Denise Camillia Tan: A new face to watch on Channel 8

This budding actress stumbled into the industry at the tender age of 19 after winning a beauty pageant


Photos: Elis Ching, Denise Camillia Tan/Instagram
Video: Genice Ooi

Malaysian-Chinese actress Denise Camillia Tan may be a new face to local viewers, having signed with Mediacorp three months ago, but her showbiz portfolio is impressive, to say the least.

The 24-year-old was but a mere fashion design student who decided to sign up for a beauty pageant spontaneously five years ago, egged on by her mum and the people around her, who felt that she “had the potential” for it.

Denise then went on to win the pageant, and was crowned Miss Astro Chinese 2012 at the age of 19, and the first runner up of the Miss Chinese International Pageant a year later. After her stint as a beauty queen, she signed with Malaysian broadcaster Astro, and appeared in a number of Malaysian and Hong Kong productions, like the 2016 Hong Kong spy thriller The Hiddens, which was partially filmed in Malaysia as well.

“My mum actually encouraged me to join [the pageant], because I used to be very shy, so she wanted to help me become more brave. Joining the pageant was the one thing that actually helped me to step out of my comfort zone as well,” Denise shared with Toggle in an interview at the imaging session for upcoming Channel 8 drama, Mind Matters, where she’ll be playing a character suffering from a mental disorder.

Other than Mind Matters, the 24-year-old has a slew of Channel 8 drama appearances lined up, from While We Are Young, which is in the midst of filming, to Have A Little Faith (she plays Rui En’s younger sister in the show), which debuts next week (July 3).

The actress, who was first introduced to local viewers as Liao Shasha in Channel 8 drama Legal Eagles, said, “[I guess] it can be considered a stroke of fate [that I joined Mediacorp]. I never thought that I’d come to Singapore to further my career, as I’ve always been in Malaysia. Everything just lined up at the right timing, and so, I came to Singapore.”


Currently staying with her relatives in Singapore, Denise let on that she has only been in Singapore for a few months, but she’s adapting well.

“It’s a whole new start for me, but everyone has been very good to me, from my seniors and friends, to my relatives,” she smiled. “The very first time I reported for work was for Have A Little Faith, and I was so confused, and unsure of where to go and what to do that I ended up reaching the company an hour early!”

Denise shared that local actress Hong Huifang, who she grew close to after working on Legal Eagles together, was especially helpful to her when she was settling down in her new life.

“When we were filming Legal Eagles, Huifang jie shared with me some acting advice, and told me that she will sometimes head out to just sit down for a few hours, and observe the people there, from their gazes, to their actions and even their little quirks. She’ll then work these observations into her acting, she told me. It’s a really good piece of advice, and I’m really thankful to her for that,” Denise recalled.

(Continued on next page: Denise on the time she had to hit Rebecca Lim in the face – twice.)

Report a problem