Darryl Yong got into a bit of a rut when the crime drama Point of Entry, on which the Project Superstar and Star Search alumnus plays Matthew, an intrepid agent with the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority, ended its four-season run in 2013.
Frustrated by the lack of meaty roles, Yong started to question his station in life. “What am I? Am I an actor? Am I a singer? Am I supposed to do an office job?,” Yong, 34, tells 8 DAYS over the phone.
This existential crisis lasted about two years, during which Yong helped out with his friend’s casino marketing business between acting gigs. Then Tanglin came knocking on his door.
“Tanglin was really a gift for me,” enthuses Yong, who plays Ben Tong, one of the many interconnected characters on the long-running soap opera set in the eponymous working-class neighbourhood.
Working on the show, which ended last year after 823 episodes, invigorated Yong’s love for acting. To be in the presence of veterans Wee Soon Hui and Mastura Ahmad was inspiring, says the bachelor “who’s seeing someone now.”
“It can be a tiring 12- or 10-hour shoot with back-to-back scenes, but they never fail to shine,” he raves. “Even if they’re tired, they never let it show.” Their staunch professionalism motivated him to change his mindset.
“All along I thought of myself as a part-time actor,” he says. “All along I kept thinking of myself as not good enough or that I’m faking it. So why not really just take a stab in the dark and treat my current occupation as my career?”
Yong’s latest role is in the second season of Sparks, DBS’ online true-life mini-series about a group of bankers and their clients. In the ‘A Generational Challenge’, Yong plays an entrepreneur seeking backing for an eco-friendly packaging material made from seaweed.
Here, Yong, who’s currently filming Season 2 of the web musical series So Bright alongside Jayley Woo and Aden Tan, shares with 8 DAYS his TV viewing habits, past and present.