We’re only a couple of weeks away before Grace premieres on HBO Asia. Boasting an all-star cast made up off talented actors like Russell Wong, Constance Song and Pamelyn Chee along with good production value, Grace certainly has a lot going for it. And judging by the popularity of Asian horror, the four-part mini-series could follow Serangoon Road’s lead and become another reputable hit for HBO Asia. Eager to uncover some of the elements that went into making this series, we talk to Shane Mardjuki one of the actors who will help bring this ensemble horror series to life.
Explain your role in Grace.
I play a young gentleman named Nelson who is about to marry into the swanky high society family that is at the centre of our story.
What attracted you to this role?
It was an opportunity to work with HBO Asia, and an opportunity to work with a talented cast and crew. Most actors would jump at the opportunity. Also horror is a fun genre to be in. If you are lucky you get to play the whole gamut of emotions and maybe even get to die a super cool death!
What is the main focus of the story?
Grace incorporates and covers quite a wide area of topics. But a key way of really looking at the show I think is through the element of ‘family.’ Expectations we have of family members, the disappointment that those expectations can bring and how people go about recovering from setbacks and how they carry on as a family unit…and of course creepy ghosts.
Asian horror is touchy and intriguing. Did you find the source material for Grace to be fascinating? A good horror story is always fascinating, especially when you know you shouldn’t listen to it or you won’t be able to sleep. It’s one of those things where your mind says no but your heart says YES! With Grace, we have the story of a rich powerful family all at different stages of life. So you have love and power right there – two essential elements to a great story. And then you put it all together and let it play out in a haunted hotel. Bam! Riveting storytelling I assure you.
Were you impressed by the amount of talent on set?
I was! Just getting to watch these guys work was enough reason for me to sign on. To see how seasoned veterans dissect a script or to see how they carry themselves between scenes, it was inspiring.
What would you say is the appeal behind the series?
I think horror’s got fantastic appeal all on its own. That’s before we throw in a talented director, beautiful cast, a grade-A stunt team and so on. Audiences want to see how characters react to the worst things in the world, to most terrifying of stimuli, and horror gives us that. And it gives us a nice big adrenaline rush as well. Grace has the horror bits in abundance but alongside that it also gives you juicy well thought out characters that you want to get behind, and an intriguing storyline that keeps surprising you with each new episode.
Grace premieres on HBO and HBO HD on 17 October (Astro Ch 411 and B.Yond Ch 431) at 10pm.