Photos: Dion Tang, Camelia Ting, Channel 8
Video: Foong Mien Shi
Hong Kong screen legend Damian Lau got the star treatment on the set of The Dream Makers 2: Li Nanxing brought in herbal tea for him, while Zoe Tay offered local cakes and snacks during filming.
“Zoe is lovely, she really took care of me,” Damian said. “She’s got three sons, so she treats me as one of them!”
Damian was speaking at a media event after he wrapped filming his scenes for the upcoming The Dream Makers 2 and before he returned to Hong Kong to check in on his 93-year-old mother.
The actor had earlier declined all media interviews because he wasn’t feeling well. The haze was in the unhealthy range for the most of his three-week stay in Singapore, which caused him breathing difficulties and dry eyes.
Besides Taiwanese drama icon Chen Mei Feng, Damian is the other international star brought in for the highly anticipated production. Damian wouldn’t reveal much about his role, except that he’s a mystery man with a disabled foot who shares many scenes with Zoe.
A recent suicide scene had him perched on the roof of a 13-floor building and then suspended from cables from the fourth floor, which was tough for the actor with a fear of heights.
“I didn’t use to be afraid of heights,” he said. “But in the 70s I filmed scenes on a ferris wheel, and we were playful then, we even flew kites while up in the air. But when you’re that high up, you should never look down, and since then I’ve been afraid.”
The actor added that safety cables are much thicker and sturdier now, with the increase in safety awareness.
No plans to retire yet
It’s been 40 years since his acting debut, and Damian is still going strong. “It all depends on my health, if I’m not well, I can’t do anything,” he said. The fitness junkie said he walks his dog almost daily, and often hikes to stay fit.
The actor experienced a rebound in his popularity through his appearance in the massively successful Chinese time-travel period drama Scarlet Heart, and his 2015 TVB drama Limelight Years also fared well in ratings.
Responding to a question on his being photographed on a date with a wealthy lady, Damian said, “Hong Kong media like to make things up.
“I used to be good friends with the media, they were protective of us [actors] and would not publish stories even if they spotted us doing certain things. But now I don’t know who the media are.”
And on his reported 40-year feud with fellow Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng, Damian said, “Of course not, I’ve no time or energy [to be at odds with him].
“We’re not good friends, though I consider myself his junior. I respect my seniors, so let’s see whether he looks out for his juniors. I’m joking!”
Despite his decades-long acting career, Damian doesn’t consider himself part of the entertainment industry. “I’m just an actor,” he said. “I like what I do, but I never liked doing interviews, attending publicity events or having my photo taken.”
“But I’ll still cooperate for the sake of promoting our projects.”
This story first appeared on toggle.sg/ch
Story by Dion Tang
The Dream Makers 2 premieres December 4 at 9 pm on Channel 8 and airs Monday through Friday.
Catch up on The Dream Makers here.