Channel 8's latest drama, The Peculiar Pawnbroker, is now airing on Channel 8, having premiered on 23 November. It's also streaming on MeWatch.
Li Nanxing stars as the main character Huo Chang, the titular pawnbroker, in his comeback to Mediacorp since 2017's My Teacher Is A Thug. He had been busy filming in China for last year's iQiyi drama, Everyone Wants to Meet You, which was produced by his friend Vicki Zhao, in which he acted opposite Zhang Zhehan.
The Peculiar Pawnbroker, which spans 20 episodes, also stars Carrie Wong, Romeo Tan, Pan Ling Ling, Brandon Wong, Richard Low, Aileen Tan and Zhai Si Ming.
In the series, which sheds light on the pawn shop industry, a modern pawnbroker, Ke Yan, loses a bet to the owner of a traditional pawn shop, Huo Chang, and has to work for him. They develop a friendship as they debate over the value of pawn items. Ke Yan develops a liking for Huo Chang's daughter Yi Cheng, but their relationship meets challenges as his father has feuds with Huo Chang.
So why is Nanxing's character a "peculiar pawnbroker"? Apparently he's not very interested in making profits from items that people pawn, and would rather hold on to things that are important to customers instead of selling them. He's also a good judge of people's hearts, appraising his clients like he appraises pawned goods.
Speaking at a virtual press conference ahead of the premiere of The Peculiar Pawnbroker, Nanxing said, "My character is a sentimental person who loves to help people while he runs an old pawn shop, taking care of pledged items even to the extent of waiting for some customers' descendants to redeem them."
It was Carrie Wong's first time acting with Nanxing, playing his daughter in the show, Yi Cheng. Asked whether she was nervous to work with the veteran actor, Carrie said, "Once I got to know him better, I wasn't worried any more, because he's very easygoing and I get along with him very well. He has no airs at all for such a big star! We can discuss and talk about anything."
Romeo, who played Ke Yan, said that his chemistry with Carrie was good, since he had already worked with her twice, both having played romantic couples in Mediacorp dramas Dream Coder and A World Of Difference.
"Although it's been a few years since we acted together, it still felt the same when we worked together this time," said Romeo. "Carrie is easy to talk to and very frank, and it's easy for me to communicate with her. We've grown and matured more since then and when we discuss our scenes now, we go into more depth than before, when it was more touch-and-go."
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