SINGAPORE – Veteran actress Zoe Tay’s latest role as a wealthy Thai-Chinese woman has drawn comparisons to that of fellow actress Chantalle Ng’s breakout role as a Vietnamese bride.
More specifically, it is the accented Mandarin spoken by both characters which has become a talking point.
Tay’s character, Thailuck Thabarabasi, recently appeared in long-running drama The Heartland Hero and speaks Thai as well as Mandarin with a Thai accent.
Second-generation actress Ng, 25, who won over audiences as the innocent Mei Fangcao in My Star Bride earlier this year, convincingly spoke Vietnamese-accented Mandarin in the drama.
In an interview with entertainment website 8world on Monday (Nov 8), Tay, 53, brushed aside comparisons between the two roles, saying: “We are different. She plays a Vietnamese and Chantalle’s language ability itself is very good.
“My character’s mother is Chinese and her father is a Thai nobleman, so she can actually speak Mandarin, but with a Thai accent. The two cannot be compared.”
Tay’s dedication to mastering the accent extended beyond just taking online classes and practising with her teacher on the phone.
She added: “I tried using Google Translate to listen to the accent, but it was not 100 per cent accurate, so I found a Thai person whom I knew through my friends to learn from.”