Xiang Yun Says Both She And Edmund Chen Weren’t Aware That ROM Meant Actually Getting Married; Talks About Being The “OG” Of Whirlwind Romances
This week’s tete a tete on With Love, Becks is with veteran actress Xiang Yun, 61, who has been married to former Mediacorp actor, Edmund Chen, for 33 years.
Back in the pre-Internet era (yes, it’s hard to imagine), the couple’s romance and surprise wedding in 1989 was the talk of the town, especially as it was even more rare then to hear of a couple’s engagement without any whiff of their relationship going public before such an announcement.
It’s no wonder Becks was interested to find out more about their love story, given the fact that she too, admits to having somewhat of a whirlwind romance herself.
Xiang Yun, whom Becks describes as “her motherly figure in the industry”, was more than happy to share about her earlier days with Edmund, starting with how they met.
“We actually did a show together before [starring in Patrol (1989)]. He was still a newbie; he played a scholar and that’s how we started interacting. He’d share a cab with me from time to time, and if we filmed through the night, we would have breakfast together. Maybe that was an excuse to ask me out, but I wasn’t too receptive to his advances at that time,” revealed Xiang Yun.
She added that Edmund didn’t even live close to her back then, but she didn’t read too much into it because he “is quite westernised”.
The couple got married after acting in Patrol together, with Xiang Yun admitting that it “could be considered a whirlwind romance”.
“So is yours!” she told Becks, laughing.
“But you’re the OG (original icon) of whirlwind romances, you know?” exclaimed Rebecca.
“Plus, it was so long ago. At that time, whirlwind romances were rare,” Becks continued.
Xiang Yun then revealed that she and Edmund “didn’t know that registering the marriage meant [they] were getting married”. She started: "It didn't cross our minds, because for our generation —"
"You thought you were only married after the wedding banquet," provided Becks.
“Yes. We only thought about registering our marriage and getting our home before announcing our relationship and marriage. We didn’t think the news would leak. After we got our date from the Registry of Marriages, the reporters were already waiting for us outside, and that’s how we announced [it],” said Xiang Yun.
Rebecca was curious to find out how Edmund managed to woo Xiang Yun over, despite their different personalities.
“I’m a quiet person, so I found him really adorable and lively. He makes me laugh,” chuckled Xiang Yun, before jokingly waving a fist while saying: “But it didn’t turn out as simple as the way I’d imagined!”
“I don’t go round condemning whirlwind romances, because everyone starts off as strangers. Some split even after knowing each other for decades, don’t they?” added Xiang Yun.
Becks then posed this question to Xiang Yun: “When you decided to marry Edmund, I believe that people within and outside of the industry had lots of opinions. Because you were very popular at that time, and Edmund was a newbie who just joined the industry.”
Xiang Yun revealed that one "good thing about her" is the fact that she doesn’t care.
“To this day, I still don’t care what people say. I think the most important thing in life is to be happy. Care only about the important things, especially when it comes to rumours. Many in our industry weaponise rumours, because the industry is rife with jealousy. Your personal life is sacred,” she explained.
Xiang Yun went on to gush about how delighted she is that Becks is getting married, ‘cos it would mean that she will be building her own life, and there is “much that she won’t bother with anymore”.
Xiang Yun joked about asking Edmund for a do-over for their proposal, because it “wasn’t very romantic”. Though she doesn’t really remember how she was proposed to, she believes it was probably because he asked her if “they should apply for a house”.
“You think of him as a very romantic person, but he’s not. He’s just playful. He’d mess up my hair after I have it all combed properly. It’s infuriating! He still does things like that to this day,” laughed Xiang Yun.
She then revealed that over the past few years, she really wanted to reassess what used to infuriate her and learn how to appreciate her husband from another perspective. Ever since having their kids, Chen Xi, 31, and Chen Yixin, 22, she is also able to see that Edmund’s playful charm makes their children happy too.
Photos: Mediacorp, meWATCH, Xiang Yun/ Instagram
Watch more of Rebecca and Xiang Yun talking about marriage and traditional wedding customs on the latest episode of With Love, Becks on meWATCH, or catch it below.