21 Feb 2019
Rui En, Shaun Chen on the happiest moments of their lives
Video: Philip Ang
Upcoming Channel 8 drama Hello From The Other Side delves into a topic not commonly discussed - what happens after death? In this imaginary world, souls are judged according to whether they’ve lived a good life, and are sentenced accordingly.
Well, we weren’t quite ready to reach that level of morbid, but we did ask the cast of the show to reflect on their respective lives thus far. Instead of telling us if they’ve been a good person or not (because honestly, that’s an awkward thing to do to yourself), we asked them to tell us how happy (or unhappy) they think they’ve been from the day they were born.
We also asked them what would make them even happier than they are in the present, and received some surprising answers.
Read on for more.
21 Feb 2019
Fun fact: I’d get into fights with boys in kindergarten and I’d end up biting them. Whether or not you’d consider that making me happy or unhappy, it can be both ways because biting boys is… Always good? But yeah, I don’t know, that’s one thing that I remember. I guess I was born to do Muay Thai.
Happiest moment of her life: That would be right now. I’m coming back from a long break and kind of just readjusting things that needed to be readjusted after being through quite a bit. I have a lot of joy and peace in my life. People keep asking me what it is, but it’s not just one thing. You learn to be grateful just to be alive and that’s the biggest part of it for me, to go back to basics and uncomplicated things and make things simple again. That’s probably why I’m pretty zen right now.
Least happy moment of her life: I’d say (my happiness) had its up and downs, and that’s just the way life is. My childhood was a little bit of a turbulent one, as it is nowadays. For me, it was really up and down - I remember being rebellious, going through a rebellious phase and sneaking out of the house at night.
What will make her happy in the future: To be honest, my ultimate dream and what I want to work towards is to retire in New Zealand and to live the completely cut-off, farmer life. Simplicity is just something that I’ve always leaned towards. I’ll be far, far away from everything complicated, but I don’t have a deadline for that because that would be too stressful.
21 Feb 2019
Fun fact: I hope my happiness levels will go up slightly from what it is right now, but I don’t expect it to go all the way to the top again because if that’s the case, it might mean that I have dementia, but I wouldn’t want that. I hope on the last day of my life, I still remember everyone, I still enjoy myself and I’m still happy.
Happiest moment of her life: When I was born, I didn’t know anything, so I’m sure I was very happy and I’d say that my happiness was at its maximum.
Least happy moment of her life: I wasn’t very happy around the midway point of my life. Life isn’t as simple as it was when I was younger, but I still got to do what I like, which is acting, so my happiness didn’t hit rock-bottom. I was still quite contented and happy. That lasted for maybe 20 years, because I was doing the same thing every day, and that’s why it was stagnant.
What will make her happy in the future: What will make me happier would be getting married. Well, that’s life. I think all women want that but I’ll let fate decide if it’s going to happen. I also hope to let my family have a better life. Their lives aren’t bad now, but I hope I can make it even better for them.
21 Feb 2019
Fun fact: It’s almost as if my happiness index changed according to my body fat percentage. When it went down, my happiness went up. It’s a goal that I set for myself, and the nearer I was to my goal, the happier I was too.
Happiest moment of his life: I’ve received quite a few acting projects, and I’m busy – busy is good! I don’t have to worry about myself financially, so I’m quite happy. I would say I’m at a 75 right now.
Least happy moment of his life: Puberty kicked in and I grew very fat. At that point, my happiness dropped to its lowest point, but after that, I told myself, ‘I can’t be that fat kid’ so this was my journey to finding happiness. I was at my fattest in upper primary school or early secondary school. I knew that I was fat. When you go through puberty, you’re very conscious of your physical appearance. Your friends might tease you, and you might not show it to them, but you’re affected by what they say. I had low morale, I didn’t have any confidence. I would say that I was a 20 or 30 in terms of happiness, but definitely I had good friends around me who brought my happiness levels up, so the company that you have is really important.
What will make him happy in the future: I want to be as happy as I can – maybe reach 100. Milestones (that I would like to achieve) include getting my own place, getting married, and getting certain achievements in my career, such as nominated for a performance award. I hope to buy my own house in the next five years, and as for getting married… I’ll let you guys know when (it happens).
21 Feb 2019
Hong Hui Fang
Fun fact: I was bullied when I was in primary school, which made me very unhappy. In secondary school, even though I wasn’t good in my studies and kept getting retained, I was very happy because I was part of a uniform group. I’m still in touch with those friends.
Happiest moment of her life: My life became happier the day I got married. After I had children, I started a new phase of my life, which was that of a mother rather than just an actress. Even if there were dips in my career, it wouldn’t affect me that greatly because family came first for me.
Least happy moment of her life: I was 19 when I had my first boyfriend. I was very unhappy because I picked the wrong guy. It was only when I was 26 when I broke up with him that I became happier. My happiness levels reached new lows, and I had enough and kicked him away. As someone who wasn’t a celebrity, he couldn’t accept certain aspects of showbiz, and he also couldn’t accept that I filmed intimate scenes with other men.
What will make her happy in the future: I hope my happiness levels can continue rising all the way, and maybe that will be my fast pass to going to heaven. (laughs)
21 Feb 2019
Fun fact: When I was in a slump, (girlfriend) Hong Ling encouraged and supported me, and even when I didn’t believe in myself, she trusted in me too. It slowly built up my confidence and I stopped worrying about things that were beyond my control. That’s how I managed to reach this holy level of happiness.
Happiest moment of his life: When I was just born, everyone around me was really happy so my happiness index was at its peak.
Least happy moment of his life: In school, they asked us to do an exercise to share our future aspirations but I couldn’t think of anything. I took a little longer to mature as compared to others, and I was still like that even in secondary school. I felt very stressed when I was in the army because I really didn’t know what to do with my future, but I realised that I enjoyed performing, so I decided to enter showbiz.
What will make him happy in the future: There might be ups and downs, but I believe my family and friends will be by my side so I’ll work towards the highest level of happiness at all times. I started my own business, and my goal is to have a store of my own in every corner of Singapore. These days, I’m also getting meatier roles and I’m very happy about that. I hope that everyone will be able to recognise my efforts because I’m also be putting in a lot more effort into it.
21 Feb 2019
Chen Han Wei
Fun fact: Many people would tell me that I’d know the realities of life when I grew up, but I told them that I would be really happy since I wouldn’t have to worry about money, and I wouldn’t have to worry about providing for the family and so on. It was only after I stepped out into society and started working did I realise that my happiness levels would go up and down, but I’d never be as happy as I was when I was back in school.
Happiest moment of his life: I was happiest when I was in kindergarten and primary school. What made me the happiest every year was my birthday. It only came once a year, and at that time, if you had the same thing every day, you might not appreciate it that much. Since it only happened once a year, I looked forward to it a lot. I didn’t receive extravagant gifts – it was maybe a toy, or a pencil case, and I’d be really happy and content with that.
Least happy moment of his life: When I was born, I didn’t know anything, not even how scary this world can be, so I started from zero.
What will make him happy in the future: I put my happiness index as rising towards the end because I hope that all the hard work that I’ve put in throughout the years will pay off. Of course, I’d still be concerned about my health, but at that point of time, my parents might not be around any longer so I won’t have to worry that much about them.
21 Feb 2019
Fun fact: I was very happy as a child, and I went to the city to study when I was in secondary school. It spiked a little when I first fell in love in secondary school – even though it was just puppy love. However, when I got my heart broken, my happiness went down immediately. (laughs)
Happiest moment of his life: I’m in the happiest phase in my life now. My career has been pretty smooth-sailing, I got married and had kids. All these made my happiness level go up, and I’m very blessed to be at a point of my life where I have no major aches and pains to worry about.
Least happy moment of his life: When I started working, I came to Singapore, and it was good for the first year, but it went downhill after that. I didn’t have any jobs, and was in debt, but from there, I slowly picked myself back up and started getting jobs again. I wouldn’t say I hit rock bottom because it wasn’t like I was in hospital. My worries were basically finance-related, and my girlfriend back then helped me a lot at the time as well.
What will make him happy in the future: Perhaps doing more behind-the-scenes work, because I really want to give back to the industry that has made me the person that I am today. I might have a third child, but it might be one to two years later when my daughters are older.
21 Feb 2019
Fun fact: Some of the high points as an adult include when I was very well-received as a newcomer and when I was given the opportunity to go to Hong Kong to work with TVB. Getting married and having children were also some things that made me happy.
Happiest moment of his life: I was definitely happiest as a child. I think I must have been in primary school, and I had a lot of friends of the same age because I was at the kampong so often. We’d play hide-and-seek, skip rope, catch spiders, swim in the river and more together.
Least happy moment of his life: Once I started working, there have been so many ups and downs. For example, when I missed out on getting a Top 10 Most Popular Male Award, especially when I received one the year before. I choose not to overthink things. I feel that humans are complicated enough, and to complicate things even further wouldn’t do any good, which is why my happiness levels have never dipped too low.
What will make him happy in the future: I hope that my life can be like a blue chip and plateau at the highest level of happiness, and at that time I’ll be able to retire and be very happy.