‘Eat Already 3’ stars and their fears about growing old

Felicia Chin, Nick Shen, Zheng Ge Ping, Zheng Wanling and Rayson Tan get candid about their concerns about the inevitable process of ageing

The stars and director of 'Eat Already? 3'
The stars and director of 'Eat Already? 3'
03 Aug 2017

The stars and director of 'Eat Already? 3'

Photos: Tammi Tan, Channel 8
Videos: Genice Ooi

It was a humid, sweltering Tuesday mid-afternoon, but that was not enough to stop a large crowd – most of whom were senior citizens – to show up at the public launch of Eat Already? 3 two days ago (August 1).

In fact, it didn’t damper their excitement and spirits either, judging from their enthusiastic reception when the star-studded cast was introduced on stage (one aunty behind us sounded particularly thrilled about Lin Mei Jiao).

Eat Already? 3 is the third in a trilogy of Channel 8 dialect dramas, and features both new additions – including the long-awaited comebacks of Zheng Wanling and Nick Shen – and familiar faces from the first two instalments. This time, some of the topics featured will include learning technology, blood pressure management and road safety.

In the midst of creating a programme aimed at communicating useful information to the older generation, the young – or younger than their target audience, at least – stars of Eat Already? 3 also picked up some new skills themselves. Zheng Ge Ping, for instance, learned to conjure up grand illusions from magician Ning Cai for one of his two roles as twin brothers.

“The director wanted to have each trick filmed in one take so that they would look genuine,” Ge Ping told Toggle in an interview. As such, NGs (no good takes) were inevitable, but the 53-year-old “hunkle”, who also had to bare his abs in a Criss Angel-like getup, managed to conquer them all, emerging with just a small burn on his finger (which has since healed completely).

Felicia Chin, on the other hand, took this role as an opportunity to step out of her comfort zone and improve on her dialect skills. Things were a little rocky in the beginning (she recalled stumbling over 10 times for a two-page script) but now, the 32-year-old can proudly declare that she can pass as a fluent Hokkien speaker.

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Thumbs up from the stars and director of 'Eat Already? 3'
Thumbs up from the stars and director of 'Eat Already? 3'
03 Aug 2017

Thumbs up from the stars and director of 'Eat Already? 3'

After four years away from showbiz, Wanling confessed that she has become a little rusty in front of the cameras. “My scenes at the hospital were quite embarrassing,” she said, explaining that she had trouble remembering her lines and struggled with the difficult technical terms that her nurse character has to utter with ease.

When asked how many takes she needed to get it right in the end, the former actress, who will be returning to Panama (where she is now based with her husband and daughter) in September, said she could not remember – all she wanted to do was go home and have a good rest.

For Nick, who is also the founder of Chinese opera events company Tok Tok Chiang, one of his biggest challenges making Eat Already? 3 was having to perform Eric Moo’s classic hit ‘Kopi O’ in Hokkien for a scene in a hawker centre.

“We didn’t have time to record the song in a studio, so I had to perform it live in front of the camera,” said Nick. As if things weren’t hard enough, director Kelvin Tong instructed the 40-year-old – who admitted that he’s not the most synchronised person – to “dance in a very special way” while singing at the same time.

And the task of coming up with the “special” choreography was left up to – you guessed it – Nick himself. “I searched for videos on ‘how to learn dancing’ on YouTube and watched concerts of singers like Jay Chou and Jolin Tsai, but the more I watched them, the more confused I became!” he said with a chuckle. In the end, he settled on a repertoire of completely original and very simple moves.

So, how did things turn out in the end? “We were originally scheduled to wrap up the shoot in a day but we ended up taking two days because of me,” he said sheepishly. Thankfully, with the magic of editing, all his blood, sweat and tears will be spliced into a smooth-sailing three-minute segment.

All’s well that ends well.

While it may be a while before the stars of Eat Already? 3 become old and grey, we asked them to share what they fear most about this unavoidable part of life. Read on for more!

Felicia Chin’s fear: wrinkles and lack of energy
Felicia Chin’s fear: wrinkles and lack of energy
03 Aug 2017

Felicia Chin’s fear: wrinkles and lack of energy

Okay, to be precise, Felicia isn’t exactly afraid of these ailments hitting her – then again, she is still only in her early 30s – but she revealed that she’s already taking steps to help stop them from happening (as we all probably should as well).

A big part of her “prevention is better than cure” routine is watching her diet in order to keep her youthful energy up. While shooting for Eat Already? 3, Felicia couldn’t help but notice that her stamina for surviving an all-nighter wasn’t exactly what it used to be, much to her dismay.

“There was once we filmed from 5pm until sunrise the next morning, and it just didn’t feel [as easy] as before,” she recalled. “I used to be able to cram overnight and go straight for my exam the next day!”

She also said that she “cannot be lazy” when it comes to skincare.  “I’m much stricter compared to when I was younger,” she said, adding that she’s also a lot more particular when it comes to selecting her beauty products.

Nick Shen’s fears: balding and memory loss
Nick Shen’s fears: balding and memory loss
03 Aug 2017

Nick Shen’s fears: balding and memory loss

He may sport a healthy, thick head of hair right now thanks to his mum’s genes, but Nick also has a fear that it could all be stripped away (literally) as his dad is not so fortunate.

“My father has had a comb-over ever since I was young; he would perm one side of his hair and flip it over [to hide his baldness],” he said. “I remember seeing that and worrying that I would be like that when I’m older as well.”

Another potential side of ageing he hopes will not strike is memory loss. “As a person gets older, he may also become more forgetful, but as an actor, I have to memorise scripts, so I definitely hope that it doesn’t happen to me!”

Zheng Ge Ping’s fear: old injuries reappearing
Zheng Ge Ping’s fear: old injuries reappearing
03 Aug 2017

Zheng Ge Ping’s fear: old injuries reappearing

As a former taekwondo instructor and a veteran actor who has filmed his fair share of action scenes over the past couple of decades, it’s no surprise that Ge Ping has racked up some unfortunate physical damage all over his body in the line of duty.

While they don’t seem to be bothering him much at the moment, he shared that he does worry that they will come back to haunt him when he’s a frailer stage of life. Even now, Ge Ping admitted that some old wounds occasionally rear their ugly heads to “shock” him every now and then.

Zheng Wanling’s fear: lack of money
Zheng Wanling’s fear: lack of money
03 Aug 2017

Zheng Wanling’s fear: lack of money

Instead of being concerned about the physical aspects of ageing, Wanling (who would only reveal that she’s in her 50s) said that she’s most worried about not having enough extra money to spend as she likes.

“I don’t need to be very rich, I just want to have enough spare cash to buy whatever I want, because there is a lot of freedom in that,” she said.

Rayson Tan’s fear: so far so good!
Rayson Tan’s fear: so far so good!
03 Aug 2017

Rayson Tan’s fear: so far so good!

We should all aim to have the 52-year-old’s attitude when it comes to age: “I may be the same age as Singapore, but I think I have a ‘20 percent discount’, so I still look like I’m in my 40s, don’t I? And I feel even younger on the inside: 25.”

So what’s the secret to his everlasting “youth”? “I think it’s important to have a good attitude and outlook on life,” he shared. “For example, I like to laugh a lot, whether I’m at work or at home, and while I make sure to eat more healthy food, I don’t avoid unhealthy food altogether because that’s not the way to live!”

His wife Chen Li Ping has a hand in this as well. “My wife laughs even louder than I do – until the point that tears come out of her eyes – and I think that helps make me look and feel younger every day as well, so thank you, Teacher ‘Aiyoyo’!”

Nick Shen, Lin Mei Jiao, Rayson Tan, Felicia Chin and director Kelvin Tong
Nick Shen, Lin Mei Jiao, Rayson Tan, Felicia Chin and director Kelvin Tong
03 Aug 2017

Nick Shen, Lin Mei Jiao, Rayson Tan, Felicia Chin and director Kelvin Tong

Felicia Chin speaks on stage
Felicia Chin speaks on stage
03 Aug 2017

Felicia Chin speaks on stage

Marcus Chin speaks on stage
Marcus Chin speaks on stage
03 Aug 2017

Marcus Chin speaks on stage

Rayson Tan and Lin Mei Jiao joke around on stage
Rayson Tan and Lin Mei Jiao joke around on stage
03 Aug 2017

Rayson Tan and Lin Mei Jiao joke around on stage

Zheng Ge Ping and Sora Ma speak on stage
Zheng Ge Ping and Sora Ma speak on stage
03 Aug 2017

Zheng Ge Ping and Sora Ma speak on stage

Zheng Wanling speaks on stage
Zheng Wanling speaks on stage
03 Aug 2017

Zheng Wanling speaks on stage


Rayson Tan, Ning Cai, Zheng Ge Ping and Lin Mei Jiao in 'Eat Already? 3'
Rayson Tan, Ning Cai, Zheng Ge Ping and Lin Mei Jiao in 'Eat Already? 3'
03 Aug 2017

Rayson Tan, Ning Cai, Zheng Ge Ping and Lin Mei Jiao in 'Eat Already? 3'

Hong Hui Fang and Chen Shu Cheng
Hong Hui Fang and Chen Shu Cheng
03 Aug 2017

Hong Hui Fang and Chen Shu Cheng

The cast and a group of seniors in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'
The cast and a group of seniors in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'
03 Aug 2017

The cast and a group of seniors in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'

Zheng Wanling, getai singer Xu Qiong Fang and Nick Shen in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'
Zheng Wanling, getai singer Xu Qiong Fang and Nick Shen in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'
03 Aug 2017

Zheng Wanling, getai singer Xu Qiong Fang and Nick Shen in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'

Lin Mei Jiao and Rayson Tan in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'
Lin Mei Jiao and Rayson Tan in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'
03 Aug 2017

Lin Mei Jiao and Rayson Tan in a still from 'Eat Already? 3'

Eat Already? 3 premieres August 18, 12 noon on Channel 8.

Watch:
Zheng Ge Ping got burned while doing magic for Eat Already? 3?
What’s the mental age of the Eat Already? 3 cast?

Related:
Zheng Wanling, Nick Shen return to TV for Eat Already 3

Watch past episodes of Eat Already? and Eat Already? 2 on Toggle.

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