Tay Kee Yun
The New Paper
Tuesday, Oct 20, 2015
Could Ah Boys To Men hunk Joshua Tan and actress Hayley Woo be one of the most jinxed local on-screen couples ever?
Tan is reuniting with Woo, who played his girlfriend in Jack Neo's Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen, in new romantic movie 4 Love.
But as Tan pointed out to reporters yesterday at the film's press conference, happy stories just do not follow them.
"Whenever I act with Hayley, I'm very suay (Hokkien for unlucky)," he said. "In Ah Boys 3, she broke up with me over the phone. Now, in 4 Love, right from the get-go, we are getting divorced."
Tan, 25, and Woo, 23, portray a couple finalising their divorce proceedings in the last segment of 4 Love, an anthology of four short films helmed by four local directors, each depicting a distinctive side of relationships, from innocent crushes to extramarital affairs.
Slated for release in the first quarter of next year, 4 Love also stars Tan's Ah Boys co-star Maxi Lim.
Tan - whose on-screen love interests include Felicia Chin (Hong Baos And Kisses) and Vanessa Vanderstraaten (Lion Moms) - said he was elated to be working with Woo again.
"Prior to filming, we had a casting script reading and at that point, though the cast hadn't been officially finalised, I remember telling our director (Daniel Yam): 'I really want to work with Hayley,'" he recalled.
Woo, whose acting credits include long-running Channel 8 drama 118 and Channel 5 series Zero Calling, was effusive in her praise of Tan's ability to emote.
"Joshua's acting has improved by leaps and bounds," said the identical twin sister of MediaCorp actress Jayley Woo.
"When we did Ah Boys 3, he had to cry after I dumped him. I noticed then that crying on camera didn't come naturally to him. This time round, he had a crying scene but he did it so much better."
Tan agreed: "My crying scene in 4 Love was the first time I broke down uncontrollably on set and bawled my eyes out."
As for Lim, his role in 4 Love sees him playing against type as a serious romantic lead who becomes pen pals with a durian seller (Cheryl Wee).
When we commented that this role would allow him to break out of his overzealous, comical, eager beaver Ah Boys character, Wayang King, Lim said that doing 4 Love actually reminded him of his pre-Ah Boys days.
"Before Ah Boys To Men came along, I did a few short films and I played characters similar to the one in 4 Love. It brings back many memories," he said.
Lim, Tan and fellow Ah Boys actors Tosh Zhang, Wang Weiliang, Bunz and Jaspers Lai will hold a one-night-only ticketed mini-showcase on Nov 21 at the Singapore Expo, where they'll serenade their fans and play games with them.
Lim stressed that the showcase is "not a full stop" for the Ah Boys.
"It's more like a comma - it's a gathering for us and our fans," he said. "Because we all know that if there were to be another Ah Boys To Men movie in future, it's not going to be any time soon."
Tan and Lim would love for the movie series to continue.
"It really depends on what Liang Dao (referring to Neo) wants but we certainly don't want to force out one more instalment simply for the sake of doing it. That would spoil the franchise," said Tan.
"Our mini-showcase is mainly to thank our fans who have followed us since late 2011. We were guys who started out with nothing and Ah Boys gave us our big breaks. The learning curve has been very steep and we appreciate everyone who has supported us."
This article was first published on October 20, 2015.
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