It is hard to imagine Ian Fang playing a good-for-nothing in Goodbye Mr Loser, a nostalgic flick about a middle-aged underachiever who gets drunk, passes out, and dreams of travelling back in time to pursue the girl who got away. After all, what does this guy know about losing?
As one of Mediacorp’s eight Dukes, the Shanghai-born has almost 190,000 followers on Instagram and is outwardly confident to the point of being, dare we say, cocky. If anything, he is definitely #winning. “But I’m very loser in my love life,” blurts the 27-year-old during our interview.
According to Ian, an ex-girlfriend once cheated on and dumped him for “someone richer and more stable”, while a girl he was seeing a few years ago “went for an ang moh in the end”. Ian muses, “I was sad for a very long time. People always think I’m the one who dumps girls, but no lor!”
And unlike his Goodbye Mr Loser character, Lin Yibai, Ian reckons there is no mistake he made that is worth travelling back in time to amend. “Unless I accidentally get a girl pregnant and made her get an abortion, then I need to go back in time [to reverse my actions],” he laughs, half-jokingly we think.
But there is one thing he wishes he had done differently. Ian recalls, “I once overslept for my final exam back in [polytechnic]. I wanted to get a good grade so badly that I made a false report to the police saying that my laptop was stolen, so that I have a [valid] reason for being late. But the police saw through my story ’cos it was so lame. (Laughs) I got a warning letter from them and a ‘C’ from the school for my final grade. My friend told me, ‘You could have just taken an MC that day lah.’ (Laughs) Even up till now I feel really sorry and couldn’t look past myself for being dishonest. I would rather accept the fact that I made a mistake and don’t make any excuses for it.”
8 DAYS: What do you most often lose in your daily life?
IAN FANG: My hair! (Guffaws) I lose so much hair every day when I shower. My hairline is getting higher and I’m getting worried. Maybe [the hair loss] is ’cos of stress, though now that I’ve the London Choco Roll Happiness Award [from the recent The Road to Star Awards show], I’ve nothing to be stressed about.
Which of your five senses would you rather lose?
My eyesight. The world is becoming very cruel and fake, and I’d rather not see things like terrorism on the news. I love talking, so I’d rather talk.
When was the last time you literally got lost?
Never. I use Google Maps! And I can memorise routes and landmarks quite well. But I was [metaphorically] lost a few years ago when my career, love life and health were not on track. As much as I look confident, I feel lonely and indecisive when I’m lost.
When did you last lose your temper?
About four years ago, when some people online called my mother a China hooker. I got really angry. Please write this in capital letters: don’t attack my family! You can attack me ’cos I’m a public figure, but don’t talk bad about my mum. I’m bad-tempered by nature, but my good friends like Elvin [Ng], Romeo [Tan] and Rebecca [Lim] are all very good-tempered. So when I see them being so chill I get better.
What’s one unhappy memory you would be more than happy to lose?
Everything about my dad. [Ian’s parents divorced when he was young]. He always does things that create bad memories for me. But I will be a good dad. Better than Christopher Lee! (Laughs) He’s such an inspiration to me ’cos he has such a fatherly air about him and he really dotes on his son.
Goodbye Mr Loser is in theatres now.