What a difference a year, or two, make. When Felicia Chin, 32, and Jeffrey Xu, 28, played lovers in 2015’s Ch 8 long-form drama Life — Fear Not, they were not yet a couple. But sparks flew on set back then and by Dec 2015 they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Fast forward to 2017, and the lovebirds who went public with their romance in Oct 2016 are set to play a couple again in upcoming Ch 8 drama Life Less Ordinary. In the 130-ep show, Felicia plays the meek and submissive girlfriend to Jeffrey’s domineering character who orders her about like his PA. Of course, that couldn’t be further from reality. At the drama’s imaging session, Jeffrey lovingly tucks Felicia’s hair behind her ears as they compare outfits. Then, when Felicia accidentally drops the biscuits she was snacking on during our chat, Jeffrey quickly bends over to pick them up. They call each other “bao bei” (“darling” in Mandarin) and conduct this interview with their hands tightly clasped together.
8 DAYS: How do you guys feel about working together again?
(At this point, Felicia accidentally drops her entire packet of biscuits all over her chair and floor)
JEFFREY XU: Is this question very hard?
FELICIA CHIN: (Mock cries) I’m sorry… (Jeffrey picks up the biscuits and Felicia coos: “Bao bei, xie xie ni.”)
JEFFREY: I’m looking forward to it. I’m curious what new sparks will fly between us in this show. In Life — Fear Not, we already had a lot of sparks. But this time, it will be a different kind of spark ’cos we play a couple right from the start.
FELICIA: There are pros and cons to working together. It’s exciting for us ’cos we have a common goal — we’re creating a work together onscreen. Of course, it’s a plus that we get to see each other more. But, as a couple, sometimes, we have our squabbles. When we spend more time together, there might be a bit of friction too. So the difficulty comes when we need to act out a very sweet scene when we’re actually having a quarrel outside of work. That's why we must know how to resolve our differences so it won’t get in the way of work.
Some actors avoid watching their partners doing love scenes. Is it the same for you guys? And if you do watch, do you ever get jealous?
JEFFREY: I’d get jealous. But those feelings quickly vanish ’cos I know that’s work. If I’m unable to accept it, then I wouldn’t have dated someone in showbiz. But I’ll tell Felicia beforehand [if I have any romantic scenes with other actresses].
FELICIA: I’d tell Jeffrey just to prep him. Of course, it would be very big-hearted of me to say, “Oh, I’m okay to watch him do anything with any actress ’cos he’s an actor.” But, I’d feel something ’cos even though I’m an actress, I’m his girlfriend as well. So I’d rather not watch [those scenes] ’cos it’d make me feel uncomfortable (laughs). But I’ll not restrict him to doing them ’cos I know that’s part of his job. I’ve watched some of his kissing scenes lah. I’d be like (pretends to sob).
JEFFREY: I don’t have many of such scenes.
FELICIA: If given a choice, I wouldn’t watch it (laughs). But if it just happens to be onscreen, then I’ll just watch lah. But I’d be like, “Oh, no.” Being an actress doesn’t mean I’m not human (laughs).
Jeffrey, you play an aspiring actor who wants to make it big before the age of 35 if not he’ll shelve his showbiz dreams. What kind of goals have you set for yourself?
JEFFREY: I must think carefully before answering (laughs). Setting a goal is good. But the bigger the hope, the greater the disappointment. When I first joined showbiz, I set a very big goal for myself. But due to different factors, I became disappointed. So I changed my mindset and things changed for the better. So I try not to set a big goal. If you ask me what my biggest wish is right now, it’s that I want to get married quickly.
Speaking of marriage, Jesseca Liu recently announced that she's tying the knot with Jeremy Chan this year. Do you guys have plans to do so too?
JEFFREY: I feel happy that they are getting married. I believe our time will come. And when that happens, we’ll announce the happy news to everyone.
Have you guys discussed marriage?
JEFFREY: Of course, we’ve briefly spoken about it. But, I cannot say too much about this to maintain an element of surprise.
FELICIA: We’re taking things as it is. Of course, along the way, Jeffrey will ask me questions like, “What kind of wedding would you like?” or “What do you think of this ring?” We’re getting to understand each other’s preferences. So it’s not like a serious session where we sit down for two hours [to discuss marriage]. But we’ll just share with each other what we like in our day-to-day conversation.
We hope to hear good news from you guys soon.
FELICIA: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Life Less Ordinary debuts Oct 2, Ch 8, 7.30pm.
PHOTOS: KELVIN CHIA