Joel Choo follows in dad Zhu Hou Ren’s footsteps

The newly-signed Mediacorp artiste will be starring in a Channel 8 drama with his dad, but they won’t be acting as father and son – and that’s a good thing. Find out why

Joel Choo follows in dad Zhu Hou Ren’s footsteps

Father-son pair Zhu Hou Ren and Joel Choo will be working on the same drama project for the very first time this year – Channel 8’s A Million Dollar Dream. This will also be the younger Choo’s very first Channel 8 drama after starring in Channel 5’s Faculty, and Toggle caught up with the veteran artiste and his rising star son at the drama’s imaging session to get up to speed on what to expect.

While viewers might be excited to see the duo ham it up for the cameras, we’ll be the bringer of bad news to confirm that they will not be sharing any scenes together. “In the series, I spend most of my time wooing Yi Jing (played by He Ying Ying),” Joel chuckled.

“I play two characters in the show – Ba Ge and Ba Di. Ba Ge passes away within the first few episodes… Wait, the director said that I shouldn’t reveal too much, so I can’t say any more,” Hou Ren grinned. Their reel-lives will not cross at all, and in Hou Ren’s words, “Even if we have filming on the same day, we’ll film our respective scenes on our own and won’t bother each other at all.”

What then, are their thoughts on the missed opportunity on working together closely in the future – perhaps even as a reel-life father-son pair?

“If I have to be in the same scene as my dad, I think I’ll be a bit nervous,” Joel admitted. Hou Ren chimed in, “As you can probably tell, I’m a really strict father – you’ll probably be able to tell by just looking at me. Although Joel’s taller than me, he still has to look up to me when he’s in front of me.”

WATCH: Zhu Hou Ren and his son Joel won’t have scenes together for “A Million Dollar Dream”?

As for Hou Ren, he chuckled that he’s been “smiling non-stop” since he knew about working on the same drama as his son, and that “if I get even better news that we’ll be acting as a father-son pair in another project, I might be so happy that I might get a heart attack!”

That being said, given that Joel still “has some way to go” in terms of his Mandarin-speaking abilities, we wondered out loud: who is more nervous about Joel’s maiden Channel 8 drama between the two of them.

“We received the scripts on the same day, but when I got home, I saw that my dad bookmarked quite a number of pages,” Joel quipped. “They weren’t the pages with his lines on them; they were mine! He told me, ‘I’ve bookmarked the pages that include your lines, read these and analyse your character properly.”

Hou Ren couldn’t help but to add, “He must be saying that I should’ve minded my own business, right?” With an embarrassed laugh, Joel replied, “I think he’s even more nervous than I am!” and his dad couldn’t help but to deadpan, “I bookmarked it when I saw it – he doesn’t have much scenes, anyway, so he might miss out on certain pages if he looks at it himself.”

Hou Ren 1: Joel 0

(Continued on next page: Joel Choo on why he chose acting over music)

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