A class act

In the real world, she is more like a tomboy unlike Sarah
The film reunites everyone's favourite grandfather-granddaughter duo.

AFTER clinching the Best Newcomer award at the 7th Macau International Movie Festival last year, Sarah Tan Qin Lin has been honing her acting skills to reprise her role as Sarah in the follow-up to the award-winning film The Kid from The Big Apple.

"After the first movie, I continued to learn more about acting. Some days I work on camera work, photo shoots and even learn to sing which helps me enhance my voice while also improving my English and Chinese language," the 13-year-old said.

Released today, The Kid from The Big Apple 2: Before We Forget reunites Tommy Tam (Ti Lung) and Tan as everyone's favourite grandfather-granddaughter duo. Jason Tan also reprises his role as Ah Bao while Debbie Goh takes over the role of Sarah's mother, Sophia Lin, and joining the cast is Hong Kong's Shaun Tam.

How have you improved from the first movie?

I think in the first movie I didn't know how to act as Sarah. I needed a lot of time to practise and needed the director to guide me. This time I can immerse myself in the character and be just like her. I learned that sometimes if I felt I didn't do the scene well, I could request to do it again.

How do you feel working with your on-screen grandfather?

The first time working with him I felt he is a veteran actor so I must respect him but now working with him, I can be his friend more than a granddaughter. He has taught me many things in acting and during shoots, he told me I can act this way and he will help me along the way. Every advice he has given me is important but the one that stuck was not to think there is a camera and that I am the character in the movie.

How do you think you are similar and different to your character?

In the real world, I am a tomboy unlike Sarah who is more feminine. In terms of similarity, she likes to learn and search for new and special things. I am like that too.

In your opinion, what does an actress need?

I think using your heart to act is very important, and having a strong command of the English language.

How did your parents react to you being cast?

Their first reaction was "wow, my daughter can act" but they said I can continue to do what I like as long as I keep up with my studies.

How do you feel about your schoolmates recognising you as Sarah?

On the first day of secondary school, many were surprised to know I was Sarah. Many of them were already my fans, and wanted to take photographs with me and get my autograph. Now they are less star-struck and enjoy talking to me about acting.

Will you continue acting?

I don't know as I still need to learn and find myself. If anyone decides to offer me a role, I will need to ask my mum first.

If you weren't an actress, what would you be?

A chef. But I won't say I will go to culinary school. It is just my interest and hobby. My dream is to become a YouTuber.

What's your advice for those who are the same age as you?

Don't give up and try your best to do what you want to do. Remember that continuous learning is very important, and don't be a bad person.