No more ‘block of wood’ comparisons for Qi Yuwu

Contrary to the icy image that some associate with him, the actor is a pretty fun guy to be around

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Qi Yuwu is a pretty cool guy. Not in the ice queen sense as some may associate with him, but in the he-made-us-laugh-out-loud way.

When we caught up with the actor yesterday (May 16) during his imaging session for upcoming Channel 8 drama Daybreak, in which he plays a lawyer, naturally, we talked about the show (more on that later), but we also couldn’t help but ask about his recent Cantonese vlogs, mostly about food, on Instagram.

In case you haven’t watched them, they’re hilarious.

He’s only uploaded three on his Instagram page so far, but the 42-year-old grinned that the feedback has been “surprisingly positive”. He explained, “I think that social media is a great platform to be yourself. It’s a personal space where you can upload whatever you want to, so I didn’t think too much about it when I uploaded my first video (on May 1).”

There were also many who didn’t know that he speaks Cantonese, as Yuwu chuckled, “Some of the comments on my first post said that I spoke Cantonese very well. I’m from Guangzhou, so Cantonese is the language I’m most comfortable with. For work, I usually speak Mandarin, but I feel closer to my roots when speaking my native tongue.”

In case you’re wondering, Yuwu speaks to his children, 4-year-old Baby Qi and 2-year-old Qi Didi, in Cantonese too. “For us Chinese, it’s a part of our culture and history, which is why I feel it’s important to teach the younger generation about dialects too. My daughter can understand it when I’m speaking to her, and I think my son does too. My goal for them is to be able to speak it fluently when they’re older,” he shared.

While he was animatedly telling us about this, we decided to ask him why he’s been showing this hilarious, yet relatable, side recently, as compared to the suave, untouchable guy that some may think of him as.

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Our question was met with a laugh, as he confessed that he has no idea where that came from in the first place.

“Maybe it was because they associate me with my roles? I usually play pretty serious or intense roles, which may lead to the audience thinking that my real-life personality is like a block of wood too,” he mused. “But I’ve always been like this, and I’m surprised that people are taken aback by it. With time, they’ll probably get to know me better.”

This playful side of the actor also manifested when we were asking him about his role in Daybreak, as he bemoaned that his character’s wardrobe will likely be the most challenging part of filming this drama.

His character, Zhang Tianliang, is a lawyer who Yuwu described as too nosey for his own good. “Instead of sitting in his office working on cases, he’s always running about trying to help others. Not that there’s anything bad with helping others – it’s great that he’s like that – but he wears knitted outfits and turtlenecks while doing that. We’re in Singapore!” he said.

Yuwu will be sharing most of his screen time with Sheila Sim, Ya Hui and Zhang Yao Dong, but has yet to speak to his co-stars as filming will only begin later this month.

After filming wraps in August, he will be jetting to Beijing for work, although the exact details of the project that he’ll be working on are yet to be confirmed.

For fans of his mini food vlogs, the actor grinned that he’ll be keeping up with them even while buried with work, as he enjoys filming them as much as we enjoy watching them, and that’s a win for all of us.

Daybreak debuts October 21, 9pm on Channel 8. Catch it first on Toggle from October 14.

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