Photos: Lee Lay Na
One such couple is Zheng Ge Ping and Hong Hui Fang, who first tied the knot in 1992 before having their church ceremony the next year. The veteran artistes first met as colleagues at Mediacorp (then still known as SBC, Singapore Broadcasting Corporation) and they have famously declared that it was far from love at first sight.
“I used to try and avoid you,” Hui Fang, 56, chuckled during our In Bed With shoot, between taking bites of strawberries and sips of champagne with her husband. “Back then, you and a few others would gather near the makeup unit, talking loudly and spewing profanities – I would deliberately take a longer route around the area so I wouldn’t run into you!”
Things changed after a fateful chalet getaway with a few mutual friends, where a one-on-one conversation over drinks helped them to know each other better. Ge Ping, 52, also recalled the time he was impressed with Hui Fang for knowing how to change her car tyres by herself. “I didn’t know many girls who knew how to do that,” he gushed.
Fast forward 24 years, and they are still happily married and loving parents to two children, 20-year-old Tay Ying and 16-year-old Calvert. Just how did they do it? Read on for the gems we discovered during Zheng Ge Ping and Hong Hui Fang’s intimate In Bed With tête-à-tête:
Set aside time – and dance! – for one another
For many parents, children – especially when they are younger – are a very high priority in their lives, and it was no different for Ge Ping and Hui Fang. But while they admitted to spending more time on their two children during the day, their all-important couple bonding time took place after midnight when the little ones had traipsed off to dreamland. “We’d have a glass of wine, and sometimes we’d talk until three or four o’ clock in the morning without knowing it,” said Hui Fang.
Ge Ping also used to treat Hui Fang to a steamy display of dance moves worthy of Magic Mike (a Hollywood film that centres on the lives of male strippers) before bed, even before he gained his now-buff physique. “We had no mobile phones or tablets back then, so all I could do was watch TV or watch you dance,” said Hui Fang, adding with a laugh, “Young couples today should put away their gadgets and learn to dance instead.”
Now that Tay Ying and Calvert are older and more independent, husband and wife get to enjoy each other’s company during free afternoons as well, when both kids are out doing their own thing.
Forgive and forget (but don’t forget to say sorry)
Basking in marital bliss for over two decades doesn’t mean that Ge Ping and Hui Fang don’t have their fair share of pet peeves about each other. For Ge Ping, who is used to making his bed every morning thanks to his army days, he can’t stand how Hui Fang doesn’t do the same; similarly, Hui Fang doesn’t like that Ge Ping does not tidy up the kitchen after using it.
Then there is also her tendency to shift around in weird positions in bed and… his tendency to attack her in their sleep?
“Once, I had a nightmare about a dog running towards me, so I punched it,” Ge Ping recalled, imitating the gesture – but with his fist directed to this wife’s face. He had actually hit her instead. And that wasn’t the only incident: the second time, Ge Ping dreamt that he was in a martial arts face-off, and dramatically elbowed his poor sleeping wife next to him.
They’ve also had regular quarrels, just like any other couple, and there was a time they gave each other the silent treatment for an entire week. But through it all, Hui Fang has credited Ge Ping for always being the first one to swallow his pride and apologise. “Communication is very important,” she stressed.
Watch: How does Zheng Ge Ping and Hong Hui Fang keep the spark alive?
(Continued on next page: Why Ge Ping thinks Hui Fang is "a good buy")
Choose to see the good in each other
While Ge Ping and Hui Fang seemed to be on a roll listing out each other’s shortcomings (playfully, of course), they turned a lot more serious and sincere when it came to naming the positive points.
“You are someone who sets a goal and successfully works towards it; that’s the best thing about (you),” said Hui Fang. “You said you would no longer swear after having kids, and you really stopped! When you said you wanted to transform your body, you really did! This is something I really admire about you.”
Hui Fang was also extremely considerate when it came to Ge Ping putting his career development over family, at least during the first few months of his uncle-to-“hunkle” conversion, which was done for 2009 drama Kampong Ties. “I have painful memories of you eating your ‘clean’ food during family dinners, while the rest of us had our own regular dishes – it felt like you were distant, but now we understand why you had to go through that.”
As for Ge Ping, he sang praises of his missus’ many talents. “You can take care of the house, cook, and still work! It’s a good buy, man! (laughs)”
Remember all the good times together
Long before they became two of the most respected veteran artistes on the scene, Ge Ping and Hui Fang had their less-than-glamorous days on set, which included filming until so late at night that they slept in the makeup room because they didn’t want to spend money taking a taxi home.
“We would settle down at any random corner, on any sofa,” Hui Fang remembered, as Ge Ping shuddered, “It was really dirty back then!”
They also reminisced about having a lot of other actors come over to their house, which was located near the company at that time, to gather in their bedroom and chit-chat the night away. “That was a lot of fun,” Hui Fang smiled, clearly amused by the pleasant memories.
Be open to trying new things together
We gave Ge Ping and Hui Fang the chance to attempt something new during our In Bed With session: couple yoga (watch the video below for the hilarious, but oftentimes impressive, outcomes).
“This is the first time we exercised together, usually we do it by ourselves,” said Hui Fang after completing our challenge, before turning to her husband and proudly saying, “It’s a good thing I’m not fat and that you work out, or it would have been much harder!”
Ge Ping described the activity was “very intimate”, and it’s not just because they were caught in all kinds of positions together, but because he felt her placing her complete trust in him to ensure that she doesn’t fall.
Watch: How will this sporty couple fare in terms of chemistry, coordination and flexibility?
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Special thanks to Naumi Hotel.