Local actor Aloysius Pang, 26, observed his pregnant sister-in-law to get into character for his latest Channel 8 drama My Friends From Afar.
Why? He plays a father with a bizarre twist - an alien who arrives on earth, gets pregnant and gives birth.
He says: "This is the most interesting character I've taken up. There will be a birth scene where I'm screaming in pain. My second brother's wife was always around the house, so I observed her. I touched her belly to see how it feels."
He was speaking to The Straits Times at yesterday's lensing ceremony of the sci-fi series, his first Channel 8 drama since his contract with local television station Mediacorp expired in April.
He had made the news last month for a drink-driving charge and will return to court next Thursday. If convicted of drink driving, Pang can be jailed up to six months or fined between $1,000 and $5,000.
The freelance actor relishes being back on set six months after wrapping up his last series Dream Coder in December.
"I was desperate for an opportunity. I was worried that as a freelancer, jobs are not guaranteed. I told my boss that I'll take on any suitable role. I've been itching to act and I feel relieved to be able to do so again," says Pang, who is signed to local talent agency NoonTalk Media headed by hostentrepreneur Dasmond Koh.
His departure at the height of his popularity might seem like career suicide to onlookers.
After all, the former child actor has been highly visible in meaty roles on prime-time Channel 8 dramas such as nursing series You Can Be An Angel 2 (2016) and long-running dramedy Life - Fear Not (2015 to 2016). He was also anointed as one of the Eight Dukes, a special group of eight actors promoted by Mediacorp.
But it is a gamble Pang is willing to take to step out of his comfort zone. He says: "After discussing it with my boss, I decided it was not bad to go freelance. I could take a break, go out and see the world, and discover more about myself."
Without the constraints of the contract, he can spend more time on his three-month-old start-up Kairos Green. "Kairos" is Greek for opportunity, he says, while "Green" represents the eco-friendly aspect of the company.
The youngest of three sons runs the business with his eldest brother Jefferson, 31, who came up with the idea of selling eco-friendly wood-plastic composite products, such as outdoor decking.
Acting remains his first love and his brother will take care of the business, so he can focus on acting when he has filming projects.
Pang also cannot seem to get away from his frequent co-star Carrie Wong, who plays a fellow alien in My Friends From Afar. This is the fifth time they have been paired together, though for a change, there will be no romantic sparks flying between them.
"Can they cast someone else opposite me?" jokes Pang. "If it is a May-December romance, I wouldn't mind working with actresses such as Jesseca Liu or Jeanette Aw. It would be interesting if I'm matched with Zoe Tay."
•My Friends From Afar premieres on Channel 8 on Nov 27 and airs on weekdays at 9pm