Andie Chen, Kate Pang go independent

The couple admitted that they’re fearful, yet hopeful while embarking on a new chapter of their lives, after deciding against renewing their respective contracts with Mediacorp

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Celebrity couple Andie Chen and Kate Pang announced on their respective social media platforms this morning (November 1) that they have ended their respective contracts with Mediacorp, and thanked the company for their blessing as they move on to the next stage of their lives. 

Andie’s contract was up on October 1, whereas Kate’s expired on October 31.

The actor wrote, “Most of my 10 years in acting, I was attached to the company. They have given me a start in my career, a channel to explore my passions and most importantly they played a big part in the formation of my family.”

Kate shared similar sentiments, musing, “I’m thankful to Mediacorp for guiding me along every step of the way and grateful to the bosses and managers for their love. As I close this chapter of my life today, it doesn’t mean that the gratitude also comes to an end. I still feel the same way, and my home is still my home. I’ll always remember this place that gave me a stage to stand on, and room to grow.”

Toggle spoke to the couple via a phone interview, where they shared more about how they made this milestone decision, addressed the elephant in the room by clarifying if what happened at Star Awards 2017 affected their decision, and where they will go from here.

Read on for more.

Was Andie’s decision affected by him missing out on a Star Award 2017 gong?

This is probably the question on everyone’s minds after Andie went back home empty-handed despite being nominated for the Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes categories, and the 32-year-old cleared the air once and for all with his reply.

“Actually, this incident made me grow closer to the company,” he chuckled. “After the magazine report came out, we started communicating a lot better, and as a result, we got to understand one another better as well. Our relationship is pretty good.”

Sharing that he feels that he grew up in Mediacorp, given that his first acting gig was when he was 11 years old, he went on, “Mediacorp is like my first love. When I was discussing the possibility of not renewing my contract, I admitted to the management that I really love the company. After all, it’s been a part of my life since I was really young, and I grew up in the comfort of it.”

“I feel very happy despite (having to go our separate ways), because when we were still in discussions, they gave me a very warm reaction, and understood where I’m coming from. What’s more important is that they support me, which makes me feel very relieved. I might not be an artiste who’s under the company any longer, but we’re still in a very good relationship and there will definitely be opportunities to work together in the future.”

(Continued on next page: So, why did 'Kandie' decide to go independent?)

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We asked Kate if they took a photo in front of the Mediacorp sign, to which Kate responded, "We didn't, but you can always edit us into the same photo!" Ask and you shall receive.

Why did 'Kandie' decide to go independent?

With the couple spending an increasing amount of time on their year-old portal, Kandie Family (previously known as Kandie Network), they shared that the workload has gotten too heavy for them to juggle.

Moreover, Andie set up his own YouTube channel and frequently updates it with his own material, which also takes up precious time.

“I’m actually involved in a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, such as scriptwriting,” Kate let on. “It’s a pretty heavy workload so this is also part of the reason why I felt like I needed more flexibility in my career.” Meanwhile, Andie shared that he wants to expand more into theatrical productions and art films, which are areas that are relatively more foreign to him.

This, however, doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing Kate and Andie on our screens any longer, as they shared that they will continue to consider opportunities offered to them by Mediacorp. The pair will also be teaming up for upcoming Toggle Original My Agent Is A Hero, which is slated to premiere on Toggle in February 2018.

Andie will also be taking up a hosting gig on Channel 5 programme Super Mum, Super Dad.

Kate Pang opens up about how she feels stepping into the unknown

When we mentioned the lack of a stable income that will come with their newfound freedom, Kate shared, “Actually, most artistes around the world have to deal with this problem. There are very few companies which are like Mediacorp that will give you a fixed salary. Most artistes have to work in order to have any income at all, so I feel that I’m just returning to the life of an average celebrity.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that she hasn’t felt uneasy about this big step. “I was in a dilemma about renewing my contract for almost half a year. It was probably because of the sense of security I have while I’m with the company. It’s a very stable job, with a stable income, and everything is very familiar to me. Now that I’m setting myself free, I’m honestly a little afraid,” she admitted.

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What does the future hold for Kandie?

Given the little ones that they have at home, Aden and Avery, Kate and Andie have shared that they will likely remain in Singapore, at least until their children grow up a little more.

However, they will not be rejecting the idea of relocating overseas for their respective careers. “I might think of it in a few years’ time,” Andie let on. “It doesn’t mean that I need to live in China just because I want to have a career there. You can shuttle between countries while you’re doing that, so I don’t think a career needs to be restricted by where you actually live.”

Does that also mean that baby number three won’t be popping out anytime soon, given that he or she could serve as a ‘speed bump’ to their careers? “We’re not planning for another baby at the time being, but having a child is a really happy event, and they’re definitely not a barrier in our lives,” he clarified.

As for Kate, she revealed that she has always been in contact with her showbiz friends in Taiwan and the mainland, and that she hasn’t managed to take on any jobs just yet because of scheduling difficulties.

With all the uncertainty in their future, how will Kandie handle their finances from now on?

“We do feel a bit worried about our finances, but I believe that having a good heart, doing good things, and continuously working hard means we probably won’t starve to death,” Kate laughed. “It’ll be more of a matter of how much or little that we earn, but I don’t think we’ll reach a point where we can’t even feed our family.”

She added with a wry chuckle, “If you check our social media feeds and see Aden getting slimmer and slimmer, you’d probably be able to guess what happened. Send help then!”

Photos: The Celebrity Agency, Andie Chen/Instagram, Kate Pang/Instagram

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