Stars of Code Of Law: Final have very different stay-home routines
Fauzie Laily breaks fast with wife, Desmond Tan has been cooking and Adrian Pang is putting out online content
The longest-running local English-language crime drama TV series Code of Law - it started in 2012 - is back for its fifth season.
Premiering on Channel 5 and meWatch on June 1 at 9.30pm, Code of Law: Final brings together the story and character arcs that were established in the spin-offs Derek and Forensik - headlined by Desmond Tan and Fauzie Laily respectively - as well as the 2010-2011 legal drama The Pupil, which starred Adrian Pang.
Here, the three co-stars talk about what they have learnt about themselves during the circuit breaker and what to expect from the show.
This Ramadan, the 35-year-old actor-singer has been breaking fast at home with his wife. They don't get together with friends and other family members because of the circuit breaker restrictions.
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It is the his first time he is carrying out Tarawih - additional ritual prayers performed at night - at home. He misses going to the mosque for prayers and he also misses the Ramadan bazaars.
While the couple will not be visiting relatives or purchasing new traditional costumes, they will buy and promote food from local home-based businesses as "now is a good time to support them".
Fauzie's new Suria projects and single may have been put on hold because of Covid-19, but in Code Of Law: Final, fans can still catch him as Inspector Razali Hamzah, who has to race against the clock to crack cases.
Fauzie is one of the show's original characters, having appeared in every season as well as in Derek and Forensik, the most-watched local Malay drama on meWatch since April 2019.
He said: "Code Of Law was my first break into a Channel 5 English drama in a lead role. It took me seven years (of acting in Suria) before I clinched it.
"Razali is the most serious and challenging character I've ever played. I've learnt to be a better actor, (and gained more experience on) how both the Malay and English sets work."
The 34-year-old heart-throb, who debuted as serial killer Derek Ho in Code Of Law 4 and went on to star in two seasons of Derek and Forensik, has been hunkering down in his condominium unit with his two dogs, Hoshi and Udon.
He told The New Paper: "During the initial four-week circuit breaker, I thought I would take it easy for the first few days but being a workaholic, I could not sit still and do nothing."
So Tan started working out daily and joined the #Plus10 challenge for 30 days - starting the first day with 10 push-ups and adding 10 more each day.
On the final day, he completed 300 push-ups.
The challenge was a revelation for him as he realised such an approach can be applied in other aspects of life, even for students and working adults.
He said: "We can all put in that extra bit of effort each day to reach our goal."
Besides keeping fit, Tan has also been busy in the kitchen.
"Since I don't leave the house much, I cook more at home. I started off with decent meals then moved on to learning new recipes from YouTube," he said, adding that he has prepared gyu don (Japanese beef and rice bowl) and souffle.
Tan recalled the initial struggles of portraying the most vicious character of his career.
He said: "My first day of filming (on Derek) was the day after I returned from a shoot in Taiwan. It was a challenge because I had to prepare a lot. After speaking Mandarin in Taiwan for four months, I suddenly needed to switch to English and act as a dark character too."
Code Of Law: Final continues the story arc of Derek's daring escape from prison, after which he plots to take revenge on those he blames for his incarceration.
Tan hinted there will be a lot more gory scenes and plot twists, adding: "Usually, Derek is the one torturing others. But this time, he will be on the receiving end."
The local theatre scene may have ground to a halt but that does not mean the 54-year-old is putting the brakes on his work.
During the circuit breaker, Pang has been busier than ever, putting out online content for his theatre company Pangdemonium that he runs with his director-wife Tracie.
He said: "There is no income generated from this. We're purely producing content to stay engaged with the public."
As both a TV and stage actor and theatre company owner, he has had productions postponed because of Covid-19. And freelancers in the industry have been hard hit.
Pang said: "As an employer of freelancers, it is heartbreaking to have to tell them that gigs have to be cancelled."
Pang - who has two sons aged 21 and 19 - has also been exercising more.
"I've been going for runs - even though I hate running - cycling, as well as scaring my neighbours by doing workouts in the driveway," he said.
Pang, who appeared in The Pupil in 2010 and 2011, is happy to reprise his role as sharp-tongued senior lawyer Dennis Tang after nearly a decade and he is crossing over to the Code Of Law universe for the first time.
He said: "It's been a long time - (having to get) to know the character again and making it look like I know all the legal terms.
"Dennis is now older and wiser, more cynical and jaded. This time, he's dealing with criminal law cases as opposed to the civil cases in The Pupil. He also gets roughed up quite a bit."