In the original series, modern television saw one of its most compelling characters in Saga Norén who was not your typical run of the mill cop. Played sensitively by Swedish actress Sofia Helin, the character bucked social conventions and blazed her own trail in her quest to solve the crimes at hand.
Surprisingly, viewers around the globe loved her and by the end of its first season, the series found an audience in over 170 countries. It even spawned three remakes, the American version of which – starring Diana Kruger – transposed the action from the Nordics to the US-American border instead.
“I watched only a bit of the original version: The first episode, the trailers and some behind-the-scenes clips. I didn’t want to watch too much though because I didn’t want to be influenced by the acting. Ours is an Asian remake, so the local lingo and certain aspects of their culture were things we couldn’t replicate, and we didn’t want to anyway because we wanted ours to stand out on its own,” she says.
“Because of that, I stopped myself from watching much of the original version so than it wouldn’t mould my performance. Besides, the original actress set such a high bar with her take on this noir thriller that it’s pretty daunting to try to replicate what she did, so I just tried my best every day on set and hopefully it was enough.”
Playing Detective Serena Teo required much more than just character development on Rebecca’s part, however, because she also had to get physical to contend with all the action scenes written into the script. “I did all the stunts myself, 100 per cent me,” she proudly declares. “I’m not very fit to be honest, I would love to be more fit but taking on this project allowed me to start that healthy phase of my life.
Any time I could squeeze in some exercise in-between takes, I would do it, and before my fight scenes I would always take time to stretch because I know my body and its limits. So, I didn’t want to injure myself. My co-star [Malaysian actor Bront Palarae] even poked fun at me saying ‘You’re such an auntie’ but the jokes on him because he ended up being the one who pulled a muscle on set and the cast and crew had a good time laughing at him for making fun of me.”