Alan Wong once dreamt of a career in musical theatre. “Many people don’t know that I studied tap dancing, ballet and singing,” says the Californian-born former MTV VJ who has a BA in theatre from “a small school” called Occidental College.

But there’s just one problem: He doesn’t have a killer voice. Like Nathan Hartono’s. “I’d seen him in a musical [Next to Normal] — and he delivered! I’ve always wanted that voice but as soon as I realised that I didn’t have it, I [chose] talking as my professional direction.”

By “talking”, he meant being an MTV VJ for three years. That, and acting. “I always wanted to be an actor since I was a kid,” adds Wong, 33. Alas, his MTV commitments prevented him from acting on the side. As such, he missed out on a few projects, including HBO’s demon-slaying fantasy series Halfworlds.

Post-MTV, Wong had a supporting role on Sent, the Alaric Tay-produced workplace sitcom, as the slacker pal of an office drone (Haresh Tilani) who’s fired after an e-mail snafu. He also scored a hosting gig alongside Justin Bratton on Season 2 of Asia’s Got Talent.

Wong’s latest gig is Avenue 14, the spooky Ch 5 drama where he plays a criminal profiler specialising in X Files-type cases. “Horror isn’t my favourite genre,” admits Wong. “Because I get scared really easily. That’s it! I’m a wimp. But I think the craft that goes into making horror involves some of the most artful and creative ways of storytelling.”  

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On 'Avenue 14', Wong (seen here with Mathialagan), had to wear a shirt and tie every day. "I was just sweating the entire time," recalls Wong. "We had two or three versions of the same outfit and they would switch me out if it got too wet. Our director made this interesting observation. He said, 'You guys are acting better when you're messy, sweaty, gross and dirty.' He was probably right. Because when you're out of your comfort zone, you're not trying to be anything else — you're hopefully in the moment of the scene."

However, hosting Asia’s Got Talent, which premiered on AXN last month, for a second time is a piece of cake. "The technical stuff — reading off a teleprompter — gets easier,” says Wong. “But in terms of the audience reception, you’re never quite ready for that. It’s just that exciting and energising when it happens. It’s not a scary thing.”

Here, Wong shares with 8 DAYS more about his TV diet. Warning: Some spoilers ahead.   

Avenue 14 airs Mon, Ch 5, 10pm; it’s also on Toggle. Asia’s Got Talent airs Thur, AXN (Singtel TV Ch 304 & StarHub Ch 511), 8.30pm. Sent is on HBO Go.

Photos: AXN, TPG News/Click Photos, HBO, AMC, Ch 5

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