15 July, 2008
Text: Clarence Chen
Editorial Team: Dion Tang
Our icy cool princess is finally back after a year of absence from our local TV screens. Starring alongside Zoe Tay, Chen Hanwei, Elvin Ng and Terence Cao, the brand new 20 episodic drama, Zong Ji Shou Hou (English title yet to be confirmed at press time), will be Rui En’s first and only drama production of the year.
Playing the role of a volunteer, freelance photographer and an unfortunate AIDS victim (Terence was the one who passed the virus to her), Rui En is seeking a breakthrough in her acting career for this role. “People might think that my character in this show is similar to my other roles but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a breakthrough role for me,” Rui En said. “Everyone has a different definition of breakthrough. For myself, I want to portray my character well and act in a natural and convincing way.”
Although her character portrays the cool side of her towards some people in the show (namely Elvin Ng), it also shows her warmness and friendliness towards her patients and dog. (Yes, she has a cute little pet dog in the show.)
“I do not have pet dogs in reality because I prefer cats. Besides, some of my family members have asthma and my grandmother is afraid of animals”, Rui En said.
This is also Elvin’s returning drama after a 3 months medical leave due to his kneecap operation. “I don’t know why but I think I am fated to get bullied by girls on screen. Previously, I collaborated with Jeanette in Rhythm of Life and she was cold towards me. Now, it’s also like that but it’s Rui En,” Elvin sighed.
He will play a vet in the show who is deeply in love with Rui En but held back his love for her upon knowing that she has contracted AIDS.
“The main message of the show tells people not to give up easily in life especially in a person. If you give up on someone, that person will also give himself or herself up,” Rui En said, looking solemn.
She told us that she is happy and grateful to be given a chance to act in such a drama because she felt that Singaporeans’ understanding of AIDS is insufficient and it is always good to create more awareness.
“Frankly speaking, I have many queries regarding AIDS. On my part, I’ve already started to surf the net to find out more about AIDS and have been trying to lose weight to better portray my character,” Rui En revealed. (We actually think she’s already skinny enough…) “We will also have a site visit and be given the chance to interact with volunteers and caregivers of the AIDS patients”.
When we asked if she would take precautions during site visits, she shrugged and said,” Our main purpose is to educate people on the transmission of AIDS. I think it is not possible for us to get into our roles if we are actually afraid of these patients during site visits.”
How does Rui En feel to be back acting after a long hiatus? ”I am very happy to be back because I love acting. I appreciate every chance to grow, improve and mature during acting,” Rui En smiled.
Why the long break from TV? What has she been up to recently? These are the questions that are always floating around in forums. Here’s a piece of good news for her fans: “I am actually very busy with my new album and it will definitely be out before the end of this year”.
Besides busy preparing for her album, Rui En has also ventured into something new in music that’s keeping her even busier. Yes, she is also a lyricist now.
For Rui En, penning lyrics to a song is like writing her personal diary. The lyrics that she wrote usually include her personal thoughts and emotions which allow people to see a different side of her.
She revealed, “Actually, I started writing lyrics two years ago for my own songs. But now, I am helping Singapore Idol 2 runner up Jonathan Leong to write lyrics for his new Mandarin album.” Writing Chinese lyrics does help Rui En to improve in the language. “It was definitely difficult at the beginning. With the help of the dictionary, I would say that my Mandarin has improved,” she laughed.