Alan Wan is bursting out of his tee... with joy. After seven years acting in TVB dramas, the Hongkong star who grew up in the U.S., finally scored his first English-speaking role in Ch 5’s Faculty. “I speak minimal Chinese. So when I act in Mandarin dramas, I have someone read all my lines to me, and then I write them out and memorise them. So when I got to speak English for this role, it was like (hums a melody) (laughs)," he says.
The affable star is as hunky in real life as he is onscreen. His white tee struggles to contain his bulging muscles, a testament to his Mr Hongkong beginnings. His manly charms are put to good use in Faculty, where he unleashes his inner Casanova. “My character meets and mingles with many people," he says. "So I had a lot of intimate scenes with many people. [My character] Alex has a lot of different women in his life (laughs),” he says. Well, sounds like reel life imitating real life, right? The 31-year-old actor has hogged headlines for his rumoured romances with TVB actresses Sisley Choi (“She’s my best friend”) and Eliza Sam (“She’s married now, so we can’t speak about that”) amongst others. But, for now, he tells us cryptically that he’s “single, and available and unavailable at the same time.” Any takers?
8 DAYS: You play a privileged playboy in Ch 5 varsity-themed drama Faculty. Ever been guilty of two-timing?
ALAN WAN: I don’t know why but everybody thinks that I’m a playboy (laughs). When I find the right person, I’m very dedicated. And if I think that the relationship isn’t working out, I’m able to move on very easily.
Your character starts off as a bad boy but eventually finds redemption. What are some lessons you have had to learn the hard way?
Honestly, I don’t have any regrets in life. Eight years ago, I was living in New York teaching golf and cooking as a chef. One day, my mum was like, “Hey, do you want to try for the Mr Hong Kong contest?” That propelled me into what I’m doing now. I’m a very live-by-the-moment kind of guy. So I moved [to Hongkong] without a thought.
So you have your mum to thank for your acting career today.
Yes. Back then, I didn’t even know who Andy Lau was. My mum always watches TVB. But, I’d never be interested ’cos I didn’t understand Mandarin. If I didn’t get into acting, I’ll probably be playing golf or cooking my entire life. I went into acting and loved it right away. I realised then that this is what I want to do every day for the rest of my life.
You opened an ice-cream café in 2015. You don’t really strike us as a dessert person.
I’m a meat person. I like red meat, pasta and anything with carbs. Basically, I love any food that’s bad for you (laughs). I thought it was a good idea to do ice-cream ’cos a lot of people in Hongkong like desserts. And you can be creative with ice-cream. I made all the recipes and came up with all the different flavours, like bacon ice-cream.
We read about your love life quite frequently on the Hongkong tabloids [Ed: He was rumoured to have dated TVB actresses Eliza Sam and Sisley Choi.] How has that affected your relationship with your female friends?
Sometimes, I get very close to someone and people think we’re dating. That’s not always the case. Sometimes, we can’t live the lives we want ’cos of paparazzi. Obviously, I’m no Andy Lau. But, I still have to live my life and not worry about that. I know many Hongkong stars that are so affected by the paparazzi that they don’t go out or have to wear a mask or hat when they do. We shouldn’t live like that. Look at Chow Yun Fat. He goes hiking every day, he takes public transport — that’s how I want to live my life. I’ve given up so much to be an actor, like living away from my parents who are still in New York, that if I can’t enjoy life and go out in the streets and have a coffee with a friend, that’s not living life.
Faculty airs Mon to Thurs, Ch 5, 10pm.
PHOTOS: Kelvin Chia