Jeffrey Xu can’t bear to torture Felicia Chin in new TV drama

Real life lovebirds Felicia Chin, Jeffrey Xu feel “uneasy” playing lovers in upcoming Channel 8 long-form drama ‘Life Less Ordinary’

Jeffrey Xu can’t bear to torture Felicia Chin in new TV drama
Jeffrey Xu can’t bear to torture Felicia Chin in new TV drama
20 Jun 2017

Jeffrey Xu can’t bear to torture Felicia Chin in new TV drama

Photos: Tammi Tan
Video: Goh Wen Kai, Vina Chia

Local celebrity lovebirds Felicia Chin and Jeffrey Xu are set to take on their first drama together since officially becoming a couple almost two years ago – but their onscreen relationship is nowhere as saccharine sweet as their real-life romance.

“I feel happy yet uneasy [to be working with Felicia] at the same time,” Jeffrey told Toggle at yesterday’s imaging session for Life Less Ordinary, a 130-episode long-form drama that premieres in October. “When I read the script, I got upset and asked the writers, ‘Why must you torture me?’”

As it turns out, Jeffrey’s character Xu Tao is a typically “macho” guy who bosses his girlfriend Lin Shu Qi (played by Felicia) around. “He loves her, but he’s selfish and puts his dreams to be an actor above her, which I might find hard [to portray],” he said, seemingly baffled at the thought of a man not treating his woman like a princess.

There’s also the possibility of severe squabbles on set (just ask folks like Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen, or Chen Li Ping and Rayson Tan), and the challenge of having to pretend like any genuine clashes never happened.

“To be honest, working with your other half is quite dangerous because it’s hard to avoid friction, and you might have to act all lovey-dovey on screen even after you’ve had a big fight, so it can be difficult,” Felicia mused.

However, the pair chooses to look on the bright side of their collaboration: Jeffrey believes that since they’re practically joined at the hip, they can take the opportunity to dive deeper into the story and their characters together, while Felicia is excited to present a new image of themselves to the audience. “As long as he stops treating me badly when the cameras stop rolling!” she quipped.

Don’t worry, Feli, judging by the besotted way Jeffrey was eyeing you throughout our entire conversation, that won’t be a problem at all.

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Jeffrey Xu can’t bear to torture Felicia Chin in new TV drama
Jeffrey Xu can’t bear to torture Felicia Chin in new TV drama
20 Jun 2017

Jeffrey Xu can’t bear to torture Felicia Chin in new TV drama

With the recent media frenzy surrounding Jesseca Liu and Jeremy Chan’s upcoming wedding, it was only natural for us to wonder: when is it Felicia and Jeffrey’s turn to announce their own good news?

“We’ll let you know when the time comes” was all Jeffrey had to offer (along with a rather embarrassed chuckle). That said, the 28-year-old seems pretty sure that 32-year-old Felicia is Ms. Right. “From the moment we got together, I knew that she was The One,” he gushed.

Felicia feels the same way about him (even though she did get all hesitant and flustered when we asked). “It’s not just because of how well he treats me, but how I’ve seen him react to different situations and when he shows his true colours,” she explained. “He’s really an angel and gift sent by God at the right time in my life.”

Of course, that’s not to say they don’t run into arguments every now and then (nothing is perfect, after all). “Sometimes we’ll consult our pastor when we’re having problems,” said Felicia. “We’ve also figured out how to resolve conflicts better as time goes by. At the end of the day, our common goal is to learn to love each other more and more.”

Awww, are these two just too much or what?

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Ian Fang got sick from eating spicy food in Korea
Ian Fang got sick from eating spicy food in Korea
20 Jun 2017

Ian Fang got sick from eating spicy food in Korea

The 27-year-old was coughing and speaking with a raspier voice than usual as he was suffering from a cold. And before that, the poor thing spent an entire month recovering from a spicy food-bingeing adventure in South Korea, where he was filming an upcoming variety show.

“On the first day, I ate seafood noodles at a place that has a disclaimer saying if you pass out, it’s not their responsibility,” he shared. Sure enough, the broth was so lethal that it made him dizzy. Then, he had spicy pork chop on the second day – an experience he had trouble putting into words. “I’m usually able to take spicy food but that was going too far!” he exclaimed, saying he went to see the doctor as soon as he got back. Yikes.

Thankfully, he has his upcoming role as Li Zi Yang in Life Less Ordinary – his first long-form drama – to look forward to.

“He’s a very upright and environmentally conscious person, which is very different from my past roles,” said Ian, who has been outspoken about wanting to deviate from his rebellious, bad boy image. “I hope this character will be a turning point for me.”

To prepare for the part, Ian even did something he used to be afraid to: get a super short haircut. “At first I was scared I would look too ‘boy boy’ (youthful), but my mum said it was a good and refreshing new look, and many people have also complimented me, so I’m relieved.”

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Jayley Woo’s character suffers from a reading disability
Jayley Woo’s character suffers from a reading disability
20 Jun 2017

Jayley Woo’s character suffers from a reading disability

As a young woman with dyslexia, Jayley’s character Liang Wen Jie is faced with a lot of difficulties at work as a hamper factory worker. “She gets orders wrong and she can’t spell correctly, so she makes a lot of mistakes,” said the 25-year-old.

Since she doesn’t personally know anyone with a reading disability, Jayley has been watching TED Talks that address the issue so that she can get a better understanding of the struggles real dyslexics face. “I wanted to find out how this thing works and how it feels to be someone who has it,” she said. “But the drama will take a more light-hearted look at the disorder.”

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Felicia, Ian and Jayley’s hamper-packing lessons
Felicia, Ian and Jayley’s hamper-packing lessons
20 Jun 2017

Felicia, Ian and Jayley’s hamper-packing lessons

Last Friday, the three actors headed to a hamper factory to undergo a three-hour crash course in hamper-wrapping in preparation for their roles. While they told us it was fun, it was also much more difficult – and a bigger test of endurance – than they expected.

Jayley, in particular, was a little stressed out as her character is supposed to be the most experienced wrapper of the lot. “I was super focused because I wanted to display at least some level of standard,” she said. “At the end of the day I got a bit cross-eyed! (laughs)”

Although Felicia admitted that she was frustrated at the beginning of the class because she lacks the passion and patience for this craft, she eventually got the hang of it, and happily declared that she now knows how to tie a “seven-knot” bow. Ian also stated that he was very proud of his final product and that he was glad to have picked up a new skill that day.

As for the rest of us viewers, we can watch them display their new talents when the show premieres later this year.

Photos: Channel 8/Instagram

Jeffrey Xu and Felicia Chin
Jeffrey Xu and Felicia Chin
20 Jun 2017

Jeffrey Xu and Felicia Chin

Felicia Chin
Felicia Chin
20 Jun 2017

Felicia Chin

Ian Fang
Ian Fang
20 Jun 2017

Ian Fang

Jeffrey Xu
Jeffrey Xu
20 Jun 2017

Jeffrey Xu

Life Less Ordinary debuts October 2, 7.30pm on Channel 8.

Watch: Why is Jeffrey Xu upset about acting alongside Felicia Chin as a couple? 

Related: Romeo Tan takes on most challenging role yet

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