In Channel 5’s upcoming drama series Lion Moms, Joshua Tan takes on a role that’s completely unlike anything he’s done before: a doctor who finds himself vying for the affections of a single mom, played by fellow FLY Entertainment artiste Vanessa Vanderstraaten. As a result, he gets caught up in a love triangle involving her neighbour Peng Koo, played by local swimming champ Russell Ong in his acting debut.
Interestingly, this is a case of art imitating life: the Ah Boys to Men hunk revealed at yesterday’s press conference and interview that he has actually dated a single mom here in Singapore before. Although things didn’t work out, the experience helped the 25-year-old understand his part in Lion Moms a bit more and learn about the struggles they face.
“A single mom has more responsibilities and things to deal with, and when you date her, you also have to consider her child,” he said. “It’s really not easy so I respect single moms a lot and I’m quite passionate about their cause.”
Unfortunately, he admitted that trying to bond with his former squeeze’s daughter was “awkward”. “She recognised me from my previous work and instead of the normal dynamics between a kid and (her mother’s) boyfriend, it was more of her liking my character in Ah Boys to Men, which is not the way I would have liked it to be.”
Russell Ong, Vanessa Vanderstraaten, Joshua Tan and Keller Teh, who plays Vanessa's son in the show
Although he previously stated that he used to want to get married at 23, the 25-year-old has changed his tune, telling us that he is not quite ready to settle down yet and will only think of having children "five to 10 years" down the road. Instead, he is setting his sights on purchasing his own place, a condominium, here.
“It’s a long journey to buy a house in Singapore,” he said with a chuckle. “Because if you want to get a HDB you have to be married, which I’m not ready for yet, so I can only buy private, and it’s not easy.”
The bachelor said that he has his sights set on a particular property “quite near the central region”, and that he’s “close” to his goal but not there yet.
It’s not the end of love stories for Joshua on the screen. In his next project, a Chinese feature film, he stars in the second of four short stories about love. He’s also booked for an upcoming English movie that’s slated to be shot overseas.
More from the Lion Moms press conference:
Troublemakers and nerds: The Lion Moms (and dads) recall their school days
WATCH: Who is the naughtiest student among the cast?
Lion Moms premieres on Monday, September 14 at 10pm on Channel 5.