Real-life cops on C.L.I.F: Filming made them nervous
Channel 8's police drama C.L.I.F. is now into its fourth season. ELAINE LEE (firstname.lastname@example.org) speaks to real-life cops acting on the show about their most memorable filming experiences.
Having acted in the same show as veteran actor Li Nanxing in Heroes in Black when he was just 11 years old, Staff Sergeant Benjamin Cheah, 26, is back on set with him in C.L.I.F. 4.
C.L.I.F. stands for Courage, Loyalty, Integrity and Fairness and is airing on Channel 8 on weekdays at 9pm.
When The New Paper spoke to Staff Sgt Cheah over the phone, the community policing officer said he was impressed with Li, 51, for being so patient with him.
Staff Sgt Cheah, who plays Xie Zhao Quan, an investigation officer (IO) from Jurong Division, said: "I had to film this hospital scene with Rui En and Li Nanxing, but I was super nervous and got my lines wrong a few times.
"Instead of getting annoyed, Li Nanxing actually came over and taught me what to say and how to act."
The staff sergeant has also given advice to actors like Elvin Ng.
Staff Sgt Cheah said: "He was acting as a Community Policing Officer and I was one myself. So I gave him some information on cycling and approaching civilians."
When Staff Sgt Cheah knew he was going to be acting as an IO, he did his research.
"I was not an IO by nature. So as soon as I got the role, I called up my IO friends to understand this role better," he said.
He had his fair share of challenges during filming.
"I was stunned when the director decided to add my lines on-set," he said. "From a one-liner to five lines. It was really tough to memorise on the spot."
On acting, Staff Sgt Cheah said it was a valuable and eye-opening experience.
He said: "It is the closest thing to real policing work in Singapore that you can see on a television drama."
He found acting 'terrifying'
Superintendent Chan Hee Keong, plays the Director of the Commercial Affairs Department in the latest season. TNP PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
The initial plan was for him to just provide a story idea to executive producer Chia Mien Yang, for C.L.I.F. 1.
But instead, Superintendent (Supt) Chan Hee Keong, 42, got roped in to act as the deputy commander of the Police Coast Guard.
The commanding officer of Bedok North Neighbourhood Police Centre said: "C.L.I.F. 1 was terrifying.
"The first time I was supposed to act, I thought I would be fine. But instead, I became terrified because I realised the cameras were staring right at me."
After becoming more familiar with the crew and the camera, filming became less daunting, he said.
He then became a seasoned cameo, starring as the director of the Criminal Investigation Department in C.L.I.F. 2 and 3, and finally, as director of the Commercial Affairs Department in the latest season.
"It was overall an enriching experience with the crew," he said. "Not only did I get to learn from them on set, I got to share the real police experience and to clarify certain myths with them as well."
When asked if his children, Aden, eight, and Amos, 11, watch the show, the father of two said: "Yeah, they are excited whenever I am on TV, they are my greatest fans."
Supt Chan said he felt very happy when he finished filming his scenes.
He said: "I was glad to have played a part in this production."