Chen Han Wei. Photo: Kua Chee Siong / The Straits Times

Singaporeans’ nostalgic fondness for local heritage and older housing estates made last year’s Channel 8 blockbuster Hero a hit among local television viewers.

And now the popularity of the drama, set in Dakota Crescent, has translated into seven nominations in the four major acting categories at the Star Awards. The heartland drama is also up for Best Drama.

Jesseca Liu. Photo: Dalene Low 

Its male lead Shaun Chen is up for Best Actor, female lead Jesseca Liu for Best Actress, Andie Chen for Best Supporting Actor, and four of the five Best Supporting Actress nominees are from the show: Aileen Tan, Bonnie Loo, Paige Chua and Pan Ling Ling.

Loo, 22, who played a girl who is forced to be a cleaner to help support her family, says: “Dakota Crescent has much sentimental value and there are plans for it to be demolished. Perhaps the audiences have deep feelings for the neighbourhood and the drama evokes memories.”

The estate in Mountbatten was built by the Singapore Improvement Trust in 1958. It was handed over to HDB in 1960, but will be making way as part of renewal plans for older public housing estates.

Dakota Crescent residents were asked to vacate by Dec 31to make way for new developments, but not all have moved out.

Hero’s total of 11 nominations lead the pack.

The Star Awards nominations were announced yesterday.

Zoe Tay. Photo: Zaobao / SPH

Loo intends to re-enact a scene from the drama if she wins at the Star Awards. “I’ll go to the Old Airport Road hawker centre to sing to commemorate the win,” she says.

Another Hero actor, Chen Hanwei, is up for a record-tying fifth Best Actor prize, but for another drama, The Gentlemen. If the veteran wins for his turn as a male chauvinist who becomes a confinement nanny, he will be equalling Xie Shaoguang’s record of five wins.

Chen, 47, says: “I feel grateful. But I’m delighted to see that the younger generation of actors are also getting acknowledgement.”

Major nominations

Best Drama Serial

• C.L.I.F. 4
• Fire Up
• Hero
• The Dream Job
• You Can Be An Angel 2

Best Actor

• Andie Chen (If Only I Could)
• Chen Hanwei (The Gentlemen)
• Pierre Png (The Gentlemen)
• Shaun Chen (Hero)
• Zhang Zhen Huan (The Dream Job)

Best Actress

• Jeanette Aw (The Dream Job)
• Jesseca Liu (Hero)
• Rebecca Lim (You Can Be An Angel 2)
• Rui En (If Only I Could)
• Zoe Tay (You Can Be An Angel 2)

Best Supporting Actor

• Andie Chen (Hero)
• Chen Shu Cheng (Fire Up)
• Ian Fang (The Dream Job)
• Jeffrey Xu (Peace & Prosperity)
• Romeo Tan (The Dream Job)

Best Supporting Actress

• Aileen Tan(Hero)
• Bonnie Loo(Hero)
• Paige Chua (Hero)
• Pan Ling Ling (Hero)
• Ya Hui (House Of Fortune)

Best Screenplay

• Hero
• The Truth Seekers
• You Can Be An Angel 2
• If Only I Could
• The Gentlemen

Star Awards will be held on April 16.

Additional reporting by Yip Wai Yee. The original version of this story was published in The Straits Times on January 24, 2017.

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