Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life after television The Sequel: Whatever happened to ...

SINGAPORE: Whatever happened to the only Wushu champion to have become a Star Search finalist, the woman behind the zany Ah Hao in "City Beat", and the screen icon that made us laugh and cry in the seminal family drama, 1998's "Stand By Me"?

The three people we are talking about were among the many past stars that attended the Star Awards 2012 Show 1 on Sunday as special guests.

Channelnewsasia.com spoke with them to find out how they're spending their time after their departure from showbiz ? and which of them may well be coming back.

Sharon Au

Former Singapore actress Sharon Au always brightens the screen, whether as a quirky radio presenter in the sitcom "Right Frequency" or one of the zany hosts in the infotainment programme "City Beat".

Indeed, Au was named Best Variety Show Host consecutively from 2000 to 2004 at the annual Star Awards.

Alas, she is now more at home in the boardroom and her office than in a television studio ? Au, who quit showbiz in 2005 to further her studies, returned to MediaCorp last year as a manager involved in the charting of the company's strategic direction.

Au's performance in a comedy skit during the Star Awards 2012 Show 1 may be the last audiences see of her for some time.

"Wearing this wig brings back so many memories," said Au, running her fingers through the mop-like wig she donned to reprise the popular character Ah Hao in "City Beat", during Sunday's awards show.

"I can't wait to take it off. I am beginning to feel a bit schizo (schizophrenic). It feels very wrong!"

When asked if she would consider returning to acting, Au shook her head gently.

"This (performing on stage) cannot happen too often. It's weird performing in front of the same people you have to give a serious presentation to the next day. Some things are better left as a memory.

"I actually only agreed to do the skit because I had Kym and Bryan (fellow 'City Beat' host Kym Ng and Bryan Wong) with me.

"If I don't play Ah Hao, the skit just would not be complete," said Au, though she expressed that she didn't mind doing some cameo roles and special guest appearances "once in a while".

Vincent Ng

He looks different.

Former Singapore actor Vincent Ng has lost that boyishness which garnered him a lot of fans and landed him plum roles in the period drama "Hero of the Times" and police drama "Heartlanders".

In its place was a sort of mature manliness.

Perhaps it has something to do with him becoming the head of Wufang Singapore, a Wushu training school he founded in 2004 which now has over 1,000 students.

"I spend my time running Wufang nowadays. I have received a few acting offers but had to turn down a role as a police officer recently because it clashed with my students' competition training," said Ng, who is also the author of a fitness book.

But the former actor and two-time SEA Games Wushu gold medallist is feeling the itch.

"Sometimes I walk on the street and people still ask me, what show I am shooting now!

"I do feel the urge to act, I think all actors feel that way at one point or another," said Ng with a smile, adding that he will return to acting if the role is suitable.

"I loved working on 'Hainan Kopi Tales'. My character had a lot of emotional depth. So in the future, I hope to play a vulnerable man instead of a straightforward hero character."

"He should have a lot of flaws but learn to overcome them to become a hero. That is what a hero should be!"

Huang Bi Ren

Former Singapore actress Huang Bi Ren's moving portrayal of a woman who stands by her husband (played by former actor Xie Shao Guang), despite his cheating on her and subsequent paralysis in 1998's "Stand By Me", garnered praise from many, many viewers at the time.

Her performance in 2002's "The Vagrant" and "Beautiful Connection" left a deep impression on television audiences and she continued to receive praise for her acting until she decided to leave showbiz in 2008.

What has she been doing since then?

"I have been taking care of my kids. I am quite busy because I believe in doing everything myself," said the mother of three, who tutors her children personally.

"I still watch television at home and I can't help but comment on what I see. It is a 'professional illness'," Huang said, before politely declining to share her comments with the media.

The biggest revelation, however, is that she may well be returning to television.

"We (she and the MediaCorp production staff) have talked about it extensively.

"The earliest I can come back to television is at the end of the year, but early next year would be the best time," said Huang, explaining that she will have her hands full until then, as one of her children is taking the Primary School Leaving Examination this year.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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