The thug life with Li Nanxing, Jeremy Chan

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who was the most rebellious of them all? 

The thug life with Li Nanxing, Jeremy Chan
The thug life with Li Nanxing, Jeremy Chan
16 Aug 2017

The thug life with Li Nanxing, Jeremy Chan

Videos: Vina Chia

You've heard about all the inspiring teachers that the stars have met throughout their school years, but have you ever wondered what the celebs were like while they were students?

At the press conference for upcoming drama My Teacher Is A Thug, that was the very thing we set out to discover, and the stars did not disappoint with their hilarious and surprising responses.

Who was punished with walking around the school barefoot for the entire day, and who cut holes (literally) in fences to enter a private property just for a dip in a pond? Read on to find out. 

Li Nanxing was too cool for school
Li Nanxing was too cool for school
16 Aug 2017

Li Nanxing was too cool for school

"Back then, we'd do anything to look cool!" Nanxing chuckled as he thought back on his secondary school days. "When the teacher was talking to you, you wouldn't even look at him, much less answer, because that's what was cool, right?"

His dedication to looking - and feeling - "cool" was so extreme that he picked up something that he really shouldn't have - underage smoking.

"We were mimicking what the adults did - everyone, including the teachers and principal - smoked! They think we didn't know about it but they'd just sneak off to a corner to do it," the actor chuckled.

He continued, "It was seriously cool - they'd tuck a cigarette behind their ears, then take it out to smoke. After smoking, they could stub it out and stick it back behind their ear again!"

Nanxing didn’t get away scot-free for his misdeed though. “Of course, we got caught and punished for it,” he sheepishly admitted, “But I still felt like a cool kid even though I got punished for it.”

(Continued on next slide: Jeremy Chan and trespassing (with a twist))

Jeremy Chan and trespassing (with a twist)
Jeremy Chan and trespassing (with a twist)
16 Aug 2017

Jeremy Chan and trespassing (with a twist)

"I don't know if I can say this," Jeremy admitted before he launched into his story. "There was this pond on Pulau Ubin that was on private property. The first time my friends and I went there, we just entered despite the ‘No Entry’ sign."

"The second time we went there, they put up a fence all around the area - but that wasn't going to stop us! We cut a huge hole in the fence and just went in anyway," he laughed.

Jeremy continued, "We brought portable gas stoves to cook instant noodles because we figured we'd get hungry, and we even brought tents and such to spend the night there.”

Unfortunately for him, the then-13-year-old had a strict curfew imposed on him and had to return home while his friends spent the night there. "It was still fun, though," he grinned.

(Continued on next slide: Bonnie Loo and her terrible attempt at cheating)

Bonnie Loo and her terrible attempt at cheating
Bonnie Loo and her terrible attempt at cheating
16 Aug 2017

Bonnie Loo and her terrible attempt at cheating

"Why am I teaching kids how to cheat?" Bonnie laughed as she recounted her days as a primary one student.

"There was this subject that all of us hated - some computer-related subject that wasn't very important but we had to take anyway, and we had a test to take," she explained. "I didn't study for it so when one of the male students suggested that we cheat, I said yes."

Turns out, she and her classmates in the last row assigned questions that they would help find answers for and pass to everyone else.

They put their textbooks strategically below their desks and would sneak peeks at it while passing the answers written on either paper scraps or erasers.

The catch is this: even with their ingenious (hey, they were 7 years old after all) idea, all of them still failed.

"There were people in the front row who also did a similar thing and hid cheat sheets under their stationery, but almost half of the class still failed anyway!" she chuckled.

(Continued on next slide: Terence Cao and the case of the leather shoes)

Terence Cao and the case of the leather shoes
Terence Cao and the case of the leather shoes
16 Aug 2017

Terence Cao and the case of the leather shoes

Terence’s school had one rule about their footwear – that all of them wear white canvas shoes to school. Given that, there would naturally be some who wanted to stand out, and in this case, this meant breaking the rules.

“Everyone wore canvas shoes so if you wore leather shoes, you’d feel a certain kind of swag while you were walking around school,” he explained. “My friends and I wore leather shoes because we thought that we’d never get caught.”

Terence continued, “One day, all of us got caught and we had to take off our shoes and put them in the assembly area for the entire day. We were punished with walking around the school barefooted for the entire day and could only collect our shoes just before going home.”

The actor shared that while some of them felt a certain kind of pride in being punished (after all, it’s a tad hard to miss a bunch of barefooted boys in school), he saw no point in trying so hard to go against the rules, and was a good student (mostly, anyway) after that.

“Well, I was an ACS boy, and all of you ACS boys out there know what I’m talking about, right?” he added with a grin.

(Continued on next slide: Phyllis Quek and her reverse rebelliousness)

Phyllis Quek and her reverse rebelliousness
Phyllis Quek and her reverse rebelliousness
16 Aug 2017

Phyllis Quek and her reverse rebelliousness

Unlike the rest of the cast members, Phyllis was a bit of a model student – one who would even panic at the thought of being late for school.

“I think it’s because of my personality that I was never a troublemaker in school,” she smiled. “I was the kind who was pretty timid and I wouldn’t dare to do anything against the rules.”

Instead of acting out against her teachers, Phyllis devoted her energy to bettering herself instead. “I was the kind of person who would want to prove you wrong if you thought that I couldn’t do it. That’s why, if someone told me that I couldn’t make it or wasn’t good enough, I’d study even harder so that I could do what they think I couldn’t.”

She grinned, “That’s the only form of ‘rebelliousness’ I had in me.”

Click on for more photos of My Teacher Is A Thug's press conference!

The main cast of My Teacher Is A Thug
The main cast of My Teacher Is A Thug
16 Aug 2017

The main cast of My Teacher Is A Thug

L-R: Terence Cao, Jin Yin Ji, Jeremy Chan, Bonnie Loo, Li Nanxing, Cavin Soh, Phyllis Quek, Zhu Hou Ren

The cast (both little and not-so-little) strike a pose for the cameras
The cast (both little and not-so-little) strike a pose for the cameras
16 Aug 2017

The cast (both little and not-so-little) strike a pose for the cameras

Bonnie was unanimously voted by the rest of her cast mates as the one who is best with children
Bonnie was unanimously voted by the rest of her cast mates as the one who is best with children
16 Aug 2017

Bonnie was unanimously voted by the rest of her cast mates as the one who is best with children

Zhu Hou Ren was full of pride for his reel-life grandson, who expressed he'd love to act again
Zhu Hou Ren was full of pride for his reel-life grandson, who expressed he'd love to act again
16 Aug 2017

Zhu Hou Ren was full of pride for his reel-life grandson, who expressed he'd love to act again

Terence Cao and his reel-life son hamming it up
Terence Cao and his reel-life son hamming it up
16 Aug 2017

Terence Cao and his reel-life son hamming it up

WATCH: Who was the biggest thug back in school?
WATCH: Jeremy Chan snuck off to Langkawi for his wedding?

Related:
Li Nanxing on helping car accident victim: “I’m no hero”
Ah Ge Li Nanxing turns stuntman for new drama

My Teacher Is A Thug debuts August 28, 9pm on Channel 8.

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