Actor Elvis Chin is truly committed to his craft.

The 37-year-old actor plays an elderly man in an episode of the upcoming local TV series Anak Merdeka, and to look the part, Chin went through quite a gruelling transformation process.

“Because my hair was so dark, I had to bleach my hair nine times in the span of two days to make it look like an elderly person’s grey hair,” he shares at an event promoting Astro’s Merdeka and Malaysia Day programmes in Kuala Lumpur.

“That’s why my hair doesn’t feel like it once was,” he says, running a hand through his hair.

Chin further explains he couldn’t use temporary dyes, as the storyline called for a flooding in a scene. “The water would just wash the dye away.”

On top of that, special makeup had to be applied to age the actor, which took about two to three hours each day. “That’s the sacrifice you make as an actor,” he shrugs.

Besides the physical transformation, Chin also spent time studying the mannerisms of the elderly. “I observed the elderly people around me, like my father and grandfather, instead of just looking at how elderly people are portrayed on TV. My acting comes off more natural that way.”

Anak Merdeka chronicles the life of three characters Salleh (Remy Ishak), Boon (Elvis Chin) and Devi (Thanuja Ananthan), beginning with their childhood days, which were spent mostly at a funfair, all the way up to their old age.

The six-episode series spans six decades (one episode for each decade), and the characters’ personal stories are interwoven with historical events.

Chin describes his character Boon as a simple person compared to the more ambitious Salleh, a palm oil estate owner, and Devi, a sprinter.

“He’s a very normal guy. Things just happen to him. He doesn’t choose it. For example, he never thought he would one day manage the funfair he grew up in, yet, the owner handed it to him. He just takes it on as a responsibility.”

Chin adds: “My character and I are quite different I think. I’m a passionate person. I have dreams of my own and I go after them.”


Besides the physical transformation, Elvis Chin also spent time studying the mannerisms of the elderly for his role in TV series Anak Merdeka. Photo: Astro

He is indeed a go-getter. He got his start in showbiz as a singer initially, competing in Chinese singing competition, Astro Talent Quest in 2000. He then pursued a career in music for about seven years, as part of music group newZ.

In 2008, Chin ventured into acting, building a solid repertoire both in films (The Collectors, Kungfu Taboo and Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat!) and drama series (Age Of Glory 2, Footprints In The Sand, Mystique Valley and On The Brink 2).

Anak Merdeka premieres on Aug 26 at 9pm on Astro Prima (Ch 105), Astro Xi Yue HD (Ch 300) and Astro Vaanavil (Ch 201).