Photos: Tammi Tan, Instagram/Xiang Yun, Chen Yixi
It can be a little awkward talking about marriage and potential life partners when one’s parent is around. Well, too bad for Chen Yixi, because that’s precisely what we did with him and his mum Xiang Yun during our visit to the set of My One in a Million a couple of weeks ago. (Evil cackling)
Jokes aside, the reason for our topic of choice is simple: the upcoming Channel 8 drama centres on a matchmaking and wedding services centre run by Yan Shu Yu (played by Carrie Wong) and her mother Xu Cui Feng (played by Xiang Yun). In fact, we were having our interview in the very place that will double up as the agency for the entirety of filming: the Katong Antique House.
Although this is their third drama together (after Life Less Ordinary, which also featured family patriarch Edmund Chen’s Channel 8 comeback, and the upcoming Dear Neighbours), the mother-son pair still won’t have a chance to share a lot of scenes.
However, Yixi, who plays a flamboyant variety show stylist, raved about still getting to enjoy the perks of working with a relative, namely, having a guaranteed lunch buddy and also, “Can tumpang car (hitch a ride) home!”
But yes, back to our chat about L-O-V-E. When we asked Xiang Yun what kind of woman she would matchmake her precious boy with, the 57-year-old actress gave the same answer any other good mama would.
“Yixi is very gentle and nice, so he deserves a good wife,” she said, adding that her future daughter-in-law should be someone who is filial to her own family, as well as the one she marries into. “I always tell my children that in addition to loving your partner, you must also love her parents as well.”
(Continued on next page: What age does Xiang Yun hopes Yixi will be married by?)
Yixi concurred, saying that family is very important to him, so a woman who also loves his family would be pretty high on his priority list when it comes to his future missus, along with… being able to play games with him.
“Aiyoh, zhen de mei you yong (so useless),” Xiang Yun scoffed, causing poor Yixi to look as though he had been punched in the gut (as the woman who gave birth to him chuckled at her own ruthlessness). But don’t worry, their relationship remained intact and there is a happy ending to this shocking development.
“On a serious note,” she continued. “Sharing the same hobbies and interests is important. If he marries someone who hates gaming, that might not be good either!”
And there you have it: Xiang Yun approving of her son’s ideal type is officially on the record (you’re welcome, Yixi). So then, at what age does she hope to see him settled down by?
“No older than 30?” she said with a smile, as her 27-year-old (28 in May) son glared at us with an expression that could only be interpreted as “save me”.
Cue the “I want to focus on my career first” excuse from Yixi, after which we pointed out that many artistes have sprouted that same line, only to go public with their other halves not long after.
It’s okay, Yixi, you have our phone number. You know what to do.
My One in a Million debuts in July 2019 on Channel 8.