Photos: Dion Tang, Aimee Chan via Weibo, TPG
Video: Tay Yixuan
Under first-time director Chapman To’s orders, Hong Kong TVB actress Aimee Chan, 34, filmed two running scenes for his latest movie, Let’s Eat!, not knowing she was expecting her third child.
“Chapman told me to sprint, and because he needed the scene shot from different angles, I ran through many streets,” she said yesterday at the press conference for the actor–director’s Chinese New Year food-themed comedy.
“I felt nauseous after the run, which I couldn’t figure out. Before filming began I was spending three hours a day at the gym because Chapman told me to lose some weight, and I was fine.”
The actress is now 6 months pregnant and due in late April or early May, but she still insisted on making her appearance wearing 5-inch heels, which made everyone worry for her and her baby bump.
Even though it made her nauseous every now and then, being pregnant didn’t sap Aimee’s strength completely. The actress was still fit enough to deliver a slap that dislocated Chapman’s jaw during filming.
“My mouth went crooked, but what else could I do?” Chapman said of the ordeal. “So I pushed my jaw back in with my hands, and we went on shooting.”
Mother and actress
In her first acting role since giving birth to her second son, Aimee plays the daughter of a failing Hainanese chicken rice eatery's owner who teams up with its head chef (played by Chapman) to save the establishment.
The $1.8 million movie stars Singapore’s Mark Lee, Henry Thia and Patricia Mok; Malaysia’s Tommy Kuan and Daphne Low; and Hong Kong’s Lo Hoi Pang, among others.
Filming took place in Singapore and Malaysia, so Aimee had to be apart from her husband, Hong Kong actor Moses Chan, 44, and their two boys, Aiden, 2, and Nathan, 11 months. The family caught up through video chat every day.
“I thought I would cry, but in fact I didn’t!” Aimee said. But her children’s early 7 p.m. bedtime meant the actress had to put in effort to check in with them before they went to sleep.
Aimee’s third pregnancy has made her feel the most faint, she said. And even though Moses wasn’t by her side while she worked on Let’s Eat!, he would often send her reminders via text message. “He’d tell me to be careful if I ever feel giddy, and I did look after myself this time,” Aimee said.
The couple haven't disclosed the gender of their unborn third child, but they have agreed that whichever it is, they’ll go on hiatus in their baby-making after it's born.
Aimee hopes to return to acting. “I don’t want to be just a mother or an actress,” she said. “I want to strike a balance between the two.”
She said she found that drama series, which take three or four months to shoot, were too time-consuming, and that movies, demanding 12-hour shoots every day, were better suited for her to look after her young family. Shifting her career to focus on films would be an option she’d consider.
“I really love acting and filming,” she said. “Movies take a shorter time to shoot, so after I’m done I go back to my family and look after my children.”
Let’s Eat is presented by Clover Film and Cathay Keris Films, and opens in cinemas islandwide on February 5.
This story first appeared on toggle.sg/ch
Story by Dion Tang