Zoe Tay, Chen Hanwei expose each other’s outrageous spending habits

Which ‘A Million Dollar Dream’ star recently spent a five-figure amount on a medical check-up?

Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei
Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei
16 Sep 2017

Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei

Photos: Tammi Tan
Video: Goh Wen Kai

Long-time pals Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei once told us that when they were still newbies fresh out of Star Search, they bonded by roughing it out together on their meagre salaries.

Well, things – specifically, the size of their bank accounts – have changed, but they’ve remained as chummy as ever. Our interview at the imaging session for Channel 8 drama A Million Dollar Dream, in which they pair up as husband and wife for the second time after 2008’s By My Side, consisted largely of the A-listers gleefully exposing each other’s over-the-top purchases.

According to Hanwei, Zoe has so many shoes at home that “if you opened her closet, they would flatten you in an instant”. When we asked Zoe to come clean about exactly how many pairs of footwear she owns, she tried to shrug off the question with “I don’t remember”, which only served to prove Hanwei’s point in his book. “The fact that she cannot remember is scary,” he quipped.

The 48-year-old then continued his attack by revealing that Zoe has at least one handbag with a six-figure price tag in her collection, a statement that she neither confirmed nor denied with her silence (and an ever-so-subtle eye-roll).

Of course, Zoe had her own “accusations” up her sleeve: the 49-year-old let on that Hanwei practically donates money to hospitals thanks to his overly frequent check-ups. “He goes to the doctor when he gets a pimple, and he sees a specialist for an ordinary stomach ache,” she said.

While Hanwei fervently refuted his BFF’s dramatic reports, he did admit that he is in the habit of going for regular physical examinations, and that his biggest recent splurge was an endoscopy on his digestive system worth – get ready for this – a whopping $10,000. “It’s necessary when you get to this age!” he defended himself. “And besides, I made an insurance claim.”

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The Zhang family, played by Edwin Goh, He Yingying, Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei
The Zhang family, played by Edwin Goh, He Yingying, Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei
16 Sep 2017

The Zhang family, played by Edwin Goh, He Yingying, Zoe Tay and Chen Hanwei

$10,000 is far from a paltry sum, but it would probably have felt like loose change to Hanwei’s character in A Million Dollar Dream after a lottery win transforms him into an instant millionaire overnight. Unfortunately, the old adage “money can’t buy happiness” begins to prove itself, and…well, we’ll let you find out for yourself when the drama airs next year.

Hanwei himself has struck gold in the lotto before, although in his case, the gold was worth just $5,000 (still, better than nothing). Ignoring Hanwei’s jokes (or not?) about her salary being as lucrative as hitting the lottery, Zoe shared that the only time she experienced something similar was when she won Star Search in 1988, netting her a car and cash prize.

So, what would they do if $1 million magically fell into their laps one day? “I would be quite bewildered!” said Zoe. “I would probably buy a car first, then sell it off once I’ve had time to figure out what to really do with that amount of money. (laughs)”

Hanwei, on the other hand, believes in the power of investments. “The amazing thing would be to make another $1 million on top of the original $1 million, instead of squandering it all on handbags and shampoo,” he said, casting a suspicious eye on Zoe beside him, who pretended not to hear.

On a more serious note, the both of them stated that a good portion of that theoretical $1 million would most certainly go to charity. “If you’ve been given such a huge blessing, then you should go and bless others in return,” they agreed.

A Million Dollar Dream debuts April 11, 9pm on Channel 8.

Click through for more pictures from yesterday’s imaging session for A Million Dollar Dream, as well as for more soundbites from Zoe and Hanwei about what they do with their hard-earned moolah:

Zoe with her onscreen husband Hanwei and onscreen dad Chen Shucheng
Zoe with her onscreen husband Hanwei and onscreen dad Chen Shucheng
16 Sep 2017

Zoe with her onscreen husband Hanwei and onscreen dad Chen Shucheng

While Hanwei isn’t one of those folks who believes in spending lavishly on food, Zoe said that she can easily blow hundreds on a good Japanese meal. Care to treat us one day, Ah Jie?

Chen Hanwei
Chen Hanwei
16 Sep 2017

Chen Hanwei

In the midst of our conversation about Zoe’s supposedly colossal shoe closet, she tried to steer the attention away from herself by disclosing that Hanwei is the owner of kicks worth over $1,000.

Zoe Tay
Zoe Tay
16 Sep 2017

Zoe Tay

Hanwei doesn’t believe that expensive items like bags and watches are good investments because a) they only provide a moment of happiness and b) they end up getting mouldy in a corner. Zoe was only too happy to disagree, and even started pestering Hanwei playfully to buy a handbag for her. “Look at her, she’s already so well off and she’s still trying to extort me,” he scoffed.

'A Million Dollar Dream' family portrait
'A Million Dollar Dream' family portrait
16 Sep 2017

'A Million Dollar Dream' family portrait

“I thought you were going to mention my friendship instead,” Zoe whined when Hanwei named the life his mother gave him as the most valuable present he’s ever received. Awww, we’re sure he meant to include that too.

Zoe Tay and Bukoh Mary play sisters
Zoe Tay and Bukoh Mary play sisters
16 Sep 2017

Zoe Tay and Bukoh Mary play sisters

Onscreen sisters Zoe Tay and Bukoh Mary and their drama dad Chen Shucheng
Onscreen sisters Zoe Tay and Bukoh Mary and their drama dad Chen Shucheng
16 Sep 2017

Onscreen sisters Zoe Tay and Bukoh Mary and their drama dad Chen Shucheng

He Yingying plays Zoe and Hanwei's daughter
He Yingying plays Zoe and Hanwei's daughter
16 Sep 2017

He Yingying plays Zoe and Hanwei's daughter

Watch:
Where do Zoe and Hanwei spend the most money?

Related:
Joel Choo follows in dad Zhu Hou Ren’s footsteps

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