Hong Kong actress Grace Chan has a story that seems to be straight out of a drama – after graduating from university, she entered and won the Miss Hong Kong pageant at the age of 22, and joined showbiz soon after.
She dated fellow actor Kevin Cheng for three years and the couple tied the knot with him in August 2018. Less than a year later, they welcomed their first child, a bouncing baby boy named Rafael.
Oh, and did we mention, she just turned 28 in June.
It seems like Grace has been living life in the fast lane, but when we met her at the The Capitol Kempinski Hotel earlier this month, the actress was surprisingly – dare we say it – easy to speak to, generously sharing anecdotes of her early career, along with glimpses into her private life.
While in town to promote her drama, Justice Bao: The First Year, she shared with Toggle, “This trip has been so busy. I don’t think I have time to do anything other than work, and I realised that’s been the case whenever I come to Singapore. I came here once for a holiday before I joined showbiz, and since then, my visits have all been work-related.”
Grace added with a twinkle in her eye, “I hope I’ll be able to come with the family the next time. It’s easy to get around, it’s safe, clean and there won’t be any language barriers for us either.”
Although she didn’t refer to Kevin nor Rafael by name throughout the interview, it was clear that family comes first for her at this point of time, as she mused, “I know my fans have been hoping to see me on TV soon. I don’t have any plans to go back to filming just yet, because so many fellow mums have told me that they regret missing out on their baby’s milestones. I want to spend more time with my baby because it’s been such a joy to watch him grow.”
When asked to elaborate on when she might be returning to work, she chuckled, “Maybe next year? I haven’t confirmed anything just yet. But when I do return to work, I think everyone’s going to hate me. I’m going to be video calling my baby every chance I get, and they’ll probably be like, ‘Memorise your script and stop talking to your baby!’”
“Just the thought of being away from him makes me sad,” she sighed.
Her super cute baby (just look at those cheeks!) has been featured periodically on her Instagram page, which she admits she checks more than any other application on her phone.
“When I’m on my phone, the first thing I open is Instagram. I used to not have any social media, but a stylist once told me in my early days of showbiz that I should do it, and since then, it’s like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. I can’t stop using it!” she bemoaned.
It’s also on Instagram where she receives the most supportive messages from fans, which she says she cherishes a lot more after the tumultuous start in showbiz.
Grace shared, “I didn’t get very positive remarks when I first started acting. I didn’t have much of an acting background, so I understand that there would be criticism. However, I didn’t expect that they would be so negative. It was a very hard time for me, and I’m blessed that I had my family, my friends, my co-stars, including my now-husband, there for me.” The pair met while filming the drama Blue Veins in 2015, and reportedly stated dating soon after.
In another lifetime, she laughed, she might have ended up in an entirely different profession.
“I might have been a kindergarten teacher if I didn’t become an actress. I don’t like dealing with older children because they can be a real handful when they’re going through puberty. I like little kids, so being a kindergarten teacher would be perfect,” she revealed.
What happens when Rafael grows up and goes through – the horror – puberty?
“Oh, I’m sure we’ll figure it out,” Grace smiled. “I don’t know if this is me being idealistic, but I think his dad and I will do okay somehow.”