Actor Keith Foo looks back at his childhood days with fondness.
“We would go fishing, swimming in the river, and because I loved sports, I did a lot of running, volleyball and football,” recalls the 33-year-old actor.
Foo, who is best known for his lead role in the 2013 drama series Ariana Rose, grew up in the small town of Gemas in Negri Sembilan.
“I miss that environment. You feel at peace, there’s no traffic jam, no pollution. It’s very laid back,” he says.
Thankfully for Foo, he got a taste of life in the kampung once again while filming rom-com series Jom Kahwin recently.
The entire TV series was filmed predominantly in a small town called Tanjung Rimau, which is located between Tampin in Negri Sembilan and Malacca.
“The cast lived there for about one and a half months. It was easy for me, I was brought up that way. It’s like going back to my childhood,” Foo says during the the launch of the show in Kuala Lumpur.
Created by Kabir Bhatia and Norhanisham Muhammad, Jom Kahwin is set in a farm where four brothers Adam (Foo), Chad (Bil Azali), Baim (Jaslin Puasa) and Daniel (Nadzmi Adhwa) live.
After the death of their parents, the siblings decided to quit school and support themselves by working on the farm.
Eldest brother Adam heads to the city to find a wife who could help with their household chores and lighten the family’s load. He meets city girl Fatiha (Reen Rahim) and before long, the two tie the knot.
“There’s a scene where after getting married, the next day, the brothers washed all of Fatiha’s clothes and her handbag as well! Her cellphone and iPad were in it! They didn’t know anything. She had to use the public phone,” Reen shares on her character trying to get used to her new life.
The 27-year-old actress got her start in showbiz after winning the third season of reality acting series Pilih Kasih in 2012.
“In the first few episodes of Jom Kahwin, I had to play a snobbish city girl. My character was fussy; she didn’t like this and that. That was difficult for me to portray,” she reveals.
Reen says she feels she could relate more to Fatiha when she started to embrace life in the kampung, getting her hands dirty with farmwork. The Klang girl says it is because she often visited her grandparents’ and aunt’s house which, although was in Klang, had a village feel to them.
“I was very tough and sporty. I didn’t play with dolls. I grew up around brothers so we would run around and catch fish or climb trees,” she says.
Like Foo, Reen says she enjoyed living and filming in the small town. “Since there’s no traffic jam, if the call time is 10.30am, I get up at 10am,” she says with a laugh. “In KL, if my call time is at 2pm, I need to leave by 11am.”
Reen adds she could concentrate on her work too. “I’m more focused. If I’m in KL, I may have to run off for an event.”
Since the show is called Jom Kahwin, Foo dished on married life. The actor tied the knot with stylist Kim Raymond in 2014 but held their wedding reception only last December.
“I’m blessed to have my wife with me always, for support and encouragement,” says Foo of Kim, who also manages his career.
“I know in times of hardship or happiness, I’ve always got a shoulder to fall back on. She’s always there for me.”
Jom Kahwin airs every Friday at 9pm on HyppSensasi HD (HyppTV Ch 116).