Edmund Chen is acting again in a Ch 8 drama after a decade, but that’s not the most exciting part of his comeback. Well, at least for him. For the very youthful-looking 56-year-old, what he’s really looking forward to is acting alongside his son Yi Xi, 26, daughter Yi Xin, 17, and his wife Xiang Yun, 55, for the first time on Ch 8. [P/S: The last time Ed acted opppsite his wife was 13 years ago in Double Happiness.] Together with Yi Xin, Edmund will be joining the cast of long-form drama Life Less Ordinary, which Xiang Yun and Yi Xi already star in. The cast of Life also includes Chen Liping, Romeo Tan and Felicia Chin. Edmund plays a rich businessman who runs into his childhood friend (Xiang Yun) on board a cruise ship. “It’s been a dream of mine to see our whole family act in a drama together. I’m really excited as I haven’t seen my dad act in a very long time (laughs),” says Yi Xin, who will play Edmund’s daughter in Life. Yi Xi, who plays an ice-skating coach in the drama, says: “I may not have any dialogue with my dad [in the show] but I’m still looking forward to it. I think he’s really cool and stylish!” In case you’ve forgotten, the last Ch 8 drama Edmund starred in was The Golden Path in 2007. “The reason I decided to act again was ’cos Xiang Yun wanted to take Yi Xin along when she shoots the drama on the cruise for five days. And [I realised that] Yi Xi will be there too. I didn’t want to be left alone at home,” he laughs as he glances at his kids with fatherly pride beaming from every pore.
8 DAYS: Welcome back to the small screen, Edmund! So what’s the real reason you decided to act in a Ch 8 show again?
EDMUND CHEN: It’s really ’cos I get to spend quality time with my family on a cruise. It’s like a mini holiday for us (laughs). I think it will be quite difficult [to act opposite Xiang Yun] ’cos I will definitely burst into laughter while delivering my lines opposite her! I have some scenes with Liping too and I think it’ll be quite fun ’cos I used to act quite a lot with her in the past. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone on set and saying hi to the newer actors and actresses too.
Will you guys rehearse the lines at home?
YI XI: We just got our scripts so we probably will.
EDMUND: I’ll go through the lines with them and this can be our new family bonding activity (chuckles). However, I won’t give them too much direction as I don’t want them to depend too much on me. I want them to be able to interact with other actors on set and come up with their own responses as well.
What about your scenes with Xiang Yun?
I don’t think we’re going to do that (laughs). I’ll see what kind of chemistry we can create together on screen.
How stressed are you about appearing on the small screen again?
EDMUND: I feel stressed when it comes to my physical appearance (laughs). I used to play leading man roles but it’s been 10 years since Ch 8 viewers have seen me. They would definitely be able to see that I’ve aged quite a bit. I can’t possibly play a 30-year-old man anymore. Of course, the most important thing is for viewers to feel comfortable when they see me on TV.
Yi Xin and Yi Xi are just starting out in showbiz. Do they confide in you when they face problems at work?
EDMUND: The two of them have been sharing their problems with me since they were in school. These days, Yi Xi is more independent and does his own things. Yi Xin is more sensitive. Even when I pick her up from school [Ed: She’s a student at Singapore Poly], she asks me to wait for her in the carpark as she doesn’t want people to see me (laughs). I understand the pressure they face as my kids, and I’m happy that they are finding their own direction in showbiz now too.
Yi Xin and Yi Xi, are you worried about being compared to your parents since you are all in the same drama?
YI XIN: Yes, I’m very worried about people comparing us or criticising our acting.
EDMUND: (pats Yi Xin’s head) You don’t have to worry. It’s [going to be] fine.
YI XI: Sometimes, it’s hurtful when people say things like: ‘Do you even know how to act?’ On our end, we can only learn to do our best. We appreciate constructive criticism and comments though.
YI XIN: This is part and parcel of showbiz. We can only learn from my idol Taylor Swift and just ‘shake it off’! (Guffaws)
Life Less Ordinary is showing on weekdays on Ch 8 at 730pm.