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Aussie finds ‘Serangoon Road’ role a unique history lesson

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DON HANY, Pamelyn Chee and Beatrice Chien in “Serangoon Road”

Australian actor Don Hany found starring in HBO’s “Serangoon Road” a unique history lesson, one that made his mostly Asian costars’ traits rub off on him.

“Without a doubt… I noticed particularly Asian politeness, or patience towards work… I really enjoyed letting Asian sensibilities affect me,” Hany said during a teleconference with journalists from the region.

The actor, 37, previously appeared in Australian shows “White Collar Blue,” “Offspring,” and “East West 101.”  He plays ex-soldier Sam Callaghan in “Serangoon Road,” a coproduction between HBO Asia and ABC TV. Set in 1960s Singapore, the 10-part series brings Sam to various historical locations, including the enigmatic Chinatown district.

“The character really only felt at home in Chinatown,” he said. “He’s a guy on the run, from himself and from his origin. Life with him is sort of one big trap. He’s trying to avoid being pinned down to anything, whether it’s the place, religion, or the people around him.”

But Sam, Hany added, will connect more with some Asian characters, despite his attitude. “He doesn’t want to be associated with the expats. So it’s interesting that he wants to be associated only with Asians.”

Playing the character introduced him to various cultures as well: “It’s hard not to take on some of the things; I enjoyed learning a bit of Mandarin, which is pretty basic stuff. I think it’s such a beautiful language.”

Hany revealed that his costar, distinguished Chinese-American actress Joan Chen, brought a different discipline to the “Serangoon Road” set. Chen’s character Patricia runs a detective agency and works with Sam.

Cinema royalty

“Joan is cinema royalty in Australia, China and even the United States,” Hany enthused. “She brings a completely different energy and entity to the work when she comes to the set. The way she approached the job at hand… she’s much more thorough. She has a very Asian sensibility about her, which informed the way we continued to shoot in a really positive way. I can’t thank her enough for the influence on the production, on me, and on the cast.”

Hany also appreciated working at the 1960s Chinatown set in Batam, Indonesia: “We were blessed with a great designer… it’s a magical set to walk in. There were whole streets that were so specific to the period. Walking onto the set was a wonderful entry point for getting the right rhythm and getting into gear for the work every day. I just had so much fun, thinking about the wonderland that I, a Westerner, would find myself in, walking down the main street of Chinatown in Singapore in the 1960s.”

(“Serangoon Road” premieres on Sunday, 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO HD.)

GUILIANA Rancic and Ryan Seacrest

Emmy ‘Red Carpet’

E!’s “Live From the Red Carpet,” hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic, will provide one-on-one interviews with Hollywood A-listers at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards.

The coverage at the Nokia Theater will air in more than 160 countries around the world. While Seacrest and Rancic will be on the red carpet, Ross Matthews and Kelly Osbourne will be at E!’s Skybox.  “Live From the Red Carpet” airs Sept. 23, 6 p.m. on E!

Comedy shows

On “Toda Max” this Saturday, Vhong Navarro and Angel Locsin, along with Ai-Ai de las Alas and guests Jeffrey Tam and Manuel Chua, will churn out their own version of the coming flick “Kung Fu Divas.”

Meanwhile, Jayson Gainza leads the “Ihaw Na” segment of “Banana Nite” with crazy interviews with singer Zia Quizon, 1980s star Tina Paner, beauty queen Bianca Manalo and singer Jamie Rivera.

“Toda Max” airs back-to-back with “Banana Split: Extra Scoop” Saturdays after “The Voice of the Philippines. “Banana Nite” airs on weeknights after “Bandila.”

Reality series

Catch the back-to-back airing of History’s hit reality series “Pawn Stars” and “Kings of Restoration” tonight starting at 8 on GMA News TV Channel 11.

On “Pawn Stars,” Rick Harrison admits he may have made the biggest mistake yet in purchasing a 1964 sports car that requires a major restoration worth $6,000.

On “Kings of Restoration,” Rick Dale and his crew are challenged by a 1943 trap machine.

ATOM Araullo

Psychic evidence

Broadcast journalist Atom Araullo probes how psychic evidence helped find leads in solving criminal cases in “Hiwaga.”

Mang Caring only used his abilities to heal as an albularyo (folk healer), but the police soon asked for his help to solve a murder in Cavite.

“Hiwaga” airs at 4:15 p.m. today on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

Learning experiences

Actress Angelica Panganiban shares acting tips with the kids of the gag show “Goin’ Bulilit” this Sunday.

CLARENCE Delgado and Angelica Panganiban

Meanwhile, the cast of the teen series “LUV U” does a little learning for themselves as they visit The Mind Museum.

“Goin’ Bulilit” airs after “TV Patrol Weekend” while “LUV U” airs after “ASAP 18,” Sundays, on ABS-CBN Channel 2.

‘Wansapanataym’

Actress Kim Chiu is set to face a life-changing experience tomorrow in the continuation of “Wansapanataym Presents My Fairy Kasambahay.” As she continues with her mission as a house helper, Elyza (Kim) discovers the connection between her grandmother (Sharmaine Buencamino) and long-lost mom (Angel Aquino).

“Wansapanataym” airs after “Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal” on ABS-CBN.

‘Bingit’

GMA 7 launches its newest program “Bingit” tomorrow after “Startalk.”

Directed by Rico Gutierrez and Lem Lorca, “Bingit” features reenactments of real-life events that lead to accidents or life-threatening circumstances as told by the persons involved.

For its pilot episode, “Bingit” will feature the story of June Abrazado, the lone survivor in the plane crash that killed former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo last year.


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