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Chen Shu Cheng’s fear: Waiting for his hair to dry

SINGAPORE – New long-form drama Life - Fear Not features an ensemble cast as a large and rowdy family, held together by their central father-figure, played by the venerable Chen Shu Cheng.

Chen Shu Cheng’s fear: Waiting for his hair to dry

Veteran actor Chen Shu Cheng, who stars in Life - Fear Not, says one of his fears is not being able to play a role. Photo: Daryl Kang.

SINGAPORE – New long-form drama Life - Fear Not features an ensemble cast as a large and rowdy family, held together by their central father-figure, played by the venerable Chen Shu Cheng.

The 65-year-old veteran actor’s wise patriarch character owns a family-run guest house; his offspring are played by Rayson Tan, Aileen Tan, Felicia Chin and Aloysius Pang. The show also stars Chen Liping, Carrie Wong, Zhang Yao Dong, Zheng Geping and Lin Mei Jiao.

Chen shared that he wanted his character, who practices calligraphy, to look like the arty, hippie sort, so he suggested he wear linen clothes and have long hair – resulting in hair extensions for the actor. What he might not have expected was that having long hair, which, incidentally, his wife quite likes, would produce a somewhat ‘scary’ result.

“When I’m tired out after a long day at work and I want to go to bed, but I can’t because I haven’t washed my hair, and I have to prep for the next day’s scenes and get my wardrobe ready, and I still have to blow my hair dry – that’s really quite scary!”

Here are some other things the Life - Fear Not actor confessed scare him.

Q: What’s the scariest thing in life?

A: To be set up by someone and not know it, and then to go on smiling at that person and treating them as your friend. That’s both terrifying and tragic. No, I’m not speaking from personal experience – whoever wants to set me up would really be wasting his time. I am not rich or famous. I am just an actor who gets by. I have nothing worth being cheated of.

Q: What’s the scariest thing about being in a long form drama?

A: I haven’t done a long form drama in a long time. It’s fun because you get to spend a lot of time with your fellow actors, but it’s also tough because you spend so much time on set, you hardly get to see your real family. (But) honestly speaking, acting is my hobby. These 40 years have gone by like a day. The scariest thing for me would be not being able to play a role. Now that I’m no longer young, I don’t get cast in better roles. Elderly roles are restrictive.

Q: What was your biggest fear when you were younger?

A: My biggest fears were about my parents’ health. While I was in school, my father was in poor health and he left us. When I got my first job, my grandmother, whom I was very close to, passed away and my first salary was used to buy joss papers. The saddest thing is when you have attained some little success but your family members are no longer by your side.

Catch Life - Fear Not starting Oct 19, weekdays at 7.30pm on MediaCorp TV Channel 8.

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