Video: Goh Wen Kai
It's a quiet Wednesday afternoon at the Mediacorp campus as Jeremy Chan sits down for an interview with Toggle in between filming for upcoming web series, Hear Your Thoughts.
Little did we know that this would be the last interview we had with him before he exchanged his 'I do's' with longtime girlfriend Jesseca Liu that very weekend. It should come as no surprise to us, as the couple dated under the radar for two years before going public with their relationship in February 2016 - even then, Jesseca didn't reveal who she was dating, and only let on that she was hoping that her then-relationship would lead to marriage.
Fast forward a year later, where Jeremy and Jesseca announced in January that they would be tying the knot this year. Again, provided bits and pieces of information and shared that the public would only know about the wedding on the big day itself.
WATCH: How did Jeremy win Jesseca's hand in marriage?
"I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to talk about things until they're confirmed," Jeremy mused.
He was, however, happy to share about how the pair started dating.
“We knew about each other for some time but never got to talk much - she focuses more on acting while I focus more on variety. We crossed paths while we were filming xinmsn’s web drama Who Killed The Lead, and that’s where it all started,” he confessed.
“There wasn’t any special method that I used to get her to say yes to dating; instead, I think it was my sincerity that moved her,” Jeremy shared. “A lot of people see me as the happy-go-lucky guy, but I can get really serious when I want to be.”
“We started dating with marriage in mind, and both of us had that same thought,” he continued. “In the short term, we’re alright with staying within Singapore but as artistes, we need to be professional and go where our jobs take us.”
Jeremy and Jesseca in Who Killed the Lead
Jeremy wants people to take him seriously
When it comes to his career, Jeremy also has a clear idea of where he wants to go next. “If you compare acting and hosting, I definitely prefer hosting,” he said. “When you’re acting, you have to become someone else, but as a host, you can be who you are.”
As someone who’s “still young,” the 36-year-old feels that trying out different aspects of showbiz is something that comes naturally. “In the future, I hope to challenge more serious roles to let others feel that Jeremy Chan is capable of doing such characters too,” he added.
For now, however, he doesn’t feel that being typecasted as a funnyman is a good thing. “If the audience thinks that I’m “not bad”, that’s a bad thing. If I’m just ‘not bad’, it means that they don’t have a definite idea of what I’m like as an entertainer,” Jeremy explained. “I’m alright with being called a comedian.”
“Sometimes when I’m on the streets, passersby will ask me to go over and tell them a joke. I think it’s part of my identity now and it will take time for people to be able to take me more seriously,” he mused. “I’ll have to work on being able to hold serious conversations with others, and it’s something that I’m still trying to get a grasp of.”
Naming Guo Liang as his role model, Jeremy explained that the veteran’s secret to success is likely his love for reading. “We usually check out our phones when we have nothing better to do, but Liang ge is always reading. It really does make a difference,” Jeremy grinned. “I’m still working hard to finish a book every month, but it’s hard because I tend to fall asleep reading it.”
In the near future, Jeremy is also aiming to film more web series as he feels that’s where the younger generation’s focus is on. “I’ve been considering filming my own series but that’s still in the pipeline,” he shared. “But I’m also discussing some other web projects now, and I’ll be part of King Kong Media Production’s project, too."
Continued on next page: What are Jeremy and Jesseca's baby-making plans?
Working with Jesseca on a secret project
Another project that’s in the pipeline is a collaboration with his wife – yes, Jesseca.
He grinned, “We’re still in the planning stages so we can’t reveal too much about it just yet. The only thing I can share is that we’re planning for it to be released next year - we’re so busy with wedding preparations and our respective projects that there’s really no way we can finish up everything by this year - that’s way too much on our plates.”
For now, they’ll likely be focusing on getting their four-room HDB flat ready. While Jeremy shared that he moved into the house prior to the wedding, he let on that Jesseca would only do so after they get married. The finished product has a resort feel to it, with plenty of wood, cement and metal incorporated into the design.
“Jesseca was like the manager and I was the staff when it came to renovations,” he chuckled. “I was just in charge of doing what had to be done. I’d have to hire an interior designer anyway, and she’s always had an interest in interior design, so we decided to go with it since she had a lot of ideas about our new home.”
A sneak peek into Jeremy and Jesseca's new home (Photo: Jeremy Chan/Instagram)
Being known as “Jesseca’s boyfriend”
The couple is also in no hurry to expand their family quite yet. “I’m an overgrown child myself, so I think we’ll just be enjoying our time as a couple for now,” Jeremy shared. “We’ll let nature take its course, and I’ve never thought of how many children we want and so on. After all, we don’t have a choice in such matters and what’s yours will be yours.”
Before we ended the interview, we couldn’t help but to poke at the elephant in the room - how Jeremy feels about being known as Jesseca’s boyfriend - and now, husband, rather than as himself. “If people think that way, the only thing I can think of is ‘You’re right, that’s me.’”
He chuckled, “Life these days is stressful enough, and it’s really tiring if we’re too calculative about everything. As public figures, we should also look at things from a more positive angle so that the younger generation will learn to take things easy too. All I can say is, live life with a more relaxed mindset, guys.”
Hear My Thoughts premieres on October 5 exclusively on Toggle, with new episodes every Thursday to Sunday.
You can also catch Jeremy in My Teacher is a Thug, which debuts August 28, 9pm on Channel 8.
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