Let’s just get this out of the way: despite their chummy interactions and undeniable chemistry as seen on social media, Chantalle Ng and Edwin Goh are not a couple.
It’s a clarification that Chantalle herself brought up, even before we had a chance to squeeze in the kaypoh-but-kinda-necessary (for us entertainment journalists, at least) question about the level of their relationship at the press conference for Old is Gold last Tuesday (May 21).
“A lot of people have actually asked me if we are dating,” said the 23-year-old actress with a wry smile. “But we’re not! We’re just really good friends.” And before anyone starts to feel sorry for Edwin for being relegated to the dreaded friend zone, he concurred wholeheartedly, even quipping, “What is dating?”
We think no one would be happier to hear that romance will only be confined to the pair’s reel-life selves (in the later part of the series, that is) than Chantalle’s mother, award-winning veteran actress Lin Meijiao.
“You know what my mum said to me when she found out I was doing this drama? ‘Oh, you will be working with Edwin, right? You’d better not start dating ah!’” she chuckled, causing her poor 24-year-old co-star to have a bewildered look on his face.
Again, before anyone starts to feel sorry for Edwin, Chantalle quickly elaborated that Meijiao probably “meant it as a joke”, and that she has nothing against the actor. “I think she just wants me to be professional because we’ll be the only young people on set working closely together,” she explained.
That said, Chantalle also admitted that her mother could have made that remark to prevent history from repeating itself. “In the past, I was in another drama and I kinda fell in love with my co-star, but it didn’t end well,” she revealed sheepishly (sorry, she won’t say who it was). “Of course, my mum knew everything because I told her, so I guess she was just reminding me.”
While there are no feelings between the two, their platonic palliness is just as adorable and heart-warming to behold: Edwin praised Chantalle’s “openness” and added that he genuinely enjoys his time on set when she’s around, while Chantalle gleefully dubbed Edwin as an essential part of her “long-form drama survival kit”. “Every time I see his name in the filming rundown, I’ll be happy because I know it’s going to be a good day, and I’ll be quite sad when he’s not there,” she shared.
This officially puts to rest any concerns they initially had about taking on their very first long-form drama. For Edwin, he was afraid he might eventually get tired of playing the same character for nine months (they still have about half a year of shooting left).
Chantalle, on the other hand, had witnessed the effects of such a lengthy commitment on her mum. “I’ve seen her experience and it was super tiring, especially with Jalan Jalan - I looked at her hours and I was like, wah, this is the busiest she’s been since I was born!” she recalled. “It seemed to really suck the energy out of her, so that’s what worried me [with Old is Gold], but so far it’s been really good.”
It probably also helps that Chantalle gets to share the screen with one of her idols, Rui En, even though their professional relationship may have gotten off to a slightly humiliating start (for Chantalle, at least).
“When Rui En and I were formally introduced to each other at our first cast meeting, the producer told her, ‘Oh, when Chantalle heard you were going to be working with her, she was screaming.’ It was so embarrassing! I was like, please don’t let this be her first impression of me, she’s going to think I’m so lame! But in the end, I think I managed to salvage [my image]. (Laughs)”
Old is Gold airs weeknights at 7.30pm on Channel 8 and Toggle.
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