Anyone who has ever lost a beloved pet would know just how heart-wrenching it can be. For Rui En, the news of her cat’s death hit her so hard that she completely broke down on the set of Old is Gold a few months ago, causing filming to come to a standstill for the day.
“My eyes were completely swollen and it got to a point where I couldn’t even talk,” she told us at a sharing session promoting the popular long-form drama’s telemovie, The Bliss Keeper, last week. “It’s been a very, very long time since I cried like that, and I think the people who saw me got a little bit scared! (Laughs)”
Fortunately, everybody was very understanding, and the 38-year-old actress was sent home to rest. Then, that evening, she was rudely awakened from a shiok and restful slumber by her apparently very loud doorbell.
“I was just very mentally and emotionally done, so when I fell asleep, it was quite a deep sleep,” she recalled. “Suddenly I heard the ‘DING DONG’ from outside, woke up, and was like, what the heck? I was a bit pek chek (annoyed) because I was having a very good sleep. (Laughs)”
The cast of Old is Gold at the sharing session.
The surprise visitor turned out be Felicia Chin, who came armed with two pints of ice cream. “Eh, I got text you, okay!” Felicia protested, to which her co-star retorted, “I was sleeping lah!”
This amusing little display of playful bickering continued to occur every now and then during our chat with the duo, who became especially close while working on the show together.
For instance, when Felicia very sincerely stated that she decided to check up on Rui En because “she’s really my true friend”, Rui En immediately piped up, “How many fake friends do you have?” Cue an eye-roll and stunned silence from poor Feli, who managed to recover and respond, “Not everybody gets ice cream, okay.”
On a more serious note, Rui En gushed that she was indeed very touched, not just by Felicia’s sweet gesture, but by how the rest of her cast mates supported her during the tough period of losing her feline fur kid. “The next day, Edwin [Goh] and [Chen] Liping cancelled their plans and came back to the set to finish shooting the scene that was postponed because of me,” she smiled. “Even the executive producer said she was moved.”
“When someone is down, you just wanna lift up their spirits and do what you can to cheer them up, and we know Rui En’s cats are very dear to her,” mused Felicia. “Team spirit, right?”
Old is gold… and so is friendship.
Read on as Rui En tells us more about her cat’s passing, and Felicia gets candid about the rather hostile reactions she’s gotten from viewers for her role in Old is Gold.
Rui En refrained from sharing too much about her fur-kids, but it is known that she adopted a kitten from SPCA in 2015. (Photos: Facebook/SPCA Singapore)
Toggle: We’re sorry to hear about your cat. What happened?
Rui En: Thank you. It was unfortunate, but she was sick for a while and I’m just glad she’s no longer suffering. It had gotten to a point where I was at peace with making a decision to put her down because she was having seizures and it was hard for me to see her like that, knowing she was in pain. So that morning, I planned to finish up my scenes and take her to the vet to talk about putting her down, but like a lot of people have told me, my cat sort of helped me to not have to make that difficult decision and “left” by herself.
Felicia, it was very nice of you to go all the way to her house to check up on her.
Rui En: She came to my place before, a very long time ago, but I can’t believe she remembered where exactly it is!
Felicia: I got your address from Elvin [Ng] lah. (Laughs) I know he sends you home sometimes.
Speaking of Elvin, he told us that you two are very noisy on set…
Rui En: Well, we have the longest hours and most scenes among the whole cast, so sometimes I need to vent, and for some reason it just comes out very noisy. (Laughs)
Felicia: When two friends get together, it’s natural to talk a lot and go a bit crazy, especially when you’re working almost every day. Actually, we’re quite lucky it’s like that - can you imagine what it would be like if our real lives were like our characters’? That would be torturous!
Felicia mentioned that she has been getting rather hostile reactions from viewers because of her character’s questionable antics in the show. Rui En, did she ever confide in you when she was feeling bothered?
Rui En: She did tell me about an incident where an aunty walked past her and came back specially to say to her, “You are very bad!” Other than that, she doesn’t really share much because she’s a bit more guarded, but I kinda sensed something was wrong and sent her a couple of messages telling her, you know what, it’s actually a compliment to your acting!
Felicia: That had never happened to me before so it came as quite a shock, but I think it’s good that I finally got to experience what might happen to other actors who usually play villains. I take it as me progressing as an actor. I don’t want to be stereotyped or keep playing roles that are within my comfort zone.
Rui En: I also told her it’s a blessing that the audience is so involved in our show. I know it’s not always like that - sometimes you can put your everything into it and the reaction is lukewarm.
Felicia, does this experience make you hesitant to take on more villainous roles in the future?
Felicia: To be honest, I try not to see her as a villain. Everyone has a motivation behind doing certain things. That said, I won’t narrow down my future roles based on how good or bad the person is. Instead, I’ll be drawn to a script with a lot of heart and character development.
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