Mediacorp Hunk Tyler Ten Is “Honoured” To Be Known As A Thirst Trap; But Says He Would Never Go Up To A Girl On The Streets To Ask For Her Number
The 26-year-old actor, who's the star of new Mediacorp drama When Duty Calls 2, says he still has to work on communicating with people.
In new Mediacorp drama When Duty Calls 2, Tyler Ten, 26, plays Chan Oon King, aka OK Chan, an OC in the Army Deployment Force.
Tyler's character is a new addition to the When Duty Calls franchise. He is aloof and taciturn and is often mistaken for being cold and self-centered by his peers.
He is also pathologically shy, which isn't the best trait when it comes to matters of the heart.
In the show, Tyler's love interest is Felicia Chin's tomboyish medic officer Pey Jing Yu, who is also pursued romantically by Nick Teo's free-spirited helicopter pilot Apollo.
When 8days.sg met the young actor at the drama's recent press conference, we couldn't help but notice certain similarities between him and OK Chan.
In fact, Tyler agrees with us when we make the observation to him.
"Yes, we’re very similar. But he’s worse lah (laughs). Sometimes I'd wonder why he would say [or do] certain things," he says.
Don't get us wrong. We're not saying Tyler is reticent and distant. Far from that, actually. But he's surprisingly bashful. Something we didn't expect the strapping superhero-like 1.9m tall Star Search 2019 finalist to be in person.
Maybe it's the way he sits during our chat — in a fixed position the whole time, with his hands on the table and leaning forward. It kinda reminds us of a schoolboy who doesn't want to draw attention to himself.
It would be hard not to notice Tyler though. He dwarfs everyone else in the room and his hulking physique makes the table look terribly tiny.
He also turns coy when we talk about him being Mediacorp's newest thirst trap — a title he earned since heating up the screens as a dashing fireman in In Safe Hands. And he looks set to continue making audiences thirsty in When Duty Calls 2.
We mean, come on, just look at him.
8DAYS.SG: Thanks to your roles in In Safe Hands, where you played a hunky fireman, and now a strapping officer in When Duty Calls 2, you've become Mediacorp's new thirst trap. How do you feel about that?
TYLER: (Smiles bashfully) I feel very honoured 'cos not everyone can be a thirst trap. I’d take it as a compliment. If I can show, why not? And I've been training so hard, about five to six days a week, so I might as well show it (laughs). And it's a good thing 'cos that means people notice you. (Chuckles)
Who in your opinion is Mediacorp's thirst trap?
Pierre Png, Desmond Tan, Elvin Ng. Oh, and Zheng Geping da ge. Before I [became an actor], I’d always look at the physiques of other guys as motivation and would google their names to find out how they train. I once read about how Geping da ge ate 24 egg whites a day just to gain muscles for a role.
Would you gain weight and lose all your muscles for a role then?
I would do it but after filming I’d go back to my usual routine.
Do you have a girlfriend and she does mind netizens lusting after you?
Um, I don't have one, but even if I do, I think she would support me 'cos this is my job. Even if my parents object to it, I'd also say "No, I have to do it" (laughs).
You've played uniformed men in your last two dramas. Do you enjoy taking on such roles?
Actually it’s my dream to wear all kinds of uniforms. My secondary school CCA was National Cadet Corps, and I thought I would be posted to an army unit [during NS]. But in the end I was posted to SCDF.
So I thought, "Wah, I’ll never get to experience what life in the army is like". But thanks to [When Duty Calls 2], I got to experience it so it's great.
You've posted quite a number of shirtless pictures on Instagram. So you don't mind showing off your physique online?
Actually I used to post a lot more but I’ve since cut down 'cos if you keep showing then people won’t appreciate it. Maybe I’ll only show it on screen from now on.
Do you think you’re a vain person?
Yes, I’m very vain. (Chuckles) I care a lot about my appearance on screen 'cos I want to look like I’m always ready. I always maintain my diet and I try to be lean all year round.
And I always check myself out 'cos that’s how you improve! (Laughs) I’d say I check out my own reflection in three out of five [reflective surfaces] I walk past (laughs).
Do you think your build and physique makes you stand out from your peers, like Herman Keh and Zhai Siming? [The three actors are marketed by Mediacorp as a trio known as 'HST', an acronym made up of the first letters of their names]
I think it's my strength lah. We are of similar heights but we have very different personalities and physical appearances. So this is something for me to differentiate myself.
Who would you say is the hottest among the three of you?
I’d leave that to the audience (laughs)
But which one of you is better with girls?
I’d say it’s Siming 'cos he has the Korean oppa look and can speak very well. I’m an introvert and I don’t communicate well with people.
It’s actually still really hard for me [to communicate with people] but I’ve been trying to express myself better. Interviews are fine maybe 'cos I treat it as work but I’m more reserved when it comes to day-to-day conversations.
In the show, your character has difficulty expressing himself, especially when it comes to love. Are you like that in real life?
I’d say I can relate to him quite a bit. I’m also the kind of person who wouldn’t go for it unless I’m sure the girl has feelings for me too. (Laughs) I wouldn’t go all out to pursue a girl who doesn’t have feelings for me.
I'm worried about losing face lah, It would hurt my pride (chuckles) so I'm also not the kind who would go up to girls on the streets [to ask for their numbers].
Then do girls go after you instead?
Also don't have leh. (laughs)
Have you ever been rejected though?
Have lah, when I was younger. I used to be a nerd, I wore specs and I was very very skinny. It was only when I entered poly that I started dressing up. I looked very different.
Would you say that 'cos of how you look now, you won't get rejected anymore?
I wouldn't dare to say that (laughs).
Catch the first episode of When Duty Calls 2 on meWATCH below: