Additional Photos: Provided by Allen Chen
After building up a solid portfolio in his two-year stint as an actor in Singapore, Taiwanese model-turned-actor Allen Chen is ready to return to his hometown to further develop his career.
Come April, the Catwalk model would return to Taiwan to take part in a six-month acting workshop led by Taiwanese award-winning director Shaudi Wang, in which he could gain an opportunity to star in the director’s upcoming movie. Allen is also currently in the talks for several drama roles.
Speaking of his sudden departure in a phone interview earlier this month, Allen promised that he would definitely return to Singapore as it is a place where his acting career took root and matured.
Allen is grateful for valuable opportunities to act alongside experienced MediaCorp artistes like Li Nanxing, Rui En and Joanne Peh in several Channel 8 blockbuster dramas like The Journey: A Voyage and Against the Tide.
Moreover, he is glad to have established good friendships with many local celebrities. Of which, Allen specifically mentioned that his greatest buddy is none other than “8 Duke” member Xu Bin.
The two have become close friends after co-starring in Against the Tide and would now frequently visit the gym together and share on their personal life.
In his interview, Allen chirpily recounted memorable incidences when Xu Bin has lent him a helping hand. “When we were filming 118, there was a time when I was not informed of the change in the time of our filming session. Thus, I caused the whole production team to wait for me to arrive,” he recalled.
“However, Xu Bin spoke up for me, insisting that there was a miscommunication and I am not that sort to disappear irresponsibly,” he shared touchingly.
Unlike his celebrity friends who receive a monthly pay as full-time MediaCorp artiste, Allen only had an income whenever he acted in a show. Thus, he even had to resort to borrowing money from his managers to get by his days without a pay.
Xu Bin also gladly emptied his pockets to help Allen with his daily expenses. “I am very touched because he volunteered to help me and asked for nothing in return,” Allen said.
Julie Tan is just a ‘close friend’ for now
Allen’s friendship with fast-rising starlet Julie Tan has also been placed in the spotlight as the two were spotted on a one-on-one meet-up on several occasions and rumoured to be a couple.
When asked to clarify their relationship status, Allen replied in his interview, “I don’t wish that people would feel that I have an ulterior motive (in becoming Julie’s friend).”
He explained that he had initially kept his friendship with Julie a secret as he wanted to protect his female friend. Being a newbie then, he was also worried that others would misunderstand him for using Julie to build connections.
“For now, I can say we are pretty good friends, but I do not wish to rule out any possibilities of what would happen in the future. Since I’ll be returning to Taiwan soon, I would not think too much about it,” he added.
While Allen shared that he is open to the idea of having a long-distance relationship, his current priority is to establish a firm foundation for his career.
“I will not rule out the possibility of a long-distance relationship as I have experienced it in the past. But maybe because I am more chauvinistic, I feel that a man should first have a solid career before he thinks about setting up his family,” he admitted.
Grateful to his benefactors
Having started as a runway model in Singapore, Allen was coincidentally spotted by his muses to switch paths to become an actor. Earlier this month, Allen took to his Facebook to write a long post to express his gratitude towards them, with ah ge Christopher Lee being one of them.
However, Allen feels most indebted and deeply grateful towards Pauline, his former manager at Catwalk who had unexpectedly passed on last year after being diagnosed with cancer. Pauline, whom he had regarded as a ‘family member’, continually encouraged him when he was still a ‘nobody’ and gave him great advice.
“She taught me good values, like how my character is more important than how I get my things done. When my acting career was beginning to take flight, she reminded to stay humble and grounded,” he reiterated.
“She also asked me to be vivacious but not to make use of others to advance in my career,” he said.
Catch Life Is Beautiful on weekday nights at 9pm on Channel 8.
This article is translated by Isadora Ong.