Local actors who moved abroad for their careers: How are they faring now?

1 December 2013 / 2 years 10 months ago

On the back of assessing Christopher Lee's current fortunes after he took the plunge and moved abroad to further his carrer, The New Paper take a look at two other actors -- Andie Chen and Shaun Chen -- who have also followed in Lee's footsteps.


The local actor dropped not one, but two bombshells this week when he announced on Monday that he and Taiwan-born MediaCorp actress Kate Pang, 30, got married and are expecting a baby together after having dated secretly for more than a year.

The free-spirited 28-year-old is not in a rush to grab more roles and earn more money even though he will soon be a father. Pang is 10 weeks pregnant.

Chen moved to Taiwan in January and returned to Singapore for a period to play one of the leads in Channel 8 drama Disclosed.

He is now playing the lead role of a police investigator in Taiwanese drama Independent Hero.

It is currently airing its 114th episode in Taiwan and Chen started appearing in the show since episode 109.

He got the role after he was introduced to the show's producer, who watched his past reel clips.

The Star Search 2007 winner also had a bit role playing a chauffeur in Taiwanese idol drama True Love 365 and modelled for a Taiwanese commercial.

Hardly the ambitious type, Chen insisted: "I am not worried about having not enough money for my baby. I firmly believe that if I work hard and have a good heart, life will provide for itself."


He returns to Singapore monthly or bi-monthly, depending on his acting schedule.


Signed to MediaCorp in Singapore, Chen is still looking for a suitable agency in Taiwan. He said: "As I'm more carefree and my character is more quirky and weird, I'll take my time to find an agent who understands me..."


Chen is a Singaporean based in Taiwan, while Pang is a Taiwanese based in Singapore. The couple therefore "complain" that they do not see each other often enough.

Chen said: "However, we are always in each other's lives and our Skype accounts are always turned on...

"We haven't decided where the baby is going to live yet, but Kate will deliver in Taiwan. I believe that a family should never be apart."


He is okay about getting cosy with female co-stars, but frowns on using it as a publicity stunt.

Chen said: "If there're scenes which require me to be more intimate with female co-stars, I'll probably need to pacify and apologise to my wife a lot."


Chen said: "Initially, I gave up a few good roles here and went to Taiwan with no promises. I really felt down and out at times, and wondered if I had done the right thing.

"I had many sleepless nights in wintry Taiwan and thought about giving up and going back to Singapore, but I know it's too early to return."


Chen is not setting himself one and certainly would not be measuring his success against it. He said: "I go wherever there is a good script, be it in Singapore, Taiwan or other countries."


Chen had been in Taiwan for only four months with no agent to help him get gigs, yet he managed to snag a major part in Independent Hero on his own.

But he should probably focus on tackling more idol dramas to cater to a wider demographic and gain a bigger fan base.

With his boyish good looks, initiative and convincing acting skills, Chen has a lot of potential to shine in a bigger market like Taiwan.


Although it has been a year since MediaCorp actor Shaun Chen left for Taiwan, the Malaysia-born Singapore PR has not got much to show for it yet The 35-year-old is currently filming the 70-episode Taiwanese drama Love Family, starring Taiwanese actors Chris Wang and Jack Lee, following his cameo appearance in the 72-episode Taiwanese idol drama Love, Now (right) last October.

In Love Family, which is airing in Taiwan now, Chen plays the supporting role of a lawyer who starts dating a woman after helping her settle her divorce.

Chen said: "Even though I've only filmed two shows and haven't got big results yet, I feel that the response from the Taiwanese audience has been great so far. They're slowly getting to know me... "


He flies back to Malaysia and Singapore once every two months to visit his family.


Chen signed with MediaCorp in Singapore and OUI-International in Taiwan.


The bachelor is not actively seeking a partner as he is focused on his career.


He said: "As long as the script's good and the role suits me, I'm willing to give it a try."


Starting from scratch and working alone in Taiwan has proved to be an uphill battle. He said: "Work-wise, the main challenge will be to get a good role and receive good reviews... "


As his contract with OUI-International lasts four years, he is giving himself that amount of time to succeed in Taiwan. He said: "As long as I do my best and let my work show for itself, nothing is impossible. I also think luck is very important for me to survive here."


We would have expected more from Chen as he has been in Taiwan since late last year, but he has not made much of an impact and has received minimal media coverage. Hopefully, his appearance in Love Family can boost his visibility. 

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