If you’ve been keeping up with Andie Chen on social media, you’d know that he’s currently on a mission: to transform from a man to beast. Don’t believe us? Just check out his Instagram, where he’s chronicled his entire five-week (and counting!) journey of becoming the beast that he’s set on transforming into.
We caught up with the actor at the imaging session of upcoming Channel 8 drama The Good Fight, where EP (executive producer) Zheng Ge Ping was visibly impressed by Andie’s hard work. Comments such as, “Those shoulders are great, make sure you keep them (for filming)” were passed, and afterwards, we asked Andie about it, to which he chuckled that he’s still “far” from the ideal body that he wants.
“Martial arts practitioners may not be super muscular, but you can see from their entire body shape that they’re really ‘solid’, so that’s what I’m still working towards,” he admitted. “I’m playing a fitness instructor so I have to look the part.”
Sharing that his routine originally comprised of two parts, working on his physique and wushu respectively, Andie let on that he’s since decided to focus more on the former due to a lack of time.
As it turns out, his efforts have paid off as he shared with us that his wife, Kate Pang, has reacted well to his new-and-improved self. “Sometimes when she walks past me, she’ll reach out her hand and brush past me,” he grinned. “She’s also mentioned that I look good, so I’m pretty happy with that.”
Kate herself has also been working out as of late, which means that the couple have both become leaner and fitter. But what of the kids? “Avery is still a bit young, but Aden is starting to work out a lot. He really likes superheroes, so the other day when he saw a photo of a bodybuilder on my screen, he was like, ‘This person is really, super strong!’ and was very impressed,” Andie shared.
The little boy has also started taking martial arts classes and has recently graduated to a yellow tip belt after passing the test at the academy that he’s attending. Both Kate and Andie will be more than happy for Avery to join her big brother when she’s older, as the minimum age for being in classes is three years old.
Kate and Andie’s wedding anniversary trip
Having recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary, the pair jetted off to the Phi Phi Islands (sans the children, and at this point, Andie had to declare that he loves his parents very much) for three days.
“We basically sat down one day for about two hours and said that we’d book this flight and stay at this place and so on. Since Phuket is an island we didn’t really need to plan much as well and just decided what we wanted to do after we arrived,” Andie said.
Having foot the bill for the trip, the 33-year-old explained that this is his way of thanking Kate for tirelessly looking after the kids. In addition, he pulled of an unusually romantic gesture: he prepared couple rings for them and presented them to a very surprised Kate, who didn’t prepare any gifts at all.
“I was expecting her not to prepare anything, so it’s nothing out of the ordinary,” he laughed. “On the other hand, she was rather touched that I bought rings. It looks like a wedding band and we both have one each. We’re not really crazy about diamonds so it’s a simple design.”
While on holiday, asked Andie if he’s reconsidered plans to have a third baby, something he admitted has been constantly discussed between the couple. “I actually kind of want one, because right now, the kids are really cute, but in two years, they might not be as cute any longer,” he joked. “But we have no time and money to have another one, so that’s going to be put on hold for now.”
Letting on that they have just started to go back to their normal pre-kid lifestyles, Andie explained that having another child would also mean that they will have to deviate from their current schedule once again, which is a consideration that both Andie and Kate have thought about while making their decision.
Andie clarifies the previous hullabaloo about Kate’s online post
Earlier this month, Kate made the headlines for her post about “someone” telling clients that she is unavailable from jobs, clarifying that she is no longer managed by Mediacorp. We asked Andie if there has been any updates on the issue, to which he shared that he met up with the Mediacorp bosses “a day or two” after their post went up and had a good talk with them.
“We shared what we knew with them, and they said that they would investigate,” he said. “There’s no one in particular we suspect, and neither do we want to arrow someone and say that ‘You did this’. I think she made the post because she wanted to be clear, instead of doing so with the intention of blaming others.”
With that cleared up, we asked Andie about his plans for 2019, to which he mused that The Good Fight might very well be his last drama in a while.
He explained, “Two of the biggest reasons why I said yes to this role is because of Ge Ping laoshi (Ed’s note: Ge Ping was his mentor during Star Search), and that this is an action drama. Filming itself will take about four months, and since I have a lot that I’m working on, I probably won’t be taking on any more dramas in 2019.”
After 10 fruitful years with Mediacorp, Sichuan-born actor Zhang Zhen Huan has decided to pack up and relocate back to his home country, China, after his artiste contract expires this month.
“I’m deeply grateful for the company’s commitment to cultivating and honing my talent,” shared Zhen Huan in a statement. “I hope to be given opportunities to work with Mediacorp again on future projects.” He also extended his “personal and heartfelt thanks to [his] fans for their support and encouragement over the past decade”.
“He has our encouragement as he brings his craft, passion and dreams with him into new territories,” said Ivy Low, Head of The Celebrity Agency. “We’re open to collaborating with him in the future, and wish him every success.”
According to The Celebrity Agency, Zhen Huan was unavailable for an interview as he was busy preparing for his move back to China and would only share a simple message: “Thank you for everyone’s concern.” Toggle was also unable to reach him through his personal phone number.
The 34-year-old started his showbiz journey in 2008 after emerging as the first runner-up in Channel U talent search programme You Are The One, while he was still a Civil Engineering undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. After signing on with Mediacorp, he made his acting debut in 2009’s star-studded primetime drama The Dream Catchers alongside Rui En, Tay Ping Hui, Jesseca Liu and Shaun Chen, before proceeding to expand into other areas of entertainment such as hosting and even a stint as a radio DJ.
His hard work, talent, and charm paid off not just in the form of a sizeable, loyal fan base, but also many notable awards and nominations. To date, the shiny Star Awards accolades in his trophy cabinet include those for Best Supporting Actor (for The Dream Makers II in 2016), three Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes (from 2014, 2016 and 2017), as well as Favourite Male Character and Favourite Onscreen Couple (both for World At Your Feet in 2015).
Although the exact reason for his departure – as well as when he’s jetting off – is unclear, it wouldn’t surprise us if it has something to do with his Chinese girlfriend, former makeup student Sally Pan, whom he went public with in April this year.
Zhen Huan has admitted to us that his folks have been rushing him to settle down, and although he claimed during our last chat that “it’s still too early” to talk about marriage, their seemingly endless dates all over the world (as documented on Instagram) suggest that the relationship is going extremely well, and that good news may be on the horizon much sooner than he let on.
In any case, we wish Zhen Huan all the best.
Karena Lam, Laurinda Ho and Christine Kuo were among the guests at a jewellery brand's party in Hong Kong on November 28.
Karena shared that she has already secured plans to spend Christmas with her two daughters as she wants to make it up to them for being busy and flying around the world over the past year.
She then shared an amusing titbit about Nick Cheung, whom she recently worked with in new film Integrity with Sean Lau: "He actually minds it when people tease him for his poor Mandarin! So please don't give him funny nicknames."
Laurinda was asked about the rumours that her half-sister Sabrina Ho has a new man in her life, she responded, "Does she? Who is it? If that's true, then congratulations to her. It's a happy thing!"
She also said that she was very proud of her good friend G.E.M. Tang, who recently racked up a lot of accomplishments such as being included in the BBC 100 Women list and performing at the NASA Breakthrough Prizes Awards. "She's not in Hong Kong now, but when she is back, we will definitely have a celebration together," she said.
Taiwanese singer-actress Cyndi Wang made an appearance on a radio show to promote the release of her 12th album CYNDILOVES2SING in Taipei on November 28. Taiwanese singer-songwriter Sandee Chan, whom Cyndi worked with on the first single (roughly translated as 'The Coffee Shop of Youthful Confusion'), showed up with a coffee machine as a gift.
Fans had misheard a line of lyrics from the song "lian ai man you zhong" (wandering in love) as "lian ai man you zhong" (having courage in love). Cyndi laughed and admitted in self-mockery, "I don't have courage at all! I recently went for a flu jab because I'm so afraid of catching a cold. As soon as I show the first signs of getting sick, I rush to the doctor to ask for an injection."
When asked what it was like working with Sandee, Cyndi admitted that at first, she was nervous and worried that they would have nothing to talk about. In the end, they managed to find a common topic: their love for lip balm.
"Sandee is not cool at all!" Cyndi joked. "Although this was our first time working together, it felt like we had known each other for a very long time."
There was a time not so long ago when Chen Yixi and Chen Yixin, the children of celebrity couple Edmund Chen and Xiang Yun, declared that they probably would never follow in the footsteps of their famous parents to become actors.
Fast forward about two years, and that statement has turned into a classic example of speaking too soon: not only did they go on to appear in several Channel 8 dramas, Yixi quit his design job to pursue a full-time showbiz career, and two weekends ago, both siblings jetted off to Shanghai, China with fellow second-gen star Tay Ying to undergo a rigorous selection process for an entertainment training course at a school called Motown.
When we caught up with Yixi at last week’s launch of Lights. Camera. Singapore, the 27-year-old Mediacorp artiste admitted that if not for Edmund’s insistence, he wouldn’t have even tagged along for the trip, which was organised by celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee for Yixin and Tay Ying (the girls are signed on with Addy’s 3X Media Production).
“I happened to have a free period, and my dad has always told me that as an actor, you should keep finding ways to improve yourself, so when this opportunity came up he was like, ‘Go! And you might as well take care of your sister,’” he chuckled. “He also told me that if I didn’t go for this one, he would’ve found something else for me anyway.”
You might be wondering, why the sudden persistence?
Well, according to Yixi, his dad caught a couple of his dramas and, “He was like, ‘You need to improve’. (Laughs)” Now, this doesn’t mean that Edmund thought his son was doing a bad job – he just believes one can always be better. “He would point out certain scenes and make comments like, ‘Oh, you can go slower’ or ‘Feel the weight of the line you’re delivering’.”
“Besides,” Yixi continued. “As an actor that’s just starting out, it would be dumb to not take any opportunity to learn that comes along - I should embrace and cherish it, rather than deny it.”
And so, despite being fearful and stressed out, Yixi found himself reciting a cheem (complicated) sounding, poem-like phrase from the script of a Chinese period drama in front of a panel. The audition also required participants to do a little “freestyle”, so Yixi broke into a “random hosting segment” that garnered praise from the judges.
“They were like, ‘Oh, you can host!’ and I was like, ‘I can…?’ (Laughs) I guess I learned something new about myself that I didn’t know before - that I can host in Chinese very well!”
Other things Yixi picked up during those few minutes were how to speak and carry himself properly, and how to be “clean” in his acting.
“Sometimes, because you’re nervous or rushing, you might do too many unnecessary little actions [that look cluttered on camera], so you should be more straightforward and ‘clean’,” he explained. “It’s actually something my parents have told me before but it didn’t sink in, but when you hear that in an acting school, it hits you in a different way.”
While he had two weeks to prepare for the trip and three days to memorise the excerpt for the audition, something that caught him - and the other two girls - entirely off guard was a date with the Chinese media and their famously enormous mic flags, as some of you may have seen on Instagram.
“We thought we were only going there to audition, and suddenly there was an interview! What was that about!?” he exclaimed. “None of us knew that was going to happen - did you see our faces in the photos? (Laughs)”
Fortunately for him, Yixi reported that he is much more confident in his Mandarin compared to the past, so he was able to handle the session without a hitch. As for what the reporters there were so eager to find out about, we learned that their interest mainly revolved around Singaporeans going over to China to develop their craft and career.
Another reason Yixi wanted to take this major step out of his comfort zone was so he could prove - both to others and himself - that he is 100 percent serious about acting and not just “playing around”, as some have asked or at least insinuated to him (likely because of his more smooth-sailing foray into the industry as the offspring of respected veterans).
“As with all forms of art, there’s always discipline and commitment involved, and some people don’t think I’m as committed to [acting] as I am, so this is how I want to show my dedication.”
Take that, doubters!
Hong Kong actress Catherine Hung Yan’s 17-year-old son with erstwhile Hong Kong idol and ex Max Mok is said to be preparing his showbiz debut.
Ashley Zhang has been making waves online for his tall stature, as well as his resemblance to S.H.E’s Ella Chen.
He is said to have signed to entertainment company, Yuehua Entertainment as a trainee. Former trainees of Yuehua Entertainment includes Chinese actress Fan Bingbing’s younger brother, Fan Chengcheng, who has since made his debut as a member of the idol group NINEPERCENT.
Ashley is said to be appearing on the Chinese talent show, Story of Team, and was recently spotted at the airport in Beijing, China.
Pictures of the 17-year-old at the airport attracted the attention of netizens, who pointed out that he could pass off as Ella’s younger brother, due to their resemblance.
Catherine and Max started dating in 1997 and broke up in 2000 before Catherine gave birth to Ashley in Canada. The actress married Chinese actor Andy Zhang, whom she has a 11-year age gap with, in 2009 after dating for four years.
Are you a light or heavy packer? Organised or messy? A last minute packer or a well-prepared traveller?
These were a few burning questions we posed to the cast of Channel 8’s newest long-form drama series Jalan Jalan at the show’s press conference last month, where we invited them to bring and share with us some of their must-have travel essentials when they are on an overseas trip.
It was an intimate session, to say the least, with the actors airing some of their insecurities and deepest, darkest secrets, and we had it all captured on camera.
We picked up a couple of interesting celebrity trivia about the cast of Jalan Jalan: there is a self-professed fitness nut who needs to work out every day when he’s travelling because of his sweet tooth; a gadget girl who can’t live without her arsenal of techy stuff (even though it weighs a ton); and an idiosyncratic traveller who packs two of everything, just to name a few…
This week, we have Michelle Wong, who plays Candy, a social escort and sugar baby wannabe – a stark comparison to the actress’ sweet girl-next-door personality. The 27-year-old is a girly girl through and through – something that is plain to see judging by her stash of ‘womanly’ travel essentials and the fact that she travels everywhere with her bulky facial massager.
She admits to being neither an organised packer nor an organised traveller and sometimes continues living out of her suitcase even after a trip. But her ‘relax and chill’ approach to travelling might make her the perfect holiday partner because she’ll just go with the flow with her ‘free and easy’ ways.
Michelle is miss goody-two-shoes personified, and her most ‘stressful’ excess baggage encounter is nothing compared to all the times we tried to ‘talk’ our way out of forking out extra cash for overweight baggage charges.
“One time I went to Korea and split my 20kg luggage allowance into two bags – but the airline required it to be in one bag. I was so stressed, but it was a good thing the staff suggested we put some things in our hand carry bags,” she recounted.
“I really, really love to take videos and Instagram stories – and things like that. Every time I go on a trip I’d take one second videos and piece it together to form a video called ‘Mich in a minute’ – so you can check it out on my Instagram. Most importantly my phone has my music and everything inside too.”
“So these are just some wireless earphones. [I] always need my music, especially when I have no Wi-Fi. I like to listen to old school ‘90s music [by artistes] such as Jay Chou, JJ Lin and a-Mei. (Laughs) But usually I like to listen to instrumental music... [it makes me] feel like I’m in my own movie, when I sit on the train and look outside.”
“This is just in case there’s are no Wi-Fi in the area. [I’m] reading this now called ‘Creativity and Ego’. [I’m] not pretending to be smart, but this is what I’m reading right now. I like to have a book… if not, I’m always on my phone… sometimes it’s a bit cumbersome to bring it around, I like to bring around with me when I take the MRT too – but it’s not like I always read it (laughs).”
“This is a cute but impractical thing… [it’s] so big, but it’s very cute and I’m very happy with it. It can charge my phone two to three times. Good thing about it is that you can charge it multiple times, when you travel and run out of battery – it’s a life saver.”
#5 Facial massager
“The good thing about this massager is when you roll it on the body, it helps to press and knead your muscles. When you travel, you [tend to] walk more than usual. My parents like to use it ‘cos they can just roll it [on their bodies] by themselves. It helps to de-swell your face and de-swell calves and thighs.
“It’s a bit heavy but I still bring it along [with me when I travel]. I think ‘cos I’m used to it. You cannot roll too much if not your skin will tend to sag. You can only roll it once or twice … It’s really useful for legs especially [because it] encourages blood flow. This massaging tool is very useful especially when you travel with elderly people.”
Come next May, Kym Ng will be transforming into a “pretty auntie” – her words, not ours – as she takes on the role of Lin Shujuan in Channel 8 drama Dear Neighbours. Paired up with Yao Wenlong as a couple for the third time, she chuckled that she will be playing “a very demanding auntie who demands a lot from her husband”.
This is the complete opposite of what she’s like in real life, as the actress revealed, “I’m someone who doesn’t really have much of an opinion. If I’m not given directions, I’ll feel lost, so I actually like it when others tell me what to do.”
That’s where her husband, a mysterious man only known to the media as Mr. Yang, comes in. “He’s usually the one who tells me what needs to be done at home (…) We’re a very good team,” she grinned. At his suggestion, she’s also cultivated a love for cooking, and the list of things she knows how to whip up in the kitchen grows ever-longer by the day.
“Most of the time, I’m the one who decides what I want to prepare, but sometimes, he’ll mention something that he wants to try. If I tell him that I’ve never made it, he’ll tell me to just look it up online – that’s how I’ve learned how to cook so many different things,” Kym shared.
Her adventurous streak isn’t only limited to the kitchen, as she revealed that she’s added quite a bit to the things-I’ve-done-in-my-lifetime list during her recent trip to Norway. “I’m the type of person who would rather stay in the hotel if I think something is scary, but my husband was the one who kept encouraging me to try new things during the trip. I’m very thankful that he makes me a better person every day,” she mused.
Kym tells us about her wedding anniversary trip-turned-adventure
The couple, who headed for an adventure to celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary, went whale-watching, chased the northern lights, trekking and more during their 13-day trip. Of course, there was also time for romance as they spent quality time at a lighthouse watching the stars.
“It was dark out, and he said that we should turn off the flashlight. I was like, ‘It’s so dark!’ but he said, ‘Baby, just trust me.’ He turned off the flashlight and after a while, our eyes adjusted to the light and it was amazing. We saw so many stars in the sky, and we enjoyed a bottle of wine that was gifted to us by our friend as an anniversary gift,” she recalled fondly.
There were no mushy declarations of love made during the trip, which Kym explained, “You don’t need fancy words to express such things. It’s about the things you do that carry the real message across.” As for an anniversary gift, she let on that she prepared a winter coat for him before they left for their trip, although it wasn’t the couple wear that we initially expected her to have bought. “He’s just not that kind of person,” she said with a laugh.
Mr. Yang not only encouraged Kym to take a leap of faith in the literal dark, but also encouraged her to drive on the narrow and winding roads in Norway. She elaborated, “There are only two lanes and traffic goes both ways without a divider in the middle of the road. The roads go around the mountains, and there are so many fjords that are really steep as well. It started snowing during our trip as well. He did most of the driving, but I tried it too. When I was afraid, he told me, ‘Just take your time, nobody’s rushing you’ and I’m glad I did. It’s an experience and I don’t regret it at all!”
Whale-watching was also something Kym was initially apprehensive about, as she considered the choppy waters, strong winds and freezing temperatures. “I was also afraid that the whales would come and bump into the boat,” she admitted with a sheepish grin. “He told me not to be silly, and we went. It was so great to be this close to nature. We went on a trip, but ended up on a real adventure.”
How Kym’s former neighbour inspired her
As we moved on to the topic of neighbours (after all, the drama is called Dear Neighbours), Kym spoke fondly about the 30-odd years that she spent living in Ang Mo Kio.
She shared, “One of my former neighbours used to pick me up after classes when I was in primary school. He worked in the airport so he’d sometimes bring me there as well. When the air stewardesses walked past, he would say, ‘Look at them! They’re pretty, aren’t they? You should grow up and be like them, too.’ At the time, I found them really pretty and because of what he said, I grew up wanting to become an air stewardess too.”
She would later realise her dreams, but was unfortunately unable to tell her kind neighbour about it because they lost contact after moving.
More recently, she let on that an Indonesian housewife who recently moved out from next door was one of the kindest neighbours she’s ever met. “She’d always give us delicious things to eat, and whenever she returned home to Indonesia she would bring some cakes or local food back for us as well. I only cook enough for my husband and I, but every Chinese New Year, I’d buy her a bouquet,” she said.
Adding with a mock sigh, Kym mused, “I’m closer to my neighbours in Ang Mo Kio – after all, I lived there for so many years – and we still do things like giving red packets to the children that live in the neighbourhood. These days, however, it’s mostly expats living around me these days, so I’m not as close to them. Of course, I’ll still say hello if I see them – that’s the basic level of manners we should have as neighbours, isn’t it?”
Justin Bieber marked his first Thanksgiving as a married man, saying that “love isn’t always easy” but adding he was trying, like Jesus Christ, to be more patient and selfless.
The Canadian pop singer, 24, who married model Hailey Baldwin in a hush-hush civil ceremony in September, told his 102 million Instagram followers that Thursday’s US Thanksgiving holiday was the first he had hosted.
“First thanksgiving as a married man, first time hosting thanksgiving,” Bieber wrote in a posting on Friday.
“Relationships are hard and love isn’t always easy but thank you Jesus for showing me how! Every day is a learning process, trying to be more like him, patient, kind, selfless, boy I got a long way! But gods grace is sufficient!” he added.
Bieber and Baldwin both attend the evangelical Hillsong Church, which was founded in Australia in 1983 and now has branches worldwide with a big youth following.
Bieber, who found fame as a baby-faced 15 year-old, and Baldwin first unofficially confirmed their marriage in comments on social media last week when the “Sorry” singer called Baldwin “my wife” and the model changed her Instagram name to Hailey Bieber.
Thursday was also the 22nd birthday of Hailey Bieber, which Bieber’s mother Patti Mallette marked with an Instagram Story showing her son singing “Happy Birthday” and presenting his wife with a cake.
“I’m SO #THANKFUL to have you as a daughter!!!” Mallette added on Twitter.
Jackie Chan's estranged 19-year-old daughter Etta Ng is married, according to an Instagram post published on Monday morning (Nov 26).
Etta is the lovechild of the 64-year-old Hong Kong action star and his former mistress, beauty queen Elaine Ng, 45.
A photo posted on a joint social media account showed the couple kissing while holding up what appears to be a marriage certificate. Media reports stated that the pair registered their marriage in Canada.
They wrote: "United by love & law. On our wedding day~"
The caption added that the pair were "abused as children who never felt love". "We have conquered our fears, accepted our faults, and now we understand that the people who hurt us are hurting still. We have all been hurt but if you can dream of love, you can find it."
Etta also posted in her personal Instagram account, writing: "A home is with the family that you can choose and with that we are never alone. Love is undoubtedly stronger than blood."
In October last year, Etta came out as lesbian online, releasing photos of herself and girlfriend Andi Autumn, who is reportedly 12 years her senior.
Autumn, 31, is said to be a Canadian social media personality. The pair, who are currently based in Canada, set up a multimedia company in May focused on producing "meaningful media projects", according to the company's profile on Facebook.
In April, the couple appeared in a YouTube video in April, claiming that they had been homeless for a month "due to homophobic parents".