If there’s one thing we’ve learned from recent events surrounding Elvin Ng, it’s that no matter how many accomplishments you may have, there will always be folks trying to belittle them and bring you down. #life
When we spoke to the local actor ahead of his official induction into the All-Time Favourite Artistes hall of fame last year, he voiced his desire to explore a wider variety of acting projects. Well, be careful what you wish for because he certainly got what he wanted: fast forward to today, and his filmography boasts shiny new additions of a long-form drama (118 S2), his first English-language programme on Channel 5 (the to-be-released 20 Days), as well as Singapore’s first period drama in two decades (Wawa Pictures’ Till We Meet Again, which was shot in China).
In addition, the 37-year-old made a return to popular dialect drama Eat Already? 4 and his latest Channel 8 offering Gifted is set to air next month, which is also when he is slated to start filming for a new Channel 8 show, Heart to Heart.
Sounds impressive, right? Not everyone thinks so. There was talk of the A-lister supposedly falling out of favour with Mediacorp, thus being relegated to “cold storage”, prompting Elvin to take to social media to fight back.
“Why does a boy ride a horse, but calls himself a #cowboy? Why does a #reporter hold a pen, thinking it’s an #arrow? (sic)” he wrote next to a childhood photo of himself on horseback, which was posted on Instagram on Monday (June 18).
Elvin's subtle yet creative response on social media. (Photo: Elvin Ng/Instagram)
Today (June 21), Georgina Chang, Head of The Celebrity Agency, shared a quote to clear the air. “Elvin’s schedule is packed with both Mediacorp-produced and outsourced productions, a clear indication of his enduring appeal. We’ve juggled his schedule to allow him to work with different teams and in different countries. That’s a great way for artistes to step out of their comfort zone, learn and grow as actors.”
Toggle also met up with Elvin for an exclusive interview this afternoon to get his thoughts.
“There are things that I keep quiet about, but I also feel the need to talk about certain social issues, especially about responsibility, integrity and character,” he explained. “As an artiste, I believe I have a platform to stand for something and be a role model for my supporters. I always say, ‘Justice diminished anywhere is justice diminished everywhere’, so I have to address it.”
Elvin also expressed his bewilderment at how not being seen on Channel 8 on weekdays at 9pm equalled to being banished into “cold storage” by the company. In fact, he revealed that he had just signed a three-year contract with Mediacorp back in April.
“It’s funny because I’ve been very happy doing different and diverse things that have helped me grow as an actor and a person,” he said, adding that he finds it disrespectful to the other production companies that their work is seen as “less worthy” than a primetime programme. “It’s not good to put it that way; for example, many artistes want to work with Wawa Pictures!”
Elvin's upcoming projects include 'Till We Meet Again', 'Gifted' and '20 Days' (Photos: Wawa Pictures, Elvin Ng/Instagram)
Another accusation that has plagued Elvin is that he has a reputation of being difficult to work with, which he was more than glad to tackle head-on. “I never said I was easy! If you ask my family, they will say I’m the most annoying thing on earth because I can be quite confrontational and I don’t sweep things under the carpet. (laughs)”
He then confessed that his straightforward nature could probably have caused some misunderstandings and rubbed people the wrong way. However, he quickly clarified, “It’s always about the matter, not the person.”
“I take pride in my work and I have demands and expectations to do things a certain way for the good of the whole project, so I can unknowingly offend people,” he admitted. “I’m not easy lah; I have opinions and things that I believe in and want to be able to discuss, but I’ve learned over time that it’s also about how you make people feel, so I have to improve on how to get things across the right way and communicate better.”
He continued, “I never set out to please or offend anyone – I just do my own thing, but I need to realise that there are repercussions, so I need to find a good balance. I hope to become a more pleasant person to work with, but I will still deal with the right matters.”
As noble and mature as that may be, we don’t think anything is ever going to rid the world of acid-tongued naysayers hell-bent on keyboard warrior destruction. But Elvin, as resigned as he is to the pitfalls of being a public figure, has better things to be concerned about.
“Although I have many things to say [to them], I’m not here for haters to feed on. I have more responsibility to the 99 percent who care about me, rather than the one percent who are there to try and stir up trouble, so I shouldn’t give in to them no matter what.”
Instead, he vowed to continue working on his trade to gain respect, do well and repay fans and clients for the faith, trust and support they’ve given him over the years.
“There are nominations and awards, but at the end of the day, the affinity and connection you have with the audience is very important for an artiste,” he mused. “I’m glad to be where I am after 10 years, and I hope I have another 10 years to show my maturity as an actor.”