Rui En on why she doesn't use social media

"We should always maintain that distance from fans." (This is excerpted from an article that first appeared in Issue 879, Aug 23, 2007)

Rui En doesn't have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, and she doesn't care. Neither should you. 

8 DAYS: You don’t have a social media account.

RUI EN: I honestly never got why people get these online profiles. I don’t see the point. Don’t you find that it’s for anonymous people trying to become famous? To get their 15 minutes of fame? Maybe it’s because I’m in this line already so I’m kind of a public figure. But blogging I can understand. I’ve seen Felicia (Chin)’s blog. It’s a way to be heard and to get your views across. It’s also a good outlet for self-promotion. You can inadvertently promote your TV show, your drama… you can immediately update your fans. Nowadays, fans want to be updated all the time.

Don’t you see a need to update your fans?

I guess the company culture in Hype [Artiste Networks], and with [Hype boss] Ken Lim, is that we should always maintain that distance from fans. I guess I’m very old-fashioned. I’m influenced by those old Hollywood stars. There must be that little bit of distance. 

Does that make you more intriguing, unattainable, perhaps?

Definitely lah. Maybe not so accessible. We live in an age of the paparazzi, the tabloids, and I’m very serious about my privacy. Anyway, the more interesting ones are always harder to get. It’s like boys chasing girls, what. 

Be honest, have you Googled yourself?

Yes, and it’s very scary. You get the blog hits and that’s where you see people’s opinions of you. “Aiyah, she’s so fat lah, she’s so ugly lah.” But I’ve made it a point not to read such opinions. I don’t want to be influenced by them.

So it’s pretty vicious vibes, then? What do you mean by “influenced”?

They’d say things like, “She can’t act, she’s too aloof,” that sort of thing. When I started out a few years ago I wanted the limelight. It’s almost like a drug lah, when you see your name mentioned in print. It’s harmful and addictive. But it’s part of the industry. 

I’m sure they say good things as well.

I’m the sort who tends to remember the stinging comments… like, “Oh my god, she’s so ugly, so fat, cannot act, cannot sing.” Argh! I remember those. I’m very pessimistic like that. 

Generally, people single you out as the one with “attitude”. That’s a good thing, no?

(Muses over this for a bit) Hmm… I guess I don’t want to be cookie-cutter. I don’t want to be from the Caldecott, MediaCorp Fame Academy. I’m not part of that machine, that mould. Some people are really okay with the culture there. A lot of people, some Chinese media actually, actually think my attitude is holding me back. The thing is, I’ve never set out to be a Zoe or a Fann. I don’t like acting-acting. That’s Ch 8 acting. If you’re shocked, you’re like (demonstrates highly-deranged, exaggerated gasps). I want a Ch 5 attitude towards Ch 8 acting.

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