Chen Tianwen not worried about ​being typecast Mr Unbelievable

3 December 2015 / 10 months 3 weeks ago

Lee Jingwei
RazorTV Multimedia Journalist

Decked out in his trademark wig and amber-lensed sunglasses, Chen Tianwen strutted into the press conference of his latest movie Mr Unbelievable.

All eyes were on the 52-year-old veteran actor, who looked like he time-travelled from the 60s to present-day Mt Faber in his snakeskin shoes and flowy rose-motif shirt, all prettily wrapped up with a golden bow-tie. We were stunned like vegetable.

His choice of apparel screamed "unhinged time traveller", but Chen greeted everyone with a wave that was reserved. Shy, almost.

And that is how this homegrown actor, known for his understated style, launched sky-high into overnight fame with the viral music video Unbelievable, where he prances around tossing broccoli and professing his un-un-unbelievable love.  

It is so bipolar, you never did see it coming.

As we climbed into a cable car ride with him for a chat, Chen himself is still slack-jawed with amazement at his new-found fame and leading man status.

“This is probably the most unbelievable thing that happened to me in 2015,” said Chen.

It has been an incredible ride for him. All of a sudden, he was recognised on the streets.

"People just call me Unbelievable.”

What was meant to be a promotional video for a local TV dramedy Spouse for House has since amassed over two million views on YouTube since its April release, and even earned a mention on Time magazine online for being an “instant mood lifter”.

The viral hit has now snowballed into a movie by director Ong Kuo Sin, with Chen returning to star as the titular character Mr Unbelievable, wannabe singer Eric Kwek.

It also features veteran actors Liu Ling Ling, Marcus Chin, as well as Ah Boys to Men star Tosh Zhang, actress Jamie Teo and singer Roy Li Feihui.

But Chen is not worried about being typecast Mr Unbelievable.

“Once you take away the wig and the sunglasses, I’m still me - Chen Tian Wen, not Eric Kwek.”

His confidence perhaps comes from the knowledge that he is the leading man in the lives of his wife and six-month-old baby boy.

Finally, we've settled on the topic that is closest to his heart. He beamed at the mention of his family.

Watch our video interview - in a cable car, no less - to find out more about the man behind the zany broccoli-toting star.

Mr Unbelievable opens in cinemas on Dec 3, 2015.

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