Allan Wu and his girlfriend Yvonne Lee (Photo: Yvonne Lee/Instagram)
Photos: Camelia Ting
Video: Aaron Ho
Singapore-based Chinese-American actor Allan Wu went public with his relationship with former Malaysian beauty queen Yvonne Lee last year, when the two shared a chummy shot on Instagram as they celebrated Allan’s 45th birthday together.
As this is the actor’s first public relationship since he separated from his ex-wife, former media personality Wong Li Lin in 2013, we wondered if his two tweenagers, son Jonas, 12, and daughter Sage, 14, had anything to say about their dad’s new love.
We caught up with Allan at the lensing ceremony for upcoming Toggle Original series Cover Your Eyes, the brand-new project that local actor Zhang Ge Ping will helm as executive producer (EP), where the multi-hyphenate shared deets about his new relationship, and his children’s take on a potential stepmum, should Allan and his lady-love decide to walk down the aisle in the future.
“Honestly, at the start, the children were shocked and a little upset when they learnt that I’ve got a new girlfriend,” the actor admitted, “but over time, things got much better because they’ve been taking baby steps to understand her more.”
Allan Wu and co-star Lina Ng at the lensing ceremony for Toggle Original series 'Close Your Eyes'
“I don’t intentionally create chances for them to meet as Yvonne stays in Kuala Lumpur. However, from my perspective, they seem to think she has a great personality and is easy to get along with,” Allan added.
“My daughter tends to be more vocal about her opinions. As for my son Jonas, well, he’s like any other boy. Give him video games to play and he will not have an opinion about anything.”
As for tying the knot a second time, the actor shared that “nothing is set in stone” at the moment, but revealed that he and Yvonne have discussed the topic before. He also intends to consult his two children and hear them out before making decisions, but believes that they will give their well-wishes.
“Right now, Yvonne and I are just cherishing each moment we have and making happy memories,” he said, “I’m open to having more children, but it’s a lot to think about now that my kids are older. It takes a lot of time and money to raise kids, and it got me wondering if I really want to do it all over again.”
WATCH: Allan Wu hopes his kids will give his show a miss?
(Continued on next page: Allan and Li Lin face problems like any other Singaporean parent)
Allan and Li Lin celebrating Jonas' 12th birthday (Photos: Allan Wu/Instagram, Wong Li Lin/Instagram)
Allan and Li Lin are one for their kids
While the kids live with Li Lin most of the time, Allan still keeps in contact with his ex-wife to discuss typical parent concerns like school results and tuition classes.
“If we find that they are not doing well in school, we wonder if we should enrol them in more enrichment classes,” Allan said, speaking like a true blue Singaporean parent.
For the couple, Mandarin is also a concern, as they would like their kids to be proficient in the language despite being less fluent themselves.
“We may not be together any more, but we will come together for our children’s sake. We care for their well-being, and want to be there for them,” Allan said.
In fact, the 45-year-old said that he makes it a point to visit Sage and Jonas every day when he’s not busy with work, and makes sure to spend at least half an hour to an hour with them each time. The kids occasionally stay over at his place on weekends as well.
“I cherish the time I spend with them because I don’t get to do it often like other parents do. When they start getting overly obsessed with using their electronic devices when they are around me, I will ask them to go study, or strike a conversation with them to build on our relationship,” Allan said.
(Continued on next page: Allan is upset that his kids do not miss him while he’s away)
Allan spends time with his children (Photos: Allan Wu/Instagram)
How does Sage and Jonas feel when Allan has to be away for a long time due to work?
“Nothing,” the actor complained, “When I watch dramas on television, the kids are always crying and asking ‘Why do you have to leave?’, but Jonas and Sage do nothing of that sort, and I think that’s good and bad at the same time.”
“Both of them are really independent, so they are not affected. They have never said anything about it before, and it makes me think that they don’t miss me at all!” the actor expressed indignantly.
Truth is, Allan will have to jet off in two months’ time as he prepares to host the fifth season of widely popular Chinese variety show, The Amazing Race China, a gig he’s been working on for the past two seasons.
The host shared that it is a golden opportunity for him as he will get to film the show alongside Hong Kong, Chinese and Taiwanese celebs – the previous season featured Chinese actresses Fan Bingbing and Evonne Hsieh – and brush up on his Mandarin speaking skills while he was at it.
According to Allan, his experience in the previous two seasons was what propelled his Mandarin to his current level of fluency and prepared him for more Mandarin-speaking roles, evident when he addressed the media in fluent Mandarin at the lensing ceremony yesterday.
“Everyone laughs with me and not at me when I make mistakes in Mandarin,” he shared, and described his co-hosts to be kind and understanding. “My slip-ups add to the entertainment value of the show, so all is good in the end,” he joked.
Allan is featured on Toggle romcom series Star Crossed, and will also be featured on upcoming Toggle series Divided, set to debut next month.
Catch Close Your Eyes on Toggle when it debuts on September 6.
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