Right: Pierre at the 'Crazy Rich Asians' teal carpet premiere in Hollywood (Photo: TPG)
Hollywood – and the rest of the world – were officially introduced to Singapore, that tiny little speck on the world map that is—surprise surprise—not a secluded village in China, earlier this year with the debut of Crazy Rich Asians.
Apart from having a bulk of the filming done in Singapore, there were also numerous stars from our little red dot that starred in the film, bringing Singapore as a whole front and centre stage in the movie capital of the world.
There was much buzz about Pierre Png (especially with that steamy shower scene and his enviable six-pack), with some speculating that he could join Chin Han in the league of Singapore men that Hollywood can’t get enough of. In reality, however, the 45-year-old shared with Toggle in an interview that he’s not aggressively chasing after that elusive Hollywood leading man dream that some assume that he has.
“It’s pretty much died down, and I’m glad that it has. It was the perfect way for me to introduce myself to Hollywood – playing a Singaporean, but life is back to normal, and I’m back to the usual grind,” he grinned.
The grind of the day was an imaging session for upcoming Channel 8 drama Dear Neighbours, in which he plays Gu Yan Xun, the chairman of the collective sale committee trying to push for an en bloc sale of the apartment block he lives in.
Pierre and his reel-life wife Felicia Chin are seen by many as the perfect couple, but a wedge is driven between the couple in their fifth year of marriage when they start thinking about whether or not they want to start a family.
Pierre Png and Felicia Chin
While he’ll be busy with the filming of the drama, which is slated to begin in early December, he’s also been offered more Hollywood roles after charming audiences with his performance in Crazy Rich Asians. “I’ve done screen tests for two Netflix roles, but nothing is confirmed yet,” Pierre said with a shrug. “If it works out, I’ll be glad, but I’ve never been someone who’s said ‘I must do this and only this.’ If they offer me the role and it fits into the schedule, that would be great, but if it doesn’t, that’s fine as well.”
Sharing that the thought of moving across the ocean to base himself in Hollywood has never crossed his mind, he explained, ”This one role in itself is not enough to convince me that I’d want to uproot my entire family – my wife, my two dogs – and move there. If a role requires me to be away from home for five, six months, I’ll be prepared for that, but I don’t think I’d want to pack up and move.”
Calling himself a creature of habit, Pierre let on that one role that he would love to try out would be a villain in the Bourne films. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with playing a villainous role, and I think it would be something that I would be keen on. At the end of the day, I’ve introduced myself to Hollywood in with the most ideal type of character I can think of – a Singaporean – so I’d be thankful for any opportunities that come my way.”
Pierre Png with Gemma Chan in a scene from 'Crazy Rich Asians' (Photo: TPG)
Continued on next page: Pierre shares how he celebrated his 15th wedding anniversary
Pierre Png and wife Andrea De Cruz during their vacation in Fiji (Photos: Instagram/Pierre Png, Andrea De Cruz)
If you’ve been watching Pierre and his wife, Andrea De Cruz’s respective social media feeds recently, you’d have noticed that the couple jetted off to Fiji to spend some quiet time together ahead of their 15th wedding anniversary.
Pierre shared, “We were very lucky to have been offered this all-expense trip because it was for work, and the timing was just right as well. We spent about five days there, and it was really just time for us to spend enjoying each other’s company.”
Apart from the blue seas, endless white beaches and lush greenery that they enjoyed there, Pierre let on that the most memorable activity he engaged in on the island was a visit to a museum.
“It wasn’t just a place where you look at the things on display. The locals took on different roles, such as a village chief, and they have interactive activities for you to try out as well. I enjoyed it very much while getting my elbows a tad dirty,” he gushed. “It was definitely very different, and I had fun with the hands-on experience.”
The actor shared that he and Andrea usually celebrate special occasions, including birthdays and anniversaries, in a more quiet fashion. “We usually just have dinner at home and gaze into each other’s eyes for a little longer than usual,” he chuckled. “Sometimes, we have like-minded friends over to celebrate as well. The only time we pull out all the stops is when we have a milestone anniversary, like our 10th, 15th, 20th and so on.”
While the pair has yet to plan their 20th wedding anniversary (they usually only do so about a year in advance), some of the ideas that they have bounced off each other include going on a safari trip, or a pilgrimage.
For now, that will be up in the air as he prepares himself for filming for Dear Neighbours to start.
With a mock sigh, he shared, “I put on ballet tights for The Gentlemen the last time, but this time I’ll have to put on another skintight outfit because my character is a triathlete – or a triathlete-wannabe, depending on how well I fill out that triathlon suit – and I’ve only got two weeks to work on it.”
Dear Neighbours debuts May 2 2019, 2pm on Channel 8.