A battle for truthand power in HBOâs Trinity of Shadows
Taiwanese stars Sandrine Pinna and Kaiser Chuang take on the roles of a female detective and male politician in HBO’s latest series, which airs Sunday nights at 9 on HBO GO and HBO.
Photos courtesy of HBO Asia

A battle for truthand power in HBO’s Trinity of Shadows

Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - June 19, 2021 - 12:00am

Truth can be told. But a person’s perspective and position of power shape it.

This seems to be the engaging storyline that Trinity of Shadows follows. A righteous female detective, an up-and-coming male politician and a rookie policeman swim in the series of events that lead them to what they may consider as truth. HBO’s latest Asia Original TV series airs Sunday nights at 9 on HBO GO and HBO.

Taking on the roles of the detective and politician (named Tze-Wei and Chi-Hsiao, respectively) are Taiwanese stars Sandrine Pinna and Kaiser Chuang.

“This show is done by a great production company, great director and great scriptwriter,” said Sandrine through an English interpreter when asked about her and Kaiser’s latest acting assignment during a virtual media conference. “My character is quite different from the other roles I have played before. It’s very different and a challenge.”

Given HBO’s global reach, the show is a good vehicle for her in reaching out to more viewers, she added.

Kaiser also agreed with her by saying that “In the past, TV used to be (just) TV and movies used to be movies,” he said. “But HBO as an OTT (streaming) platform really opens up opportunities for people around the world. (It is like) a global village, anyone from anywhere around the world can watch this show. I’m looking forward to the new opportunities (that it will present).”

Again, starring in Trinity of Shadows is the chance for Sandrine and Kaiser, both award-winning actors in Taiwan, to showcase their talents on a bigger stage.

“My character has some childhood trauma,” said the actress. “Her father has harmed females… She is very honest because she doesn’t want to hide (anything). She has this cool exterior, it’s like a take it or leave it attitude, this (is) who she is.”

The actor, for his part, had this to say about his character. “He is into politics. He stands for justice and he is very passionate. But he does have his own weaknesses.” These can be seen in the way he values kinship and a loved one, added Kaiser, who finds his character “a bit silly and a bit naïve.”

“The 80-percent that (I’m similar to him) is the passion of heart,” continued he. “Whereas the 20-percent (that I’m not similar to him) would be the dramatic and the dark aspect of him.”

To be on the same page with their characters, Sandrine and Kaiser did study them with different approaches. She spent ample time with her character to understand any insecurities she might have. He observed newbie politicians, who might have similarities to his character, via YouTube, and drew references from different local political parties. All this came in handy for them to connect and uncover the truth about their roles.

“The main characters of this show have serious trauma,” said Sandrine. “Not everyone will go through the same trauma, but everyone has their own trauma.”

What Trinity of Shadows aims to achieve, she added, is that audiences will find that time to “try to understand others because troubles are never ending (and) learn to let go.” Kaiser, on the other hand, hoped that viewers may have the courage to face tomorrow and find hope in their heart after watching the show.

As Trinity of Shadows touches on power and truth, Kaiser said that the show is not designed to be didactic about its themes.

“It’s not black and white. However, audiences have questions in their head,” said he, “for example, there’s a saying, ‘Seeing is believing.’ Is that true? Maybe different people may have different versions of truth. Maybe the truth is not important. What is more important is what you believe in and (that) will help you to go on. It’s also about cherishing what’s important to you.”

As the audiences follow the lead characters’ stories, they may also see how the detective and the politician make decisions, and face the consequences of their actions.

Trinity of Shadows, said Sandrine, gives audiences the opportunity to “make their own choices (based on their understanding of the situations presented in the show) and their choices might be different from the characters. There’s room for discussion.”

She further described the storyline as very real and delves into topics about good and evil, and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.

“In the process of looking for the truth, sometimes we might do wrong things or we might hurt other people. When we get to the truth, we might find that the truth is not perfect,” concluded Sandrine.

(Stream or download Trinity of Shadows on HBO GO. Also access HBO GO via Cignal, Globe and Skycable and https://www.hbogoasia.com/.)

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