What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Jerry Yan?
Chances are, if you grew up while F4 was all the craze, you’d associate him with Dao Ming Si, his prickly on the outside, soft on the inside character from Meteor Garden. That was probably why we were half-expecting to be intimidated by the 1.8m actor ahead of our interview with him at the Fullerton Hotel, hours before Star Awards 2019.
When he entered the room, however, we were taken aback - instead of a scary aura that surrounded the superstar, he was almost exuding beams of sunshine. Perhaps it was the neon yellow windbreaker, or the smile on his face while speaking to the media, but this definitely wasn’t what we expected.
“I used to be afraid of the media,” Jerry confessed during the interview. “Perhaps it was because I was hurt (by reports) in the past, but things have improved a lot.”
Describing himself as someone who needs “at least five minutes to warm up to you”, he mused, “I still get nervous, so it takes me at least that amount of time for me to calm my nerves and speak comfortably.”
He hasn’t always been this perky, however, as he shared that his current management consists of one staff member who smiles so much that he feels that he’s been infected by this happy bug as well.
“When I was a part of F4, there were a lot of things that we couldn’t do because we needed to protect our image,” he said. This was probably why he couldn’t be as open with his love life back then, as he’s declared that he now wants a love that’s so passionate that it will consume him. For the record, he’s currently single and ready to mingle.
At the end of the 30-minute chat, we were hurriedly packing our bags to head for the awards ceremony when Jerry started personally thanking the media who showed up, even presenting a box of nougats that he assured are “really delicious” to every person.
Fast forward a few hours later, as we met the star backstage at the awards ceremony shortly after he walked the red carpet.
There, we chatted more about his future work plans, as the 42-year-old said that he is raring to go in the work department.
He reportedly tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a game of basketball back in December 2016, and has been putting many of his work projects on hold as he focused on recuperating.
“I chose not to undergo surgery at the time. I spoke to a number of doctors, and they told me that even if I went through it, there was a risk that I might cause even more damage. I focused on therapy instead, and I’m a lot better now,” he said. "I used to limp a little while I was walking, but not any longer."
After the injury, we asked him if he’ll be a bit more careful with the acting projects that he chooses.
“I actually want to film action scenes even more now!” he said with a grin. “Previously, I learned martial arts for a movie, and I realised that I really like doing hot-blooded things like these.”
While he has a project that he might start work on in the coming months, Jerry explained that he couldn’t reveal more details just yet. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to make an announcement really soon,” he smiled.
With that, our 10 minutes were up and we were quickly ushered out of the room, but not before Jerry could pop his head over the others in the room (hey, it pays to be tall) and thank us for our time.
Jerry, the pleasure was all ours.