Photos: Teo Sijia, Jeslyn Say, artistes' social media accounts
The period when Christopher Lee’s paternal grandmother passed away in September was complicated for the actor. His toddler son, Zed, addressed her as lao ma (Hokkien for “old granny”) for the first time, but the pain of losing family was still fresh in his mind.
“I had taught Zed to call her lao ma, but he couldn’t do it,” he said, tearing slightly. “But when my grandmother heard Zed greet her as lao ma, I knew she was happy, and perhaps that’s why she left so peacefully.”
Attending to his grandmother’s funeral arrangements meant Christopher had to give the 50th Golden Bell Awards in Taiwan a miss. He had won the Golden Bell Best Lead Actor in 2014 and was scheduled to present an award at the September 26 ceremony.
“Being absent from the Golden Bell Awards was a pity, but it was for family reasons,” Christopher said. “I’m the eldest grandson in my family, so I had to be there for my grandmother’s funeral.”
Christopher was speaking at the press conference for Crescendo, the upcoming Channel 8 mega-production he stars in, along with other local television heavyweights including Tay Ping Hui, Darren Lim, Jacelyn Tay, Ann Kok and Cynthia Koh. The series tells the story of three friends, played by Christopher, Ping Hui and Darren, who establish a record company to promote xinyao (Singapore folk music.)
Christopher said he and his wife, leading local actress Fann Wong, will continue taking turns to look after their son, Zed, while the other spouse goes for filming projects. But Fann may be taking a break from acting, Christopher said.
“She was in Taiwan filming (the movie Packages From Daddy) for more than a month,” he said, “and when Zed and I did a video chat with her, the boy was angry that she had been away for so long and refused to look at her!”
“Kids are amazing. He wasn’t 1 year old then and yet he could be angry — he even scowled. So Fann was really upset and hurt, and I doubt she’ll leave Zed again.” Fann won’t take up any offers unless it’s a screenplay she truly likes, he added.
While Fann was away, Christopher took Zed out shopping on his own, thinking it would be a cinch. “That was the last time I’ll take him out by myself. I couldn’t handle him alone!” he said. The toddler refused to go home, and cried and wailed the whole way back, but Christopher couldn’t do anything until they got home because he was behind the wheel.
“Of course I could let him cry it out, but I couldn’t bear to see him so miserable,” he said. “I picked him up once I parked the car.”
But Baby No. 2 isn’t on the way yet for the couple. Fann and Christopher recently made the news for a photo of them that bore the message: “We will be shouldering a new responsibility!” While fans congratulated them on their new baby, it turned out to be an announcement for their roles as spokespersons for Osim.
“We never imagined people would react this way,” Christopher said. “We feel terrible about giving folks the wrong idea.”
“But we’re definitely trying (for another child). Zed will make a responsible big brother, so we hope we can give him a sibling soon. If we have good news, we’ll tell everyone!”
This story first appeared on toggle.sg/ch
Story by Teo Sijia
Dawn Yeoh: Crescendo offers an insider view of showbiz
VIDEO: 'Crescendo' Press Conference reveals the 3 noisy men
VIDEO: ‘Crescendo’ Sailing trip!
VIDEO: Tay Ping Hui: How do you know I’m not a dad?
Li Liren and Fann Wong pair up in new movie