Daydreaming with Shaun Chen in Perth

Toggle catches up with the new dad on the set of The Dream Job: what items did he bring with him to be reminded of his baby daughter?

Shaun Chen at Jarrahdale
Shaun Chen at Jarrahdale
18 May 2016

Shaun Chen at Jarrahdale

Photos: Tammi Tan
Videos: Teng Siew Eng

DIRECT FROM PERTH: Back in March, we packed our bags and hopped on a plane to Perth to join the crew and four cast members of Channel 8’s upcoming blockbuster drama The Dream Job. Filming took place for about ten days in the Western Australian region, and scenes from the overseas shoot will be featured in four out of the 30 episodes.

While we were there, we grilled each of the artistes on their various “dreams”: what amenities will their dream house have? What do the single ones look for in their dream partner? Have they managed to achieve a childhood dream of theirs?

For new father Shaun Chen, who plays vengeful lawyer Li Jun Feng in the series, this work trip marked the furthest he’s ever been from his wife Celine and infant daughter Nellie so far (in addition to being the furthest he’s ever travelled to film a show). However, they’re no stranger to distance as back then, mother and daughter were based in Kedah, Malaysia, while the man of the house shuttled back and forth between there and Singapore (the family of three is now blissfully reunited and living here together).

“I always keep in touch with them on the phone, just like when I’m in Singapore,” he told us during our interview between takes at the picturesque Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park, where we were frequently threatened by the obnoxious cawing from an annoying bird overhead (it got a few well-deserved shushes from an irked Shaun).

Another way the actor was reminded of his child: a photograph and her, uh, nappies. “(The nappies) are clean and smell good!” he reassured us with a laugh.

While Shaun – or anyone else – did not have enough time to go souvenir-shopping due to the tight shooting schedule, he finally managed to pick up a couple of adorable onesies for his little girl at the Perth airport just before flying home.

When asked if being a dad will mean him cutting down on such faraway work trips in the future, the 37-year-old actor immediately replied that he will not. “Maybe if it’s possible, I can even bring them along with me,” he mused.

Click through our gallery for more pics of Shaun in Perth, and to read about his dream house, vacation, retirement life and more: 

Shaun at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
Shaun at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
18 May 2016

Shaun at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour

Toggle: Describe your dream house.
Shaun: It doesn’t have to be too big – just enough for my family (houses can’t be too big in Singapore!) Maybe a detached house with five rooms, a swimming pool, a badminton court, and somewhere for me to work out.

What is your dream car?
A Ferrari. (smiles)

What would your dream wardrobe be like?
A walk-in closet. I have a lot of clothes and I like to wear things that are a little bit different, comfortable, and from good brands. My wife would need one as well, (although) I have more clothes than her! (laughs) I will buy more for her.

Would you say your wife is your dream woman?
Yes. She really takes good care of our family, so I’m very grateful to her for that.

(Continued on next slide)

Shaun at Langley Park
Shaun at Langley Park
18 May 2016

Shaun at Langley Park

What would you do on your dream vacation?
I would spend a month or two travelling the world visiting countries I’ve never been to before, such as the United States, South America and Europe, and I would bring my family with me. We can shop, sightsee, anything – we’ll be spontaneous. It doesn’t have to be like, “Oh, tomorrow we’ll go there and do this.”

How do you picture your dream retirement life?
(Spending time) with my parents, my wife and my child in a laidback place where there are no pressures in life. But I think I will continue acting forever!

Who are your dream co-stars?
Of course, great actors like Tony Leung (Chiu Wai), Sean Lau, Andy Lau, Shu Qi. Hopefully one day I will have a chance to work with them.

What is a dream role that you’ve never taken on before?
I’ve never been in an ancient Chinese period drama before, so I would love to try playing the hero in one. I want to try wearing the headpieces and costumes.

(Continued on next slide)

Shaun (and kangaroos) at Pinnaroo Memorial Park
Shaun (and kangaroos) at Pinnaroo Memorial Park
18 May 2016

Shaun (and kangaroos) at Pinnaroo Memorial Park

Did you have any childhood dreams and have you managed to achieve them?

I did, and I haven’t. When I was in primary school, I wanted to be a policeman because I thought they were so cool, helping people and catching criminals. But then when I grew up, I never had the chance. [We ask if he will ever consider switching careers] Not possible! (laughs) I will still continue being an actor.

What is your dream life?
It’s what most people would want: a life where I can do everything I want to do and where I’m able to achieve all my goals, and where my family, wife and child are all healthy and we’re all living in a healthy environment. That is enough to satisfy me.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think you’re living your dream life?
I think I still have a long way to go before I achieve my dream life, so, 4? I will keep working hard to achieve my dreams and hopefully I’ll get there by the time I’m 50!

Shaun and Rebecca about to take off in a helicopter from Langley Park
Shaun and Rebecca about to take off in a helicopter from Langley Park
18 May 2016

Shaun and Rebecca about to take off in a helicopter from Langley Park

Shaun admires the view and enjoys the breeze on Rottnest Island
Shaun admires the view and enjoys the breeze on Rottnest Island
18 May 2016

Shaun admires the view and enjoys the breeze on Rottnest Island

Shaun during filming in the City of Fremantle
Shaun during filming in the City of Fremantle
18 May 2016

Shaun during filming in the City of Fremantle

Shaun filming a scene at Moore & Moore Cafe, Fremantle
Shaun filming a scene at Moore & Moore Cafe, Fremantle
18 May 2016

Shaun filming a scene at Moore & Moore Cafe, Fremantle

Shaun and his local guest star at Padburys Cafe, Guildford
Shaun and his local guest star at Padburys Cafe, Guildford
18 May 2016

Shaun and his local guest star at Padburys Cafe, Guildford

Shaun admires the view on Rottnest Island
Shaun admires the view on Rottnest Island
18 May 2016

Shaun admires the view on Rottnest Island

WATCH:
Shaun Chen sings for crew on set but gets ignored!
‘The Dream Job’ cast describes their happiest dream

The Dream Job debuts June 28, 9pm on Channel 8; it will be available on Toggle-It-First on June 21.

Special thanks to Tourism Australia and Tourism Western Australia.

Stay tuned for our upcoming interviews with Zhang Zhen Huan, Rebecca Lim and Jeanette Aw!

Related:
LIVE blog: First look at The Dream Job in Perth
Shaun Chen talks about his lawyer role in The Dream Job
First job stories, as told by The Dream Job actors

Report a problem