Kiwi star Michelle Ang is half of TV’s newest odd couple in Three’s comedy Homebound 3.0, premiering this Thursday.
The new series sees her star alongside Sam Wang, who wrote the show after his idea for the comedy series won Spada’s The Big Pitch competition.
Since her Emmy nomination for web series Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462 in 2016, Ang has enjoyed working on prestige projects locally and abroad.
“I’ve started to direct content too, which is exciting. I have a TV episode coming out that is a psychological thriller — a genre we don’t often see in local content, and have a few films and series that I’m developing,” Ang tells Spy.
In Homebound 3.0, the 39-year-old actor enjoyed getting into comedy mode with Wang.
She plays Melissa and Wang is Henry, a 30-something homebound single living with his parents. Sharing a distaste for awkward family set-ups, they start a fake relationship.
Melissa is a classic “Asian overachiever” and a champion roller-derby girl.
Ang had told Wang she could roller skate but when it came to filming, she needed help. It was a bonding experience for the co-stars — Wang tutored Ang at weekends to get her eight-wheel skills looking professional.
On the show, Ang is the dominant personality.
“Melissa sees Henry as a numpty and someone who’s a bit desperate and therefore useful to her. Truth be told, she probably gets a kick out of watching Henry squirm, but pretends fiercely that she is as uninterested in him as a bug,” says Ang.
All this, says Ang, is the basic pretence for how the fake relationship works — until she starts to care about him.
“Which then, in true Melissa style, she sabotages spectacularly. Retreating to her own selfish, self-centred, independent world is so much safer.”
Kim Crossman plays Ellie, Melissa’s best friend, in a show that shines the spotlight on 30-somethings living at home.
“With the general modern-day costs, when 30-somethings want to reach for a new life goal like a new career or saving for a house, it means moving back in with parents. It is definitely happening more,” says Ang.
She says in Asian culture there are some families where the child stays at home with their parents for emotional and financial reasons until they are married.
Although it can sound like a cliche, Ang says Asian helicoptering and controlling parenting styles are still strong.
“Generally speaking, culturally the Chinese parental approach is predominantly still one where you want your child to succeed. So, whether this manifests as being overly protective or believing parental thinking is best, there is still an element of this that rings true.”
All these generational and cultural quirks combine into a funny half-hour, which Ang can’t wait for Kiwi audiences to react and relate to.