Christopher Lee does not want to be a singer

And since Jeffrey Xu has a good impression of Olivia Ong, could it be a possibility that they’d get together?

Photos: Channel 8, HIM International Music Inc. and Jeffrey Xu
Photos: Channel 8, HIM International Music Inc. and Jeffrey Xu
29 May 2015

Photos: Channel 8, HIM International Music Inc. and Jeffrey Xu

Channel 8’s highlight of the year is the upcoming '80s drama, Crescendo, whose star-studded cast includes MediaCorp artistes Christopher Lee, Tay Ping Hui, Ann Kok, Jacelyn Tay, Jeffrey Xu, Darren Lim, and Cynthia Koh, as well as the local songbird Olivia Ong.

The show will feature many classical ballads and even “Ah Ge” Christopher is slated to sing, but he told Toggle that he does not want to pursue singing as a career. 

This is Olivia and Jeffrey’s first time working together and Jeffrey has already praised her for her sweet and adorable disposition from what he’s seen so far.

The crew and a few members of the cast – Christopher, Ann, Darren, Olivia and Jeffrey – flew to Taipei, Taiwan last week to shoot the drama.

The main purpose of their shoot this time is to film Olivia’s character promoting her new album release in Taiwan.

Click on for more photos from the shoot and read about our interviews with Christopher Lee, Olivia Ong and Jeffrey Xu.

Crescendo premieres October 22, every Monday to Friday at 9pm on Channel 8.

Related Stories:
Olivia Ong to make TV debut in Singapore this year

Christopher does not want to be a singer
Christopher does not want to be a singer
29 May 2015

Christopher does not want to be a singer

Christopher, who’s been busy travelling a lot lately, hasn’t been starring in local dramas lately up until this one. He plays the CEO of a record company which makes xinyao (which translates to Singapore songs) in the new drama and explained that although he is very familiar with xinyao, he has been refreshing his memory by listening to plenty of classics to source for inspiration to portray his character.

Christopher has sung theme songs of many television shows and released two albums that were very high in demand back in 1999 and 2002, Christopher Lee Story and Love, No Boundaries.

Although he will be singing yet again in Crescendo, he told Toggle that he would not venture further into his singing career.

He explained that times were tough in the industry back then and his record company was dwindling, which resulted in him producing an “unborn baby” – an album that was only halfway through its recording process.

“I never really resonated with my singing career. Enjoying listening to music and enjoying performing it are two different things. At the time, I was very stressed and couldn’t enjoy it, which was the main reason why I quit,” Christopher recounted.

The veteran actor added, “Right now, I’m focused on my acting. Regarding music, if I don’t have the desire to, then I won’t force it.”

Although he has no interest, he said that for the sake of this drama, he will put on a show: “As this is a major part of the role, I will abide to it. Stay tuned for it, everyone, and see how you feel about it then.”

Christopher and Ping Hui’s first collaboration
Christopher and Ping Hui’s first collaboration
29 May 2015

Christopher and Ping Hui’s first collaboration

Christopher expressed that he is excited to work with Ping Hui, the two being major names in local television who are working together for the first time.

He added that most of the other cast members are people he has worked with before.

“I’m sure that our characters and understanding of the roles will be portrayed well. Xinyao is one of Singapore’s own creations and I hope that this show will help bring back good memories.”

Although this shoot is only a short two days, Christopher is happy to be able to be with people from his hometown, even if it’s in a foreign land (Taipei). However, he regrets that he will not be able to bring the cast out for a casual night of food and drinks.

“Shooting a show is a journey. Whether you’re happy and enjoying it or not is based on how open you are. Just maintain a good aura, and it’ll make for a good show,” Christopher shared. 

Regarding working with the newcomers to the local acting scene, Olivia and Jeffrey, he said, “Jeffrey is already a very experienced actor with his own set of acting skills, and although Olivia is still new to acting, she’s no newbie to the singing scene. When singing, you have to be able to express your emotions well too, so I’m sure she has plenty of ideas on how to portray her role well.”

Christopher went on to say that he loves working with new actors: “I definitely don’t flaunt my seniority. Every opportunity I get, I will ask for their opinions and only then will I continue to learn by finding out what they like and what’s popular nowadays. After gaining that understanding, then we will be able to flow with each other better and spark  a great friendship.”

Christopher, Olivia and Jeffrey rehearsing
Christopher, Olivia and Jeffrey rehearsing
29 May 2015

Christopher, Olivia and Jeffrey rehearsing


Olivia: When Ann said she’d cry, she really cried
Olivia: When Ann said she’d cry, she really cried
29 May 2015

Olivia: When Ann said she’d cry, she really cried

Olivia has starred in the local film, It’s a Great, Great World, as well as another movie Shalom Journey, Channel 8’s Crescendo is still Olivia’s maiden TV debut.

Olivia said that her biggest difficulty so far is learning her lines, “This time, I need to learn Chinese lines and speak them spontaneously, plus insert my emotions into them. To me, it’s a major challenge and that’s why I need more time to rehearse.”

The songbird also shared about her experience acting along side Christopher, Ann and Jeffrey. She said, “Jeffrey is a very focused actor. Working with him, I just naturally want to put my heart and soul into my lines as well.”

She continued to say, “Acting with Christopher and Ann is another story altogether. They have plenty of acting experience and are very clear about how to portray their characters. Christopher is a bit more fierce, as compared to Ann who’s a bit more calm. I don’t get very nervous acting with her.”

Olivia also recalled when Ann was able to cry on the spot. “The moment the director yelled ‘action’, her tears just rolled, and I almost forgot my lines. Thankfully I didn’t disappoint the director in the end.” 

Olivia busking on Ximending Street
Olivia busking on Ximending Street
29 May 2015

Olivia busking on Ximending Street

Olivia would go sci-fi
Olivia would go sci-fi
29 May 2015

Olivia would go sci-fi

Olivia revealed that if the opportunity knocks, she would like to act in a sci-fi story as a more tenacious and street-smart character that deals with aliens

Jeffrey has good feelings towards Olivia
Jeffrey has good feelings towards Olivia
29 May 2015

Jeffrey has good feelings towards Olivia

Jeffrey plays an office assistant in the film, with quite a few scenes alongside Christopher, Darren, and Olivia.

Although he has been to Japan to film a variety show before, this will be his first time filming a drama overseas. This is also his first time setting foot in Taiwan and to him, it’s all a fresh new experience.

Jeffrey said that it’s a rare opportunity to star in the same show as “Ah Ge” and feels both excited and nervous. Jeffrey added that when they were filming, Christopher did not hesitate to give pointers, so he feels that he has been learning a lot in this project.

Jeffrey recalled one of the instances where Christopher had given him advice: “There was one day I specially prepared for a scene, but during filming, nothing I had prepared came in handy. ‘Christopher Big Brother’ advised that I should let myself fall into the role naturally and not to prepare so much.”

Apart from that, Jeffrey has also developed a good impression of Olivia, praising her for her sweet disposition, and finds it cute when she stumbles on her Mandarin lines. He also finds her fresh-faced, natural look very attractive.

However, he denies there being a chance of them getting together as he said, “No, she’s older than me. I prefer girls who are younger than me because I like to take care of people.”

Jeffrey dreams of making an album
Jeffrey dreams of making an album
29 May 2015

Jeffrey dreams of making an album

In fact, the director asked if he was able to play the guitar, to which he replied, “I learned in the past, but if you want me to play now, I need time to be able to grasp my skills again.”

Jeffrey hopes to get rid of his “Ah Boy” role
Jeffrey hopes to get rid of his “Ah Boy” role
29 May 2015

Jeffrey hopes to get rid of his “Ah Boy” role

Ann’s first TV role since leaving MediaCorp
Ann’s first TV role since leaving MediaCorp
29 May 2015

Ann’s first TV role since leaving MediaCorp

Ann’s acting is picking up in Taiwan but she is not as successful as a singer.

Ann’s brilliant acting chops are an eye-opener for Olivia
Ann’s brilliant acting chops are an eye-opener for Olivia
29 May 2015

Ann’s brilliant acting chops are an eye-opener for Olivia

Taiwanese celebrity Joelle Lu Ming Jun, who worked with the two before, stopped by for a visit
Taiwanese celebrity Joelle Lu Ming Jun, who worked with the two before, stopped by for a visit
29 May 2015

Taiwanese celebrity Joelle Lu Ming Jun, who worked with the two before, stopped by for a visit

This article is translated by Melanie Ho.

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