Selena Lee Talks Filming “Barrack O’Karma”

TVB’s current supernatural horror series Barrack O’Karma <金宵daxia> has been breaking online discussion forums, and lead star Selena Lee (李施嬅) has never been this busy. Appearing on multiple social media and traditional platforms to promote the show, Selena recently shared some behind-the-scenes tidbits with Nancy Sit (薛家燕) on her radio program Happy Party <開心大派對>, telling Nancy and the listeners that filming Barrack O’Karma was just as hard as it looks.

For the role of CoCo, an escort living in the 1960’s, Selena had to don a tight dress and smoke cigarettes. As Selena is a non-smoker, doing those scenes were particularly strenuous.

Nancy, also a non-smoker, agreed with Selena. “You’ll keep coughing after filming the scene. And then you smell it everywhere on you.” Selena agreed, “You can even smell it on your fingertips.”

Selena shared that the cigarette she smoked on the show was a fake one. “There’s no tobacco in it. It’s just paper rolled into sticks by the PAs. The cigarettes had no mouthpiece in the 60’s, so whenever I breathe in smoke it hurts my throat.”

What drew Selena to the show was the unique script. She explained, “The show is very dark. Just because you’re a good person, doesn’t mean you’ll get a good ending. I also believe in cause and effect, and that’s one of the main themes of the show. Joel Chan (陳山聰) and I are also good friends, so everything about this show called to me. I really wanted to make something good with him.”

To accommodate the show’s setting, many scenes were shot at night. The cast would jokingly refer to the show as “All-Nighter Mansion”.

“Because we always film at night, Joel would burn incense at every landlord [god]. There are no ghosts on this show. It’s just that the apartment building is rather mysterious.”

As per TVB fashion, some actors who film horror projects end up encountering supernatural forces themselves. Selena has never experienced first-hand, but she shared that the Barrack  O’Karma PAs had seen something mysterious.

“They were driving to another apartment building to pick up some things, and discovered that their tire was broken. When they were inside to retrieve the cameras, they saw a white shadow sweep past them. When they left, it was thundering, and they saw a rat laying in a puddle of blood, with its legs still moving. They immediately ran for it.”

Nancy shared her own experience, saying that she was shooting Police Station No. 7 <七號差館>, playing the role of a ghost, she had to wear a rosary and red underwear everyday to make her feel more at peace.  “I am always the one who is most scared,” she said.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. self made cigarette, sounds very dangerous if the pa didn’t know what he was doing….

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