If you’re wondering if Romeo’s Hokkien has improved after filming two dialect dramas (he was also in the first season of How Are You?), he believes it has, but he stops short of claiming he can carry a proper conversation entirely in the language.
“After season one, I thought I would never do another Hokkien show ‘cos they didn’t call me back for dubbing, so I assumed they had given up on me,” he chuckled. “So when I was asked to be in season two, I was a bit shocked but also very happy at the same time 'cos season one received very good feedback from the audience.”
The show is apparently so popular with senior citizens that Romeo gets aunties coming up to him to speak in Hokkien while calling him by his character’s name, Xiao Gandang. “The other day, I was at the supermarket with my mum, and a helper who was pushing an ah ma in a wheelchair saw me and went, ‘Eh, Gandang, Gandang!’ Then the ah ma looked at me and said, ‘Xiao Gandang! Ho bo (how are you)?’ (Laughs)”
With How Are You? 2 already airing on TV, Romeo has been busy focusing on two other major projects: his new Ch 8 drama Jungle Survivor, which also stars Rebecca Lim, Felicia Chin, and Pierre Png, as well as renovations on his new pad at Marina One Residences, which he got the keys to back in May.
Unlike his pal Elvin Ng, who had an absolutely horrid time dealing with irresponsible contractors while doing up his house, Romeo was happy to report that everything has been very smooth-sailing so far, and that he is on track to finally move in later this month.
“I went to have a look yesterday and I would say it’s about 80 per cent done?” said Romeo, who is still staying with his family at their four-room flat in Simei while he waits for his place to be ready. “There have been no headaches except for when they had to stop for two months during the circuit breaker, but fortunately it isn’t a very huge renovation.”
From his description, though, it still sounds like a pretty major overhaul. “I included a lot more storage space, changed the wallpaper, and tore down the folding doors separating the living room and bedroom to replace them with glass and black metal frames, like the kind at PS.Cafe, so that it feels more open. It’s almost like a hotel room where the bedroom and living room are in one big space, and I like it when the glass doors are opened up and I can see through to the other room. Overall, I’m very satisfied with the result right now.”
When the construction dust settles, Romeo envisions his home having a “resort” feel with a modern touch, complete with indoor greenery to give his surroundings a lush, natural look.
While he declined to reveal how much he splashed on his apartment, Romeo called his purchase “a good investment” and shared that he was drawn to the condo 'cos of its facade and prime location.
As for how his parents feel about him moving out: “They are quite cool with it 'cos they’ve been busy taking care of my niece and nephew so it’s good to have one less person taking up space at home. (Laughs)”