to Singaporean fans as Chris Yong — did not expect the director would ask her to expose her bare back, reported China Press.
According to her, Chinese drama series typically are not so "exhaustive", adding that she did not expect the director wanted the scene to be very explicit.
"I have never (played) in an erotic drama series in my acting career, and I have never performed naked for a show!" she said.
"The passionate scene required by the director is very erotic. He wanted us to (do it) from the living room to the bathroom, and then back to the bed," Tong said
She revealed that the director asked her to wear only a silicone bra to cover her chest, but she confessed that she could not face her fellow actor Qi Yuwu — a Chinese actor based in Singapore — wearing just that.
"I insisted on putting a towel by clinching it with my armpits. (I) didn't want to let it go," she recounted.
"The director was very dissatisfied. The director tried to pull down the bed sheets and bath towels that surrounded my body. What he wanted was my entire back to be naked until my bottom."
Singapore Chinese daily Zaobao reported that although some staff members were removed from the set, there were still 20 crew members there, all of whom were men, she said.
She then thanked Qi, who is also her long-time friend, for constantly helping her to cover her body while he used sheets and towels to cover his lower body.
The former Mediacorp actress said the director did not force her to shoot the scene fully nude in the end.
Tong did not tell her husband about the explicit scene on the day of the shoot and she hopes that none of her family members will watch the series
Since her husband is her agent, she joked that her husband cannot blame her for the scene as he was the one who gave her the role.
However, her husband does not watch Chinese drama series and does not know how to read Chinese. Thus, she can only hope her husband, as well as her family, will not stumble upon her work.
"I don't think I can accept their reaction. It would be embarrassing!" she lamented.
In retrospect, if she was given such a role in the future, she promised not to have a 'fluke mentality' (be naive). She will ask the directors about the extent of nudity in the scene before accepting the role.
She shared that even after the shoot, she has a lingering fear.
"Because I didn't feel relaxed. At that time, I made almost a dozen kiss scenes. Some of the scenes were more difficult to shoot than a scene in an action film," she shared, reported Singapore's Channel 8.
"I must also accommodate the camera without accidentally exposing my body. I can only say that this is an unforgettable experience in my life."
According to Yahoo Life, The Ferryman: Legends Of Nanyang is the first Southeast Asian original series airing on iQiyi, a Chinese streaming platform owned by China's Google-equivalent Baidu.
The horror-fantasy series features ghosts and spirits from Asian folklore and myths. Many of the scenes were filmed at Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Johor Bahru, Johor and other parts of Malaysia, but the story is set in Singapore.