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A New Generation, A New Cast

Hit local TV Series Mata Mata is back with new faces and new stories from a different time in Singapore’s history. We got a sneak peek at an exclusive screening plus lots of behind-the-scenes stories.

Fans form long queues to take pictures with the cast of Mata Mata Season 3

Before it goes on air, we got to watch Season 3 of ‘Mata Mata: A New Generation’ screened’ at a preview on Saturday, 14 November 2015. The session, which was organised by MediaCorp Channel 5, was held at at Shaw Lido Theatres. 

Besides watching the show, we also got to meet the cast. They took photos with the fans and later sat amongst the audience to watch the show on the big screen.

The preview was exciting – there were moments when the entire theatre was filled with tense silence, as well as moments when everyone roared with laughter.

But what really went on behind the scenes? We talked to the cast to learn more about their filming process of the last season in Mata Mata, which took about five months, both in Penang and in Singapore.

Mata Mata Season 3’s cast is mostly new, as it is set in the ’80s, unlike the previous season which featured Singapore a decade earlier.

“The rapport has been great and I get to learn a lot from Desmond and Alaric as well. We will discuss how we want to act before we start to shoot. The experience has been amazing,” said Daren Tan, who plays the son of Seng Hock, called Kenny Lim or Kien, his old character from Season 2.

“I can relate to Kien; he is more cheeky and I was more cheeky when I was young, so I really didn’t have a problem acting as Kien. Seng Hock; he’s always very cool and it’s tiring to be acting cool all the time,” Daren added when he was asked if he preferred one character over the other. 

As for getting to know one another as a cast, they told us they got along famously.

“I was worried that we might not get along but when we all got there we were like a house on fire,” said Oon Shu An, who acts as gangster-turned-policewoman, Patricia Yeo, in Season 3.

During filming, Alaric Tay was regarded as a ‘father figure’ of sorts. As he and fellow actors Desmond Tan and Daren Tan played gangsters, their scenes involved a lot of screaming, shouting and smoking. In order to foster a chemistry between the actors, Alaric, who played the ‘head gangster’ or ‘dai gor’ in Hokkien, would prepare honey water for his ‘gang members’. He stored litres of it in the fridge and encouraged his fellow cast to soothe their dry and sore throats between shoots.

“Best honey water,” Desmond said simply, with a thumbs up.

The cast became so friendly with one another that they would snap a photo of any of their fellow actors napping during production, and post it on social media with the hashtag #stayawakeordie.

‘Mata: The New Generation’ premieres on 7 December. Every cast member said there will be “lots of action”. You can also expect the relationship between the two main characters, played by Cheryl Wee and Daren Tan, to develop romantically.

By Mildred Ang and Becky Soo
Year 2 students, Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media, Singapore Polytechnic