The Straits Times
3 February 2016
Former Channel 8 star Hugo Ng was a marquee name here in the 1980s before he ventured into show business in Hong Kong and China.
Almost three decades after his last drama here, Ng, 57, is reliving his leading man days in an upcoming Channel 8 drama The Dream Job.
"It has been such a long time since I filmed a drama here. Singapore is where I got my start as an actor, I thought it would be nice to come back and say hi to the Singapore audience," says Ng, who has been acting in China for the past decade.
The Singaporean, who grew up in Hong Kong, shot to fame in the 1984 Singapore Broadcasting Corporation period drama Pursuit.
He returned to Hong Kong to recuperate after breaking his leg on the set of his last serial here, Men Of Valour (1986), and there he remained, joining the ranks of actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai at TV station TVB.
While at the Hong Kong broadcaster, his biggest hit was playing the gentlemanly swordsman Fa Mo Kuet in the wuxia drama The Two Most Honorable Knights (1988), which also starred Leung.
He is making a comeback here because of work and personal reasons. His only son, 18, who is a Singaporean, is back to serve his national service later this year. He is married to former actress Lily Chung, 47.
Ng was also intrigued by the role offered by Channel 8 producer Leong Lye Lin. She was on the hunt for a suitable actor when she chanced upon a magazine article about Ng. He agreed to take on the role after she contacted him.
He plays a philanderer who wants to reconnect with the children he had with three different women. The horticulture enterprise owner offers cushy jobs at his company, in the hope that his kids will turn up.
Ng says: "This character is fun to play, he is very human. My character loves his wife and son, but because of a misunderstanding he gets entangled with two more women."
In real life, he is a devoted family man who has been house-hunting here with his wife. They are looking to buy property because his son will be serving national service for the next two years.
By his own estimation, he is a modern-style dad.
He says: "I try not to nag at my son or impose my philosophy on him. Every individual has his own thinking. I just have fun with my son. My wife and I are really lucky to have a son who is mature for his age."
Although his wife and son will be based here, he will go wherever there are good roles for him.
Ng, who has been described by his fellow cast members in The Dream Job as a "father figure" and someone who exudes an "aura of a hero", says he has no qualms taking on bit parts or villain roles.
In fact, he is no stranger to roles that are less than squeaky clean. Last year, he played a villain - an ambitious, unscrupulous minister - in the TVB period drama The Executioner (2015) and he had shed his clothes in Hong Kong Category III movies such as Daughter Of Darkness (1993). He also played a psychotic killer - based on the real-life murderer Adrian Lim - in God Or Dog (1997), which he also directed.
Ng is not too bothered that his days as a heroic protagonist seem to be over.
He says matter-of-factly: "There is no actor who will be popular forever. Some people may not even have the chance to be popular. One must know how to be content.
"The good guy will not get to shine without the villain. The leading character needs to be supported by the side characters."
•The Dream Job premieres on Channel 8 on June 27. It airs on weeknights at 9pm.