We’re in the wardrobe unit at the new Mediacorp campus where Rui En is trying on outfits for her role as a con artist in new Ch 8 drama Have A Little Faith. It’s the 35-year-old’s first TV project after going on a six-month break, and she is unusually chirpy. She chats with the production team about her outfits, and jokingly complains about a jacket she has to wear. “It’s really hot in Singapore, and I perspire a lot,” she quips loudly. “Another jacket? And a scarf? I have to film in a park!” Everyone laughs, some more nervously than others. After all, this is the first time we’re meeting Rui En since the actress took a break from showbiz following her car accident last April. She had hit a stationary motorcycle at an open-air car park while driving her BMW and was served a $700 fine for careless driving. In December, while still on hiatus, she was caught on camera flouting traffic rules in Orchard Road when she cut into another lane abruptly.
But while we're feeling a tad anxious about chatting with her, Rui En is the exact opposite. She's confident and chatty, and appears relaxed and well-rested. She tells us that she mostly stayed home and watched TV shows and movies during her break. "I also exercised. I’m a geek at heart," she laughs and says. "The break was essential for me, as I was very overworked and burnt out before that." She adds: "In the past year, a lot of incidents have occurred, even until recently. I could have fallen to my feet and be defeated, but I didn’t. I chose to fight it."
We guess Rui En, the star, is back.
8 DAYS: Welcome back! How do you feel about returning to the public eye?
(Smiles) I’ve never been out of the public eye. Every little thing I do is captured by the public. However, I’m happy and excited to return to acting. It’s something I love and enjoy.
It’s your birthday next week. What birthday wishes do you have?
I don’t really celebrate birthdays. In fact, I have no plans yet. Perhaps I’ll just go for a simple meal, that’s all. My birthday wish is that this year will be better than the last.
Last year wasn't exactly smooth for you. Do you blame it on bad luck?
I don’t believe in luck, I believe in God. I think what happened last year was a test, but if it made me stronger and more mature, then I’d go through it again.
Well, you're looking fitter compared to six months ago.
Oh really? Thank you. Is my face still fat? (Laughs) I’ve been exercising like crazy. I’ve been working with a personal trainer, and I also do cardio exercises on my own. I feel good (smiles).
Photos: Chee Yan
Have A Little Faith premieres on Ch 8 in the second half of the year.