Yip Wai Yee
The Straits Times
Monday, Mar 16, 2015
MediaCorp actor Elvin Ng is Mr Nice Guy. He is charming and friendly and gives you his undivided attention when he talks to you. Just do not ask him about his company's heavily marketed "Eight Dukes".
In a rare instance during a two-hour-plus interview with Life!, he gets clearly agitated when broaching the topic of MediaCorp's crop of eight popular young TV actors, comprising Xu Bin, Desmond Tan, Romeo Tan, Aloysius Pang, Jeffrey Xu, Shane Pow, Ian Fang and Zhang Zhenhuan.
"Why must everyone ask me this question? I honestly don't understand it," he says with a frown, sitting up suddenly. "I've already gone past the phase that they are going through now, so I wouldn't compare myself with them and it irritates me when people compare me with them."
After the interview, the 34-year-old suddenly raises the subject again on his own accord.
"Could you explain to me why journalists want to ask that question? I'm not trying to be difficult - I just really want to find out."
The only other time he shows exasperation is, ironically, when he tells of how people like to say his "acting has improved".
The star, who made his show business debut a decade ago, explains: "I find it so irritating when people say that because I've been doing this for a while now and I think at this point in my career, I don't need people to talk to me as if I'm totally new. I think I've come a long way, so if people still feel the need to say I've 'improved recently' or I'm 'improving', then I'll question them."
Both these sore spots point to greater insecurities in him. He confesses that often times, he has "no idea" why he is still trudging along in this industry.
"I've always been rather introverted and shy. I think I suffer from an inferiority complex. I tend to think very lowly of myself and, when you're an actor, you're also public property for everyone else to scrutinise, so it's not easy," he says.
The good-looking and popular actor has certainly felt the brunt of many public bashings over the years. Since he entered showbiz in 2005, he has become the guy that critics love to hate.
Brickbats - including "He cannot act", "He talks funny" and "He is just a himbo" - have been hurled at him even to this day, no matter the role or accolade he gets along the way.
Still, that has not stopped him from becoming arguably the most popular MediaCorp actor of his generation (somewhere between Tay Ping Hui and the Eight Dukes), amassing a huge fanbase populated by young teenage girls and doting aunties.
His fan club Elvinology, whose official Facebook page has more than 11,200 members, is a group of eager supporters who enthusiastically wave placards of his name at every event that he appears at, even sending him off at the airport in the wee hours of the morning when he has to fly off for overseas work trips.
Ng's Instagram account has more than 146,000 followers and he has won the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste Award at every Star Awards ceremony since his debut.
At the upcoming Star Awards next month, he is only one of five stars to be nominated for a Most Popular Artiste award in all five country categories: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and China.
Read the rest of the story on The Straits Times.