Video: Lye Yuk Sing & Foong Mien Shi
Singaporean veteran actor Lee Nanxing said he is eager for more drama opportunities in Taiwan and would be part of a big film collaboration between Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan this year.
The renowned actor opened a new route in his career when he participated in Taiwanese action serial drama Justice Heroes since last December after being fervently sought after by Taiwan television channel Formosa TV (FTV).
Nanxing plays the role of a Singaporean undercover detective who is nimble and adept in fighting. In the show, Nanxing flaunts many fighting sequences in dangerous scenes and is slated to complete his filming of his parts this April.
Despite his busy schedule, Nanxing graced the press conference last Friday (23 Jan) for Channel 8’s new sitcom A Blessed Life, in which he plays the lead role alongside Chen Liping, Zhu Houren, Richard Low, Brandon Wong and You Yi.
In his interview with xinmsn, Nanxing revealed that he did not specifically request for any drama roles in FTV’s dramas. When FTV had offered his current role in Justice Heroes, Nanxing thought it would be a good opportunity to challenge himself and gain an eye-opening experience while working in a different environment.
He also admitted that he had accepted the role to ‘test the waters’, provide more opportunities for actors and actresses in Singapore to participate in dramas elsewhere and bring greater recognition for them.
Though Nanxing is a veteran actor in Singapore with an outstanding portfolio of dramas, movies and awards, he was not spared from a culture shock due to the vast difference between Singapore and Taiwan’s entertainment industry.
The first thing that caught him off-guard was the fast pace and high pressure of the filming process.
Nanxing shared that on his first day of filming the drama, he was given a short time to familiarise with the script and rehearse with the cast. When the camera was set to roll, Nanxing acted his role believing that it was simply a test run. However, the crew ended the scene after one try and moved on to the next scene, alarming Nanxing as he thought it was just a practice.
He also regularly received his script at close to 4 a.m. on the day of his filming, giving him limited time to explore ways to interpret his lines and be familiarised with his role.
Fortunately, Nanxing assured that he has began to feel comfortable with the speed of his new work environment. He also expressed his gratitude towards fellow helpful and friendly casts and crew.
When asked to rate his own performance on the show, the well-respected actor expressed his worry of gaining acceptance from the Taiwanese audience. Nanxing admitted that though he may be well known in Singapore, his shows remain foreign to many people in Taiwan.
However, Nanxing’s efforts began to pay off, as he would frequently be recognised on the streets of Taiwan. He also added chirpily, “When they see me, some of them would sing praises of my acting.”
Health is the greatest importance in his life
Recent Taiwanese media reports had claimed that Nanxing’s investments, both in Singapore and China, have totaled up to billions of Taiwanese dollars. However, Nanxing also clarified during the interview that though he is unsure of the exact worth of his investments, the amount reported is greatly inflated.
Instead, Nanxing emphasized that health is a greater life concern to him than wealth.
The 51-year-old, who recently has a better physique and is much fitter than before in preparation of his role in A Blessed Life, also said truthfully, “In life, it is most important to have good health, be contented with your life and always stay happy.”
Nanxing’s life philosophy is also closely in line with the character that he plays in the upcoming sitcom. Nanxing’s role Ye Da Ji is a kind-hearted and down-to-earth man who readily helps others and upholds justice but is often cheated due to his generosity and kindness.
Things took an interesting twist when an old man Wang You Guo (played by Zhu Houren) staged an accident where Da Ji supposedly knocked him down and demanded to stay at Da Ji’s home to ‘recuperate’. Da Ji initially feared that You Guo was a scammer, but soon discovered he was a lonely man who was worried that he may pass away alone without anybody realising. The two develops a deep friendship and Da Ji’s kind deeds led him to fulfill his lifelong dream.
In his daily life, Nanxing also readily helps others like Ye Da Ji. He revealed that he would often assist elderly people who need help and patronize handicapped roadside sellers on a regular basis.
“I don’t want to have the feeling of regret lingering in me when I choose not to help them or ignore them,” he said.
However, Nanxing once met with a tough nut to crack when he wanted to be helpful. While filming a show in Chinatown, Nanxing offered his help to an old lady who was picking up used cardboard boxes, as they seemed bulky for her. Unexpectedly, the old lady reprimanded him as she mistook him to be competing with her for the boxes. When Nanxing offered her a $10 note later, she also rejected him quickly.
Not only was Nanxing cool about being scolded, he also expressed that the old lady had earned his respect. “I feel that she is really strong (in her will). Though she may not be wealthy, but she is happy and contented with what she has,” he shared frankly.
Catch A Blessed Life when it debuts Jan 29, every Thursday at 8:30pm on Ch8.
WATCH: Why did Li Nanxing got rejected for lending a helping hand?