Allen Chen will be making his return to screens in Singapore for the first time in over two years, this time with upcoming Toggle Original VIC. He was previously a part of Channel 8’s 2015 drama Life is Beautiful.
VIC, which stars Irene Ang, Sheila Sim, Desmond Tan and Carrie Wong, among others, delves into the world of modelling, where participants take part in a modelling contest and compete to come out tops. While everything may seem glamourous from the surface, what they didn’t expect is the intense competition that goes on behind the scenes.
Allen’s character this time around is Tyson, a supermodel who is also one of the judges of the competition, but unbeknownst to others, he’s actually a womaniser who makes use of his position to lure the unsuspecting fledgling models into his bed.
Toggle visited the film set on January 5, where an intense (yet hilarious at times) scene was going on at Hotel Fort Canning. Tyson had meant to call Carrie’s character to his hotel room and drug her, but ended up seeing the other contestants visit his room instead. With so many girls knocking on his door, what he didn’t expect was for Sheila’s character to knock on his door, demanding justice for something that he did. (No spoilers here!)
For this scene, Allen was clad only in a bathrobe for most of the day, and spoke to Toggle in between takes to share more about his thoughts on returning to Singapore to act.
While the 33-year-old is known for his smoking bod, a post he made on his Instagram account on December 31, 2017 surprised many. He revealed two photos of him in his ‘fatty’ mode, and had comparison photos to show the return of his eight-pack.
(Continued on next page: How did the "fatty" version of Allen Chen come about?)
In the post, he wrote, “While preparing to bid goodbye to 2017, I can also finally say goodbye to the fatty. I’m grateful that 2017 gave me a great gift that I wouldn’t choose to erase nor forget. I took both the good and the bad and I’ve also learned that I have to treasure (a lot of things) because this will also become part of my growth. Lastly, I’m thankful to all of you who’ve been by my side throughout my journey.”
We asked Allen about his post, to which he explained that the ‘fatty’ photo was taken in October 2017, and that it was a result of being hospitalised and unable to work out. “When I saw myself in that state, I thought it was pretty funny so I took a photo of it as a momento,” he grinned.
He injured himself while filming Always Be With You, but decided to continue filming and only checked himself into hospital after production wrapped. He then underwent surgery for his ligament rupture and was only discharged in early November.
Revealing that he’s the type to pack on the pounds easily, he admitted that he put on eight kilograms within the month of inactivity, and took close to two months of intense training to get back into his “usual form”.
While he’s dived back straight into work, Allen chuckled, “I’m still undergoing treatment now and I think I’ll need about six months or so to fully recover (…) If there’s any role that needs me to put on weight, I’ll be very willing to do so and just let go.”
Allen’s sculpted body is the result of his hard work and training, and we wondered out loud if he was worried that he’d be typecasted and asked to strip for the camera for his subsequent roles.
He said matter-of-factly, “(Taiwanese director) Wang Shaudi once told me that I have a very unique face. If I take on good-guy roles, it might not be the best for me, because even if I use 200 per cent of my energy, I might not even be able to pull it off well.”
After hearing her suggestion that he should consider taking on villainous roles as well, Allen felt that it “made sense, because I won’t be typecasted and people will know that I’m able to play both good and bad guys. People will also take notice of me, which I think works out pretty well.”
As for a role he’d like to take on in the future, the actor grinned, “I hope that I will be able to get a multi-faceted role. For example, if I were to take on a bad guy, I’d hope that he has an interesting backstory. Why is he a villain? If there’s a good reason and story behind it, I’ll consider him to be a more realistic character, and that’s what I hope for.
VIC premieres March 2018 on Toggle.