Peter Yu says he’s open to appearing on ex-wife Quan Yifeng’s shows if she ever invites him.
It will cost her producers, though, he adds. “I have a family to support, too,” he says, with a hearty laugh. “Hey, I’m only joking [about the money].”
That said, he’s quick to rubbish rumours that he’ll be guesting on Quan’s emo chat show Hear U Out, and YiFong and Eleanor’s Kitchen, the cooking programme starring his ex and their daughter Eleanor Lee. “I’m hearing this for the first time,” Yu says in Mandarin. “Where did you get your information?”
A face-shielded Yu, 52, is speaking to 8days.sg and other press at the Calla Lily Presidential Villa, One Farrer Hotel, where he’s filming his latest, Reunion, an English mystery drama from Code of Law creator Lee Thean-Jeen. The Mediacorp series — slated to premiere in April — also stars Lim Kay Tong, Sivakumar Palakrishnan, Shawn Thia, and Chen YiXi.
The story follows a group of friends whose lives are turned upside down when a pal of theirs — a scion of a rich and powerful family — turns up suddenly after being missing for more than 15 years. But is this really their long-lost friend? If yes, where has he been all this time?
Any conversation with Yu will inevitably, uncomfortably lead to Quan. When asked to comment on her recent feud with a Chinese daily over a report alleging that she has fallen out with best friend and celeb hairstylist Addy Lee, Yu says he’s nothing new to add to the narrative. In fact, he’s tired of being asked the same questions about his past. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he tells the journos politely.
In 2019, Yu told 8days.sg, “I think I should tell people, let’s move forward together; if you’re asking about my past, [it’s] you who are behind me. Why don’t you ask me about my future?” Or for that matter his present.
Since media production resumed in June after the Circuit Breaker ended, Yu has acted in a few short films as well as the dialect serial Hoseh Bo? (How Are You?). In August, Yu started work on Reunion, his second English drama after last year’s Fried Rice Paradise. Unlike that adaptation of Dick Lee’s musical, the dialogue in Reunion is in English and Mandarin. “It’s more natural and easier to switch between the two languages,” he says.
But there are challenges. Because the script is written in English, he occasionally has to consult Google to translate certain lines into Mandarin. He would also run it by his wife Brenda — with whom he has sons, Israel, three, and Christian, seven — for advice. “I would ask her, ‘How would you say this line in Mandarin if you were saying this?’”
Elsewhere, Yu calls his first-time collaboration with Lim Kay Tong, 66, a rewarding and enjoyable experience. It was intimidating initially, but after a few days of filming, they got to know each other a little better (“between takes we talked about my testimony, how we got into acting”), which made it easier for the born-again Christian to play the right-hand man to Lim’s property developer.
And speaking of property, when acting gigs dried up because of COVID-19 crisis, Yu returned to his old job as a realtor. In July, he told Shin Min Daily News, “I’ve actually not been a property agent for nine years, but I renew my licence every year.”
But right now, with things slowly returning to normal (or rather a new normal), acting takes precedence over real-estate brokerage, says Yu, who’s in the midst of upgrading his three-room HDB flat to a four-room unit (“we need space for the kids”).
Wait, does Yu still drive for Grab? “I’ll still do that but only when I am free,” he says.
Reunion will premiere on Channel 5 and meWATCH in April 2021.
Photos: Alvin Teo (Reunion); Taipan Films & mm2 Entertainment (Circle Line)