Additional Photos: Teo Sijia & Channel 8
Video: Foong Mien Shi
Jeffrey Xu hasn’t gotten into a new relationship since signing on with MediaCorp after winning the Star Search competition in 2010 and isn’t in a hurry to do so either. All he does these days, according to the actor, is hang out with friends (female ones, included) on the pretext of getting to know one another and has no plans to take things one step further because love is not on his priority list.
He may have a lackluster love life in Singapore (he’s been here for close to six years), but the 26-year-old tells us, at the press conference for his upcoming drama, Sealed With A Kiss (SWAK), he has had his fair share of romances and heartbreaks during his time in Shanghai, China.
Reminiscing about his first love whom he describes as a “poised” girl from the dance faculty in school, Jeffrey shared that their first kiss took place at the basketball court.
Calling it a scene right out of an idol drama, he broke into a big goofy grin as he shared, “It was a sunny day and we were playing a game at the basketball court. She handed me a bottle of water during the break and then it was at this moment I decided to imitate what a drama male lead would do - by giving the female lead a kiss.
“I inched closer to her face and she didn’t try to evade! So I took it as a sign of approval and decided to go for it,” he sheepishly chuckled.
A love triangle forms between Jeffrey, Carrie Wong and Zhang Zhen Huan's characters in SWAK
Unfortunately, the puppy love romance lasted for only one school term (estimated of four months) before they parted ways. His second relationship, which is also one of his longest relationships ever with a girl, was equally memorable despite it not being his “first love”, said Jeffrey.
That was also the very first time he suffered a slap from a person of the opposite sex - who is not his mother.
“She thought I was too playful and gave me a slap on my face during a heated argument. I was only 18 then and yes, I really like to have fun and saw no wrong in doing that. After the slap, I was so angry and shocked,” he shared, “But I’m also a very soft-hearted person and approached her and apologised after I cooled down.”
This love story didn’t end on a good note however, after four years of dating, as the girl cheated on him with another guy, shared Jeffrey, in a previous interview with Toggle.
Coincidentally, his SWAK character Xu Zhi Cheng is just as unsuccessful in his romantic endeavours as Jeffrey is in real life – his girlfriend ditches him and marries another guy in the drama and he faces tough competition when he falls for the bright and sprightly Tian Zhen Zhen (played by Carrie Wong).
When we brought up the topic of superstitions and luck – citing examples from the drama’s unlucky male lead, the Shanghai-born actor revealed that his rule of thumb at work is: don’t tell mum about new projects unless it’s a done deal – signed and confirmed.
The reason behind this, explained Jeffrey, is because he jinxed himself a few times with few projects he had in the pipelines which fell through after he shared the news with his mother. “I was so hesitant of telling her I’d be participating in Channel U's Find The Wasabi because I was afraid they’d change people at the very last minute. I didn’t inform her until my manager told me the air tickets have been booked,” he chuckled.
He further explained, “Whenever I update my mother about such things (like new projects or award nominations), I’d always end up with nothing.
“The year I won my first ATA (Asian Television Award), I decided not to share the nomination news with my mum when I found out about it, and I went home the winner. It’s so strange! And another time, when I was in Kyushuu, Japan, filming Find The Wasabi, I told my mum about my double Best Actor in a Supporting Role nominations at the ATA (his second time getting nominated) and even did some interviews, and I didn’t win the award.”
An uncanny coincidence or something more? One thing's for sure - mama won't be the first to know anymore.
Sealed With A Kiss premieres on Channel 8, Aug 27, Thursday at 9pm.
Watch Sealed With A Kiss before it premieres on Toggle-It-First.