Catch Him If You Can

28 Jul

SINGAPORE : You’ve been watching a lot of Chua Enlai on TV recently. Only, you might not have realised it.

“Chua Enlai, who?” asked a few people when this reporter did a straw poll – despite them living on a diet of TV and fizzy drinks.

You know, that obnoxious kueh chang (rice dumpling) shop manager, Dennis, who brown-noses Tan Kheng Hua’s Tow Kay Neo character in “Sayang Sayang”? And Al, that gossipy colleague of Adrian Pang’s James in “Parental Guidance 2”?

“Ohhh! That guy! He’s quite funny.”

Yes, that would be Enlai. He also played multiple characters in “The Noose” with Michelle Chong and Gurmit Singh, appeared in three seasons of “My Sassy Neighbour” with Patricia Mok and hosted two seasons of “Heartland Getaways”.

He can currently be seen on MediaCorp TV’s Channel 5 in “Parental Guidance 2”, “Sayang Sayang”, and in the second season of “The Noose” when it returns next month – this time, replacing Gurmit as the news anchor.

But if you’re still scratching your head, go ask your kids. They’ll know Enlai as Science Guy PI and as that fun guy on “Hobby TV and Jobs for Juniors” on Kids Central.

The 29-year-old actor is a lot of fun off-screen, too.

When he met TODAY for this interview at the Pan Pacific hotel, the slight Fly Entertainment artiste gamely climbed up a runged wooden partition and wedged himself into a cranny for the photo shoot. Mind you, he pulled these stunts with a braced back, which he injured earlier in the year, and he’s still seeing a physiotherapist.

As we found out during our very long chat, Enlai has a tendency to digress into his random little anecdotes and comically forgets the original questions (“The Red House pepper crab is damn good!”; “I’m a complete champagne brunch lover!”; “I’m a very good squatter – I’ve never had a squat toilet, but I can squat very well and for a long time.”)

But when it comes to acting, Enlai, who lived and studied in New Zealand for 12 years, is dead serious.

“Acting is about imitating life. The human condition really interests me,” said the thespian who is recognised for his theatre works such as “Shopping and F***ing”, “Landmarks: Asian Boys Vol 2”, and “Fundamentally Happy”. He’s also in the cast of “Superhero Diaries” which has been postponed till March next year.

“(Whether you see yourself as a) star or an actor, I think if you get too much up your own a*se, when it becomes about you so much, it’s not very interesting, is it? It should never be about Chua Enlai; it should always be about the character and that world,” he said.

Maybe he’d be okay with you knowing his face, but not his name, after all.

Channel News Asia

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: