Julie Tan opens up about her thyroid problem and the relationship with her 'mum' Xiang Yun

11 April 2016 / 6 months 2 weeks ago

Tan Kee Yun
​The New Paper
9 April 2016

From this week, Channel 8 viewers will literally be seeing double of local actresses Xiang Yun and Julie Tan every Tuesday.

Xiang Yun, 54, and Tan, 23, will play mother and daughter in back-to-back TV series.

The two actresses are starring in Peace And Prosperity, which is showing every weekday at 7.30pm. Xiang Yun plays the matriarch of a large family who owns a Chinese medicine hall and Tan plays one of her six daughters.

From April 12, at 8pm, they will share the small screen again in new weekly mini-series My First School. This time, Xiang Yun plays a naggy mum who constantly dissuades her eldest child, Le Qing (Tan), from teaching in a pre-school.

The series, which is about the challenges faced by pre-school educators as seen through Le Qing's eyes, also stars Chen Liping and Aloysius Pang as Tan's colleagues.

At the drama's press conference yesterday, Xiang Yun and Tan told The New Paper that "audiences might be confused".

"Our hairstyles are pretty much the same in the two dramas," said Xiang Yun with a laugh.

"Also, coincidentally, I play a single mum in both shows."

Tan said My First School was actually filmed first. Shortly after, the shoot for Peace And Prosperity commenced.

"We had only a week or so of rest in between the two dramas," she said.


Tan added: "Of course, my on-screen chemistry with Xiang Yun became even better the second time round.

"Though I think some viewers might be momentarily confused, they should still be able to tell our characters apart.

"The personalities of our characters in the two shows are extremely different."

Xiang Yun said her character in My First School is "more auntie-ish and irritating", as she is the type of mum who "doesn't allow her kids to follow their dreams".

Tan's pre-school teacher character is bubblier and "less angst-ridden" than her character in Peace And Prosperity.

"I had to stay angry and agitated all the time in Peace And Prosperity. I think that's why my old thyroid problem flared up," she said.

Tan suffers from Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition characterised by emotional and weight fluctuations.

It reportedly developed in 2013 and she had to get an injection last month to treat it.

"Recently, I took a short holiday in Australia and I feel a lot better now," she said.

To date, Xiang Yun and Tan have teamed up as a mother-and-daughter pair three times. Their first collaboration was in A Tale Of Two Cities (2011), where Xiang Yun played Tan's stepmother.

Doing dramas together has drawn the pair closer.

Xiang Yun said that in real life, she treats Tan "just like my own daughter", while Tan said working with Xiang Yun "has become more and more natural".

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