Photos: Isadora Ong, Channel 5 & Selena Lee’s Instagram
Video: Tay Yixuan & Tan Shi Qi
Despite starring as a wedded woman in Channel 5’s sitcom Spouse for House, Hong Kong actress Selena Lee is not in a rush to settle down at the moment. Instead, the 34-year-old wishes to focus on her acting career and allow marriage to knock on her doors when the time is right.
In Singapore yesterday to promote the second season of her English drama collaboration with MediaCorp Channel 5 in Spouse for House, Selena shared on her experience of returning to our sunny island to film the sequel of the light-hearted sitcom, as well as her views on love and marriage.
Selena plays the strong-minded perfectionist female lead Jessica who has agreed to a fake marriage with her sluggard husband John (played by Alaric Tay) in the first season for the sole purpose of securing their new HDB flat. The couple struggled through sticky situations such as overly concerned parents and a stark contrast in their personalities to maintain the status as ‘roommates’ in their new flat.
While they eventually settled their differences and developed feelings for each other, the first season left us off with a cliff-hanger where Jessica was seen peering at a pregnancy test kit in the washroom.
Still, the 12-episode sitcom came in as one of the biggest winners on the Asian Television Awards last year, as it was awarded the Best Comedy Programme amongst strong competitors from Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand and more. Irene Ang, who stars as Selena’s possessive and bothersome mother-in-law, also brought home the award for the Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress.
Selena was also highly commended for her performance along with Irene in the same category, which she humbly described as a shock as it was her first try at a English drama and a breakthrough in her career as she has forgo her usual dramatic roles to take on a more comedic approach in her acting.
Adding on that recognition to her stable career with Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, with whom she has starred in many lead roles and have gotten many awards for her performance, would Selena then shift her attention towards relationships and marriage now that she has established her status as a versatile actress?
The 34-year-old firmly replied a ‘no’, as she prefers to stay grounded and live in the moment. “I usually don’t think about stuff (like marriage). If you dwell on the past, you might get depressed; if you think too much about your future, you might get anxiety. I have learnt to enjoy what I have now and let things go with the flow,” she explained.
However, Selena also joked that should she meet a good proposal, she may even say yes any time. “It all really depends on my mood at that time,” she quipped with a smile.
Would that translate to the actress being open to the idea of flash marriage?
“Not really, as I don’t really want to put too much thought into marriage now. I just want to focus on my work now as it gives me joy,” Selena clarified.
Her ideal life after marriage
Yet, many women would probably have fantasised about their ideal life after marriage. Selena also opened up in her interview yesterday on her dream life as newlyweds with her future husband.
In comparison to Jessica (Selena’s role) in the Spouse for House who cannot tolerate with her in-laws budging into her husband and her love nest, Selena does not mind the idea of living with her in-laws or having them make frequent visits to her home.
A blissful and carefree twosome life may seem attractive to every pair of newlyweds, but family still holds the first place in Selena’s heart. “When I marry someone, that person automatically becomes a family member. His family becomes my family too. So, if they need company and need to be taken care of, I would definitely do it,” she emphasised.
Selena also said laughingly that drawing from the experience of some of her close friends who have tied the knot, in-laws do not seem to be as domineering in reality. However, should she meet an in-law that she is unable to get along with, Selena said she would definitely draw lessons from her role as she “does a great job in seeking a balance between her husband and elders”.
Does not want to be connected to Myolie Wu’s relationship
With Hong Kong actress Myolie Wu and her entrepreneur boyfriend Philip Lee’s loving relationship placed under the spotlight in recent months, overseas media and paparazzi cannot help but turn their attention to Selena, who was said to have dated Philip for a year.
Despite constantly linked to their relationship, Selena had chosen to remain silent. When asked to comment on the issue yesterday, she shared for the first time that she had declined to respond as Philip was only her “rumoured boyfriend”.
“I purposely did not want to respond as I did not want to comment on this. I think that Myolie and her boyfriend are so happy together. It is a piece of happy news but maybe the media just likes to add some salt and spice to it,” she said.
“I think it is better to leave me out of the equation. With just the two of them in the equation, it is already very beautiful. When I see them, they are so happy. They have all my blessings,” she added.
The 34-year-old also lamented about the power of the pen, explaining that many media reports on her love life have been largely fabricated and exaggerated. While Selena has learnt to take things in her stride, she urged that tabloid news should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
Almost a Singaporean girl
Returning to our sunny island for Spouse for House 2 nearly a year since its first season, Selena immediately flooded her Instagram with photos of our local delicacies and many scenic spots and tourist attractions when she was back for a two-month stay this January.
Though the Hong Kong actress admitted that she had a great bout of difficulties in understanding the local lingo, abbreviations and culture that were infused into her script in the first season, she is now largely “comfortable in acting anything ‘Singapore’”.
Singapore also feels like a second home to Selena, as she shared that many of her childhood friends are residing in Singapore and have frequently met up with her and played host.
Yet, Selena feels she is still a step away from merging into the Singaporean culture, as she still stumbles with the array of food terms that we use daily. The Hong Kong actress cited a memorable incident on set when she had a tough time pronouncing the name of the dish ‘Ayam Buah Keluak’. It took several tries before she finally could get rid of her awkward accent in pronouncing the foreign phrase.
When asked if she is open to explore more filming opportunities in Singapore, like taking on a Channel 8 drama, Selena chirped that she would not limit herself and is open to different casting offers from anywhere around the world.
Catch Spouse for House 2 when it premieres on Channel 5 on April 8, Wednesday, 10pm.