Taufik to join Tanglin cast

Singer-actor Taufik Batisah
Singer-actor Taufik BatisahPHOTO: ZAINAL YAHYA

Former Singapore Idol winner Taufik Batisah will play a vicious businessman in the long-running Channel 5 series

In March, home-grown singer-actor Taufik Batisah, 35, sent a video clip of himself to his actress friend Syirah Jusni, where he gushed about being a huge fan of her television drama Tanglin.

In the message, he added that his parents-in-law also watch the show regularly and that he would love to be on it some day.

His wish has come true as he is joining the cast of the long-running Channel 5 series. And he will be playing against type.

The star, who is married to production manager Sheena Akbal, 32, and has a good-boy image, will show off a darker side in the role of the scheming Khairul.

He tells The Straits Times yesterday in an interview between filming at Infinite Studios: "People always see me as a good guy, so this role is pretty unorthodox for me.

"Khairul is a vicious businessman and he's very nonchalant about the way he treats women, so it's been interesting playing him."

Everyone's so chill, so it never feels like work when we're shooting. We're always having so much fun.

SINGER-ACTOR TAUFIK BATISAH on working on Tanglin

His first appearance on the family drama will be in episode 386, which airs on Dec 30. He has signed on for 25 episodes, but that may change depending on his schedule.

He says: "I'm trying to work things out because I'm still writing songs on the side.

"I haven't forgotten about my music, but I am trying to change gears a bit and sharpen my craft in acting. Being in a TV drama, you get to do many episodes, so this is a great opportunity for me to do that."

Before this, the former Singapore Idol winner has acted in the films Demi Adriana (2014), Dukun Doktor Dani (2016) and Soulmate (2016).

While filming a scene for Tanglin yesterday where Khairul rejects a girl's (Lydia Asyiqin) romantic advances, Taufik peppered the director with questions about his character's motivations.

He also offered different ways to do the scene, with different standing positions and hand gestures.

He says: "I still consider myself very new in acting, so I want to make sure I do a good job. I still have so much room for improvement and hope that with more practice, getting into the head of every character I play will become second nature to me."

He has been having a blast bonding with his new colleagues.

Lead actress Wee Soon Hui has been his "idol" since he watched her on the iconic long-running Channel 5 series Growing Up (1996 to 2001), while the cast that make up the Rahman family in the show - Syirah, Fauzie Laily and Masturah Ahmad - have become closer friends.

He says: "Everyone's so chill, so it never feels like work when we're shooting. We're always having so much fun.

"I like working on a big production like this with a huge team of people. When you're doing music, you're by yourself and the pressure is all on you. But on a TV show like this, it's all about teamwork and this team has been really great."

•Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

•Tanglin airs on Channel 5 on weekdays at 8.30pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2016, with the headline 'Taufik to join Tanglin cast'. Print Edition | Subscribe