Having achieved good results for the debut of his singing career in Taiwan, local actor-singer Nat Ho is back in Singapore and would return on the small screen for the first time after his two-year absence.
The 30-year-old would continue to stay in Singapore for a year as he is expected to star in MediaCorp Channel 5’s upcoming long-form drama Tanglin, which would consist of 199 episodes.
Nat will play the role of Lim Jun Kai, a boy who has just returned from studying overseas. In the show, Nat holds a strong objection to his father’s desire for him to take over their family business and acts like he is a goofy, incompetent and idle playboy to escape from his responsibilities as the ‘only male heir’.
In his interview with xinmsn last Tuesday (Mar 3), Nat shared his thoughts on returning home just like his character Lim Jun Kai.
The 30-year-old admitted to feeling homesick after embarking on an intensive training in Taiwan, which lasted for a year. As Singapore would be celebrating her 50th year of independence come August, Nat’s desire to return home ballooned as he believes that it is a symbolic year for every Singaporean.
Thus, when he had received a casting offer for Tanglin, it all fell into place for Nat who said that it was as if everything was “pre-planned beforehand.”
When asked if he was concerned about ‘neglecting’ his budding singing career by taking on the year-long project, Nat was not worried about being forgotten by the audience in Taiwan.
“As a multi-faceted celebrity, I believe there are bound to be ‘sacrifices’ as there is limited time for everything. When I choose to act, I would have to put aside my singing career temporarily. It doesn’t mean I will give up on that completely, but I will most likely take a back seat (on singing) this year.”
Nat also stated he would continue to work on his second album while acting in Tanglin, hoping it would be ready for release when he returns to Taiwan next year.
(click on for more of Nat's interview on the next page)
Not used to being a new artiste all over again
Speaking on his experience as a new artiste in a foreign land, Nat recalled the bitter feeling he had when he first started out.
The 30-year-old had signed a 10-year contract with Veloce Entertainment, which houses big acts like Taiwanese actress-singer Vivian Hsu. He undertook many classes ranging from voice training, dancing, singer, guitar and bodybuilding to prepare him as a singer.
Having to start his career from ground zero, after having been in showbiz for a few years, Nat said it was difficult to adapt to the life of a newbie.
“I didn’t want to waste my time so I trained very hard. Though I could handle the pressure mentally, my physical self was giving way. I felt dejected and saddened as I always had injuries and even suffered insomnia,” Nat shared frankly.
Yet, the greatest challenge posted to Nat was the daily 10 pm curfew he had to adhere to. His company even installed security cameras to track his whereabouts and ran inspections at his dormitory, leading him to joke that he had never felt so restricted since his days in the army.
Fortunately, his efforts paid off as his first solo album Second Male Lead clinched the second place on the record charts just a week after its release. Nat also expressed his gratefulness for the tough regime his company had put him through.
Uncomfortable with showing his body
In the music video of his lead single Lonely Detective, Nat wowed the public with his chocolate abs in a white sleeveless top that was almost completely unbuttoned.
The singer recalled the grueling process he had to go through to achieve this good physique. Not only did he have to go for daily runs and weightlifting sessions, Nat also kept to a strict diet of only protein and boiled fish. His body weight also fallen drastically from 72kg to 64kg.
Surprisingly, Nat said he was initially uncomfortable with showing skin. “I asked my manager if we can avoid showing skin, but he told me, ‘Which superstar does not show off their body nowadays?’ I pondered for a long time and eventually relented.”
When asked if he is willing to bare it all for a drama or film, Nat said jokingly, “Unless it is a Hollywood movie!”
However, he added on, in a serious tone, that he has developed a ‘never say no’ attitude. “I would consider the concept of the album and the song before making decisions. Even if it is to show some skin, I would make sure the occasion is appropriate.”
This article is translated by Isadora Ong.
Catch Tanglin when it premieres June 29 on weekday nights at 8pm on Channel 5.