Darren Lim: Xu Bin might not have proposed if not for me

The actor persuaded his younger co-star that the act of going down on one knee was necessary

Darren Lim: Xu Bin might not have proposed if not for me
Darren Lim: Xu Bin might not have proposed if not for me
12 Oct 2017

Darren Lim: Xu Bin might not have proposed if not for me

Video: Goh Wen Kai

It’s no secret that Xu Bin will be tying the knot in less than a month after the 28-year-old actor popped the surprise announcement earlier this week – but did you know that he might not have proposed at all if not for Doppelganger co-star Darren Lim?

During the press conference on October 10, Xu Bin thanked Darren for renting him his yacht, which he took out to sea before popping the big question to his then-girlfriend, Wang Yifei.

Toggle caught up with Darren, along with Fann Wong and Christopher Lee, during a scene filmed in Labrador Park yesterday (October 11), where Darren told us a bit more about what exactly went on behind the scenes, and how Xu Bin’s proposal might not have happened if not for him.

Plus, we spoke to Fann, who told us more about why she wants to conquer her fear of the ocean after her variety programme incident two years ago left her traumatised.

Read on for more.

Darren tells us more about how the proposal happened
Darren tells us more about how the proposal happened
12 Oct 2017

Darren tells us more about how the proposal happened

Darren let on that he was among the first few celebrity friends that found out that Xu Bin was about to get married. “One day, he told me that he had a secret to tell me, which was that he was getting married. I was really happy for him, because I believe in settling down before 30, and he’s at such a good age to start a family!” Darren gushed.

The 45-year-old continued, “He told me that he didn’t intend to propose – he and Yifei were talking about things like getting a house together, so she already knew that they were going to get married. I told him that no, he can’t just assume that he can skip the formalities and that he has to get down on one knee, one way or the other.”

Given that Yifei was in Singapore at the time, and that he spent all his time – apart from the hours he was at work, of course – with her, Xu Bin shared with Darren that there was “no way” he could orchestrate a proposal, especially since he also wanted to keep the entire affair tightly under wraps.

“I told him that if he didn’t do it, he’d get nagged at for his entire life,” Darren chuckled. “I then suggested that he take my yacht out to sea – after all, Singapore doesn’t have any paparazzi camping out in the oceans, so he’d be safe there!”

(Continued on next slide: Darren on why he believes in settling down early)

Photos: Darren Lim/Instagram, Xu Bin/Instagram

Darren on why he believes in settling down early
Darren on why he believes in settling down early
12 Oct 2017

Darren on why he believes in settling down early

After taking Darren’s advice, Xu Bin proceeded with the plan and enlisted the help of fellow NoonTalk Media artiste Kimberly Chia to decorate the yacht, which was steered out to sea by the full-time captain that Darren employs.

“I charged him a special ‘friendship rate’ for the rental – after all, this is his own personal matter and I can’t just not charge him anything – but I provided a bottle of champagne and a bottle of perfume for Yifei,” Darren shared.

“I wasn’t on the yacht myself, but I heard that tears – both Xu Bin and Yifei’s – were shed during the proposal,” Darren chuckled. “It must have been pretty touching for the both of them. To me, it doesn’t matter how you propose – I went down on one knee in front of the flat that my wife and I bought on the day that we received the keys for it – but at the end of the day, as long as tears are shed, you know that you did something right.”

As for his children, Kristen, 12, Jarius, 10, Way, 8 and Elliot, 2, Darren let on that he also hopes that his children can settle down and start families before they hit 30. “I’ve told Kristen that she should find a stable boyfriend by the time she’s 24, then she can get married between the ages of 26 to 28,” the father of four mused.

“I’ve said similar things to the boys; it’ll be good if they can settle down at around 28. Look at Xu Bin – he’s at the prime age to get married! It would’ve been nice if I could have done the same, but my wife (fellow actress Evelyn Tan) just had to make me wait!” he chuckled. “As a man, even when I’m 70, it’s possible for me to father a child, but for women, there’s a biological clock ticking, so you have to plan ahead when you’re thinking about having children. Evelyn once said that if she married me earlier, we could’ve had two more children. What a pity!”

(Continued on next slide: Fann and Christopher’s well-wishes for Xu Bin)

Photos: Darren Lim/Instagram

Fann and Christopher’s well-wishes for Xu Bin
Fann and Christopher’s well-wishes for Xu Bin
12 Oct 2017

Fann and Christopher’s well-wishes for Xu Bin

Also congratulating their reel-life son on his upcoming wedding were Fann and Christopher, who shared that they didn’t know about his plans beforehand. “One or two weeks ago, he was in a pretty good mood, but he said that he’d tell me about the reason later on,” Chris shared.

“Since our son gave everyone such good news yesterday, as his parents, shouldn’t we announce a piece of good news of our own too?” Chris declared, immediately garnering a stink-eye from Fann, who chided him for “talking nonsense.”

“You guys were shocked, right? But okay, we don’t have any good news to share, so we’ll just congratulate Xu Bin instead!” he chuckled.

Jokes aside, Fann and Christopher had to go into the sea in order to film one of the final scenes in the drama, which Fann confessed was no easy feat. She developed a fear of water after filming Chinese variety programme Let’s Go Love two years ago, where she and Chris were forced to jump into a sea after complications arose from a skydiving session.

She spent a good deal of time in the water waiting for help, which she shared has made her fearful of not being in control of her own safety, especially around water.

“When it comes to variety programmes, it’s unlikely that I’ll accept any projects that require us to do activities that include the sea, but for dramas, it depends on the script and how they execute the scene,” she explained. “I actually wasn’t too worried about today’s scene, but after you guys started asking about it, I can feel my heart beating extra quickly!”

(Continued on next slide: How Fann overcame her fear of the sea)

How Fann overcame her fear of the sea
How Fann overcame her fear of the sea
12 Oct 2017

How Fann overcame her fear of the sea

“I think this is something that she will be able to conquer with time,” Christopher mused. “Maybe not today, but she will be able to do it!” Fann chimed in, “ I think so too – when I think of Zed going to play in the sea with his dad but me not being able to join in because of my fear, I feel really upset – so I’m definitely going to beat this [fear]!”

For yesterday, however, Ah Jie also took the scene in stride – her original request to film in shallower waters was eventually turned down because the colour of the water was different further in-shore, but the presence of two professional lifeguards was a welcome assurance. Even before Christopher jumped into the water, she walked over to ‘interview’ them about the conditions in the water.

Despite nursing a bad cough (“Zed zed passed it to me – he’s been coughing for about two weeks!” she shared), she gamely climbed down into the water, where she spent about 15 minutes. After the scene, she shared that she swallowed quite a bit of sea water, and her condition seemed to have gotten worse after her dip in the sea.

After a hard day at work, Christopher and Fann hit the showers to rinse off the salt water before heading home, but not before thanking all the staff before heading home. If there’s one thing we learned yesterday, it’s that Fann isn’t called Ah Jie for nothing.

Click on for more photos of the filming session!

Christopher performs CPR on Fann
Christopher performs CPR on Fann
12 Oct 2017

Christopher performs CPR on Fann

He got pointers from the lifeguards we had on scene yesterday to ensure that the scene looked as realistic as possible.

Christopher Lee takes the leap of faith
Christopher Lee takes the leap of faith
12 Oct 2017

Christopher Lee takes the leap of faith

"Are you sure it's safe?" Fann asked worriedly before Chris made the dive into the ocean. Christopher pointed out, "It's safer during the high tide, because there's more water to cushion your jump."

Fann making her climb back up to dry land
Fann making her climb back up to dry land
12 Oct 2017

Fann making her climb back up to dry land

Good job on facing your fears, Ah Jie!

The main mode of transport yesterday was the bicycle
The main mode of transport yesterday was the bicycle
12 Oct 2017

The main mode of transport yesterday was the bicycle

If anyone needed a toilet break or wanted to grab a drink, they could either make the long trek back to the park or zip around on the bicycles that the production crew rented for the day.

WATCH: What relationship advice did Darren Lim give Xu Bin?

Doppelganger Prequel debuts February 6, 2018 at 9.30pm on Toggle.
Doppelganger Prequel – The Telemovie debuts March 11, 2018 at 7pm on Channel 8.
Doppelganger debuts March 13, 2018 at 9pm on Channel 8.

Related:
Christopher Lee’s Golden Bell Awards loss upset son?
Fann Wong, Christopher Lee’s son makes cameo in ‘Doppelganger’?
Fann Wong, Christopher Lee’s son wants a baby sister

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