文: HAYLEY ZHANG
RBKD: Check out slides 19-28 for Rui En’s photos, direct link in source below.
Source: Icon Singapore
Categorised in All Time Favourite Artiste Award, Cartier, CH, Dior, Dsquared2, 超级红星奖, Fashion, Giuseppe, Icon Singapore, Mugler, Paule Ka, Ralph Lauren, Romona Keveza, Star Awards, Star Awards 20, Star Awards 2012, Star Awards 2013, Star Awards 2015, Star Awards 2016, Star Awards 2017, Versace, Zuhair Murad.
— Toggle – 中文版 (@ToggleSG_ch) February 14, 2017
By Joanna Goh
RBKD: Toggle’s editorial team spent great effort by dugging into their archives to showcase these 15 moments of Rui En smiling at Star Awards for the past six years. Click here to view the pictures.
By Eugene Quek
INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE: I pick the beauty brains of the fabulously forthright Singapore actress and new L’Oréal Paris face Rui En, who spills the tea on everything from her ‘auntie’ aspirations and the secret behind a camera-ready complexion to her shall we say, disposition for drag queen diva-dom
“Let’s be real, we’re all drag queens in this business.”
Bam, right off the bat, just like that. This chat is shaping up to be a good one.
Let’s pull back a sec and set the scene for that rip-roaring zinger of a pull quote, shall we. Singapore small screen princess Rui En is holding court at celeb haunt Hairloom Salon, flanked by a flurrying scrum of face painters and stylists; it’s bustle and bedlam everywhere.
Meanwhile, the subject of this story is swathed in a slinky satin halterneck for the occasion, looking regal as hell and cool as a cucumber in the sultry Saturday sun.
And as for yours truly? I’m seriously sweating bullets at meeting my girl crush in the flesh, but more on that later.
If you’re late to the party, here’s a brisk little dossier on the woman of the hour: 33-years-old at time of writing; multiple Best Actress champ at the annual Singapore Star Awards; reigning Queen Regent of Caldecott Hill (given Fann Wong’s burgeoning bun in the oven); and one truly fabulous “drag queen” in the making.
Ah yes, let’s circle back to the cold opening. Rui En’s risque rejoinder comes in response to my rather sly remark on the sooty eyes and sexy scarlet smackers she’s rocking at four in the afternoon – all very lady of the night, if you will, but you’ve got to hand it to the good-natured lass for being able to laugh at herself.
Which brings us very nicely indeed to the whys and wherefores of my crush on the woman. You have her admirable chutzpah, for one – incredibly rare in this age of micro-managed stardom. You also have to factor in the nostalgia. Rui En’s someone most of us early millennials grew up ogling on the boob tube; indeed, she’s pretty much the only local post-Fann actress I have any affinity for, really.
Then there’s the skin situation. Having inspected her mug up close for a good half-hour, I’m happy to report that Rui En’s complexion is well-nigh flawless. Having a mien that’s molded from porcelain comes in very handy indeed when you’re the first Singaporean face for L’Oréal Paris’ Youth Code range of rejuvenating elixirs.
Obligatory sponsors’ plug: Use Youth Code Boosting Serum and look like Rui En! (All jesting aside, the product’s an exquisite entry-level anti-ager that’s great to have on your vanity table.)
Oh, and Rui En has a super stylin’ sense sense of fashion. Noticing my splashy fish-embossed Spring 2014 sweater (not worn with the runway’s white eyeliner, more’s the pity), the actress looks me in the eye and smiles: “You’re big on Kenzo, I see.”
See what I mean when I say she’s the ultimate girl crush? Read on for more beauty bits and bytes from the Best Actress Ever:
1. The camera makes you 10 pounds heavier and 10 facial blotter sheets oilier.
ere’s a nifty selfie-taking tip. Rui En says most filmographers she’s worked with are leery of the dewy K-Beauty finish: “The lens really emphasises everything, so skin that’s perfectly matte in real life will appear as having a sheen on screen.”
Of course, that’s small change when weighed against the apocryphal 10 pounds the camera adds to one’s frame: “I’ve grown used to the aunties, bless them, who always tell me I’m not as fat as I appear on the tellie. Part of the job, I guess!”
In any case, Rui En appears to enjoy getting wet for laughs: “My complexion’s usually a little more ‘wet’ than what most TV people are used to from other artistes, but that’s just the way I like it.”
Rui En credits her longtime partner-in-crime and face painter Sam for shoving her onto the K-Beauty bandwagon: “Thanks to him, I’m quite comfortable with highlighting fluids and illuminating pens; besides, when your face is too matte, it can read as flat and two-dimensional.” Future directors, now you know who to blame for your leading lady’s gorgeous glow!
2. About that “drag queen” business …
No, Rui En is most emphatically not using the epithet in a derogatory way.
Some context is in order. When quizzed on her favourite type of look when swishing down the Star Awards red carpet, this is what the starlet had to say, and I quote verbatim: “Falsies, liner, the whole works. We’re all drag queens in this business.”
Well, colour me surprised. I didn’t know gents like say, George Young were secret burlesque performers, but whatever you say, Rui En.
3. You have L’Oréal Paris foundie to thank for Rui En’s acting accolades. Sort of, maybe.
Get this, for all of her relative youth and socially reticent schtick, Rui En’s a bona fide thespian, a really big fish in a tiny red pond.
To wit: She’s swiped three consecutive biggies from 2011 through 2013 (two Best Actress trophies at the Star Awards and Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Asian Television Awards 2012) and says beauty plays a plum role in prompting her to get into the psyche of a character: “Most people perceive makeup as just a cosmetic prop, but if I were playing say, a go-getting professional, I’ll ask for a really lovely sheer base, something like L’Oréal Paris True Match, for instance, to help me look and feel polished for the part.”
Oh, and Rui En’s one of those touchy-feely types for whom scents mean more than the sum total of its molecules, in a manner of speaking. Let her explain: “Once filming has ended, I find myself unable to use the same perfume from the role again. Once it’s done, it’s done. I want to leave it behind.”
(Somewhat interesting aside: I’ve noticed that creative individuals tend to have the same sort of visceral emotional reaction to scents – just ask Amy Adams, who very politely but pointedly declined to reveal the smells which could conceivably make her weep.)
4. She’s really looking forward to becoming an auntie … and swears she’ll never go under the knife, ever. No kidding.
When asked for her personal style heroine, Rui En says she’s all about the cigarette pants, tailored tuxedos and defiant sense of ease about the First Lady of Cinema: “I’d love to be like Katharine Hepburn in the future – she allowed herself to age with dignity on screen; one might even refer to Kate in her later days as an ‘auntie’ in local-speak, you know.”
Rui En transitioning from bright-eyed ingenue to red-hot star and full-blown national treasure? You best believe it.
Now, while we’re on the topic, I’ll note that catty industry commentators have long murmured about the provenance of Rui En’s eggshell-smooth forehead, but the actress (she’s only 33, for mascara’s sake!) insists she’s a proponent of “natural” beauty.
Indeed, Rui En makes a pretty impassioned and eloquent case against the entertainment industry’s fetishisation of youth. In her own words: “I really, really hate ageism and the pervasive notion in the regional celeb scene that being young and thin are the only barometers of beauty.”
“So no, I don’t think I’ll ever go down that route [of plastic surgery], simply because it’s a neverending cycle. So you might start with a little lipo here and then you’ll start seeing other bits of yourself you’ll want to fix, and then the next … I don’t want to tumble down that rabbithole.”
Now, saying that they have no qualms with aesthetic augmentations has almost become a stock answer for celebs – the more cynical among us might read it as a fallback plan in case they’re ever caught having work done in future – but I can only speak for myself when I say that I do take her at (non-Botoxed) face value.
5. Rui En fans, here’s how to pay lip service to your idol, so to speak.
Favourite shade and brand of lipstick?
Rabid Rui En supporters, drumroll please – she absolutely adores L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Moist Matte in P502 Cherry Crush, although she’ll have you know that she’s still very much an eye girl. “I’m more of an eye person, really; most of my fans will know that my signature look involves lots of liner.”
And she does indeed have a fascinatingly fanatical fanbase, the most fervent of which must surely be the “official” one. RBKD, short for “Ruì Bù Kě Dāng”, is a registered fan club with its punny monicker playing on a popular Chinese proverb to mean – and no groans, now – “Rui En is unstoppable”. I’m counting on your page clicks, RBKD guys and girls!
Wrapping up now. When I compliment Rui En on her choice of lipstick, she smiles and hands it over like a queen bestowing a spare jewel to her jester. That half-used L’Oréal lippie is still squirrelled away in my weekender. Guys, you know what to do. The tube goes to the highest bidder!
Source: Her World
By Jocelyn Lee
Local actress Rui En has a reputation as the ice queen of Caldecott Hill.
But that standoffish persona was nowhere in sight during C.L.I.F. 3’s press conference last Friday.
The 33-year-old was chatty and cheery and she joked around with the cast on stage, prompting actress Tracy Lee to wonder if something had happened during filming to cause this difference.
Rui En said with a smile: “Many people saw the change in me and asked me if there is a man in my life now.
“But it’s really because I became a Christian right before the filming of this drama. I feel happier these days.”
She added that happiness comes with age, as she found she could let go of things more easily.
“In the past, I had this overwhelming pressure to perform well in what I do. I am still finding a way to do well in my job without giving myself pressure,” she said.
“It’s very hard, but I’m always finding ways to do that. It comes with maturity.”
In C.L.I.F. 3, Rui En reprises her role of Zhijie, an officer in charge and also the wife of fellow policeman Lantian (Li Nanxing).
Being able to act opposite Li again was an experience Rui En likened to coming home.
She said: “I’ve had a lot of chemistry with Li since the day we met. We went from not knowing each other at all to feeling really comfortable with each other. I am very lucky to have a partner like that.”
Their pairing on C.L.I.F. 2 earned her a nomination for this year’s Favourite Onscreen Couple at the Star Awards.
The star is also nominated in the same category for her roles opposite actors Qi Yuwu, in The Dream Makers, and Romeo Tan in Sudden.
She has a Best Actress nomination for her role in The Dream Makers.
Having played the female lead opposite a number of leading men, Rui En said that her favourite couple role was with Elvin Ng.
She said: “Every time I work with a different person, there is new chemistry. But if I have to choose one, it will be Elvin.
“Our own fans are very supportive of us together on-screen and it’s fun. I am surprised that ‘Ruivin’ has become a thing now.”
The term ‘Ruivin’ was coined several years ago by fans after the actors’ pairing on The Dream Catchers gained popularity.
The duo are so popular they have bagged the Favourite Onscreen Couple Award at the Star Awards two years in a row.
C.L.I.F. 3 警徽天职 3 debuts 09 April 2014 9pm on Channel 8.
By Ilsa Chan
Actors turn down roles for a host of reasons.
Who: Rui En
No to: Kissing & intimate scenes
Call Rui En a prude or unprofessional but the local actress has openly voiced that she does not do kissing or intimate scenes. Oh, and she doesn’t give a rat’s a** about what you think either.
In 2008, the actress reportedly turned down the lead role in TV drama The Defining Moment due to a rape scene in the script.
While her refusal to compromise might limit her opportunities, it does not seem to have hurt her popularity or career.
The 32-year-old has bagged Best Actress trophies every year since 2011 – twice in the Star Awards (2011 and 2013), and once in the Asian Television Awards (2012) – and has made it to the Star Awards Top 10 Most Popular Female Artiste list (decided by public voting) every year since 2005.
You might say she’s got attitude, we prefer character. Stick to your guns, Rui En. Why join them when you can beat them?
1. Cover Story Pages 38-48
By Jonathan Fam
Float like a butterfly sting like a bee
Here’s why we love Rui En: The enigmatic star says she’s “happier” now, but her badass, don’t-mess-with-me ‘tude? Well, it’s still here. We sit down with Ch 8’s regining princess (future queen?) for a knockout, can-she-get-any-cooler interview.
Rui En is wearing a wry smile on her face. It usually means she’s unimpressed with something. Her skinny legs, clad in a pair of black jeans, are curled under her. Then she sighs. “The ones about why I don’t do kissing scenes….The ones about why I’m, yeah, so aloof. They’re such a drag,” she laments. Rui En’s talking about questions she dreads most during interviews. Questions that she is, put simply, bored of, and which we assure her won’t be asked today. “Oh, but you already have. Or rather, your magazine has,” she says. Her smile is more off centre than ever, and then she laughs: BWAHAHAHAHA.
For someone who’s been dubbed ‘Ice Princess’ and ‘Queen of Cool’, Rui En, 32, has a surprisingly bawdy laugh. It’s throaty, robust, and loud. So loud you can probably hear it over a jet engine. Loud enough that it throws you off the first time she lets it rip. Would we have guessed that the inscrutable star has this other side had we not spoken to her? Probably not. It’s such discoveries that make any little contact with the elusive, publicity-shunning star so precious. Like wildlife photographers hoping to capture the spotted deer on film, you hope she’ll show – without you having to poke and prod like a kaypoh aunt during Chinese New Year – a little crack in the armour, an anecdote that offers a peek into her real self.
Contrary to popular belief – and what her painfully awkward Kristen Stewart-esque Star Awards speeches may suggest – Rui En’s neither a tough not boring interview subject. Sure, she’ll throw you the side eye when she considers a question lame, but she comes off as direct, not disdainful.
Yes, Rui En can’t be arsed to charm or wow you with juicy soundbites (but boy, does she have those in spades). She also doesn’t bother to be breezy or coy. That’s not to say she’s reticent. In fact, she’s surprisingly chatty. And candid. The Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and Raffles Junior College alum answers questions – both tough and throwaway – thoughtfully, never beating around the bush. No, she still won’t talk about her love life, but yes, she’ll be honest, or as honest as she’ll allow herself to be, about anything. She’s really not as socially awkward as popularly perceived. While Rui En prefers to read her script (she’s currently filming Ch 8 legal drama Sudden) instead of chit-chatting with her glam squad like most other stars do while having their hair and make-up done, she doesn’t retreat into her shell when faced with an unfamiliar social situation either. During the shoot, we see her twirl her fingers and dance – groove, actually to – Gossip’s ‘Heavy Cross’ blasting from the speakers. She even makes small talk with our art director whom she is meeting for the first time. Yes, Rui En is capable of small talk.
The truth is, Rui En’s not as austere as we think she is. Just check out her handphone case, a cutesy rubber cartoon duck complete with two rubber ‘feather’ sticking out of its top. It looks like it belongs to a bubble tea-addicted 14-year-old. A disclaimer: the method for her role as a simple-minded assistant director in the upcoming Ch 8 showbiz exposé, The Dream Makers. But um, filming for the mid-year blockbuster wrapped three weeks ago.
“I don’t know why I still have it,” she chuckles when we tease her about her choice of cellular fashion (Cineleisure-chic?) It’s the first time Rui En seems genuinely stumped. Then out of nowhere she turns to us, and says, “It looks like something you would use. BWAHAHAHAHA.”
8 DAYS: We know you’ve turned down many endorsements over the years. SO why did you agree to be the face of L’Oreal?
Rui En: This is another question I’ve been getting a lot. I’m someone who doesn’t want to feel like I’m telling a lie. If I can’t have faith in a product or if it doesn’t fel with my image – like endorsing a slimming centre – I won’t endorse it. I’m a skincare junkie and I’ve tried the product before. I thought the whole thing was seredipitous (smiles).
8 DAYS: You’re not someone usually associate with vanity.
Rui En: As a kid, I’ve always been the ugly duckling tomboy. Dark, skinny, with braces and a bowl cut. So, to get to a point where I get to say “Because you’re worth it”…Seriously? It’s a big deal to me.
8 DAYS: While many artistes delightedly welcome endorsement deals, you’ve been doing quite the opposite and rejecting them. What do you have against money?
Rui En: (Ponders) You know, I wasn’t close to (Huang) Wenyong, but his passing really drove home the point that I really have to get my life right. I only have one life to live. It’s short, and my career, even shorter. So I have to do things by my rule or I’m going to regret it. I don’t want to use the word ‘sell-out’ but yeah…Being picky with my endorsements, turning down money, it ties in with my beliefs. It’s the same with having views on certain things, not wanting to do certain scenes.
8 DAYS: You said earlier that sometimes the roles you take on “bleed into your reality” even after the cameras stop rolling.
Rui En: (Laughs) Yeah. I would never have gotten this phone case for myself. I tend to hold on to things from all my roles. Unriddle, ‘cos it was so dark, really affected my mood. But Dream Makers makes me happy. There was a scene where I tried to moonwalk, and it was an epic fail. We would collapse in fits of laughter. My blooper reel for this show would be exciting.
8 DAYS: But how bad can endorsing, say, a fridge, be?
Rui En: It has to be appropriate lah. I might not be of the right target consumer segment to reliably sell a fridge.
8 DAYS: What’s ‘appropriate’? Ice cubes?
Rui En: (Laughs) The wouldn’t fridges be absolutely perfect? I don’t know…Eyeliner? I love eyeliner. I’ve never thought of this. I only know when I get the offers. Thing is, L’Oreal isn’t trying to make me into a person I’m not. A lot of these endorsements are about appealing to the mass, being approachable. L’Oreal’s not asking me to do that. They’re not forcing me to smile. They want me to be myself.
8 DAYS: And obviously, the pay must be good.
Rui En: No comments (laughs)…but…they’re sincere (smiles).
8 DAYS: Ker-ching. Is it true that you source and pay for the clothes your characters wear in your dramas?
Rui En: (Looks taken aback) How do you know this? It’s not [completely true]. To me, a role is the sum of all the little details. The wardrobe unit provides the clothes, but I have to have all the accessories to feel the part. Like the cutesy phone cover. I notice that the assistant directors in MediaCorp all like things with cartoons on them. The character I play in Dream Makers needs soft toys hanging from her keychain and bag. It’s part and parcel of the whole persona. I started doing this during Happy Family (2010). I went to Chinatown ‘cos that’s where the character lived and I bought all these tees with Michael Jackson and Obama on them.
8 DAYS: You said earlier that sometimes the roles you take on “bleed into your reality” even after the cameras stop rolling.
Rui En: (Laughs) Yeah. I would never have gotten this phone case for myself. I tend to hold on to things from all my roles. Unriddle, ‘cos it was so dark, really affected my mood. But Dream Makers makes me happy. There was a scene where I tried to moonwalk, and it was an epic fail. It was so hilarious. We would collapse in fits of laughter. My blooper reel for this show would be exciting.
8 DAYS: Do you think you take acting too seriously?
Rui En: Some people might think that way. They’ll tell me (mimics someone whispering) “Aiyah, it’s just acting.” But I don’t care. I’m the sort who needs to know I gave my all. If I know in my heart that I held back, I wouldn’t be able to look in the mirror.
8 DAYS: There was a scene in Unriddle 2 where you got so worked up you started blabbering lines in English that weren’t in the script.
Rui En: Yeah…swear words.
8 DAYS: Which ones did you use?
Rui En: Only the one (guffaws).
8 DAYS: And you needed time alone after that scene to collect yourself.
Rui En: I’ve never had an intense experience like that before. It’s exhausting even talking about it now.
8 DAYS: Well, it worked out fine ‘cos you picked up your second Best Actress award for it. What went through your mind when your name was announced? Did you think “S***! Now I have to make a speech!”
Rui En: Let me tell you, the “s***!” comes when you’re sitting in the audience thinking, “Don’t call my name, don’t call my name.” I’m not good at things like giving a speech. It’s taken a long time for me to become a little more comfortable. The red carpet isn’t my thing either. But when they do call your name, your mind goes blank and you go into auto pilot mood. It’s bizarre.
8 DAYS: Does winning Best Actress change you in any way?
Rui En: Not really, but there’s pressure. You gotta be on the ball all the time. My game has to be on all the time.
8 DAYS: You started filming Sudden just two days after Dream Makers wrapped. This non-stop back-to-back filming schedule has been going on for a few years now. When was the last time you went on a holiday?
Rui En: (Thinks for what seems like an eternity.)
8 DAYS: It’s been that long, huh?
Rui En: Yeah…I’m not the sort who needs to fly off every chance I get. I’m happy staying home. Oh! I went to the Maldives for a few days after Code of Honour. After I won my first Best Actress award.
8 DAYS: When’s your next break?
Rui En: I’m taking a much needed month off before filming for C.L.I.F. 3 starts later this year. I do want to use the time to get down to writing a script.
8 DAYS: What is it going to be about?
Rui En: No clue at all, but it will be for TV ‘cos that’s what I know.
8 DAYS: Why do you work so hard? Didn’t Huang Wenyong’s sudden passing make you think that maybe there’s more to life than work?
Rui En: To me, work is the reward. A lot of people aspire to be tai-tai. Not me, I’d be lost without work. There’s no sense and purpose. I guess my sense of identity is derived from work.
8 DAYS: Have you ever neglected your health ‘cos of work?
Rui En: (Shakes her head) Oh no…I’m very auntie. I’m very good at taking care of myself. I always have with me a variety of Chinese medicines. Though I’m very ang moh pai, I’ve realised that Chinese doctors work wonders.
8 DAYS: Really?
Rui En: Yeah, I came down with a very bad flu during Joys of Life and the Western meds I was taking only made me drowsy. My friend took me to a sinseh and that was it. I didn’t use to believe in TCM until it worked. That’s when I realised there are bigger things out there. When I got injured during Unriddle, I went for acupuncture, which was terrifying. In Muar, where I was doing Code of Honour, I went for bloodletting [a TCM practice to remove stagnant blood] when I got injured too. I didn’t dare to look (laughs).
8 DAYS: You don’t seem like someone who’s into bloodletting and acunpuncture.
Rui En: You’ll be when you’re desperate to settle a problem fast ‘cos the crew’s waiting for you. My friend calls me Donnie Lu [Lu being Rui En’s surname]. You know, like Donnie Yen, with all the martial arts and bloodletting. I’m so cheena tong tong now (laughs).
8 DAYS: We have to ask about you and Elvin Ng. Three time we’ve watched you both collect the Favourite On-Screen Couple Award. But there never seems to be any chemistry between you guys off-screen.
(Guffaws) To be honest, I don’t understand why people like to see us together. Maybe it’s ‘cos we look good? When my friend watched us give the speech this year, she sent me a text to say we’re an epic fail (laughs).
8 DAYS: Do you guys rehearse your speeches?
Rui En: No (laughs). In Elvin’s defence, it would be equally awkward for anyone who’s up there with me.
8 DAYS: Maybe he’s intimidated by you?
Rui En: No lah! Maybe in the beginning? People normally go, “Oh she’s not as bad as I thought she was” after they get to know me.
8 DAYS: Who do you think you have chemistry with?
Rui En: I’m more comfortable onscreen with (Li) Nanxing. A lot of people agree too.
8 DAYS: What about Romeo Tan, who’s romancing you for the first time in Sudden?
Rui En: We’re still in the midst of filming so I don’t know. He’s quite new and he’s got to be familiar with someone first…I’m trying to make him confortable ‘cos I know he’s under a lot of pressure. We’re still trying to work it out (smiles).
8 DAYS: You said in a recent interview that a lot of scenes in Dream Makers, though inspired by true events, are “blown out of proportion..dramatised…all in the name of good fun.” Any example?
Rui En: Like the one where the resident Ah jie in the show causes physical harm to Jeanette’s character. I didn’t really like that ‘cos it makes us look unprofessional, cheapens what we do. No one I know will cause bodily harm to a fellow actor. The most they do is backstab. I was a little uncomfortable reading it ‘cos I don’t want the audience to get misled. They already think that showbiz is like the mafia. Look, we’re whiter than white in Singapore. If you think people here have to sleep around to get a role, no lah. That’s rampant overseas, but not here.
8 DAYS: You’ve also said that backstabbing in showbiz is “a little bit more serious ‘cos “your failures, your successes, are for everyone to see.” What’s the worst rumour you’ve heard about yourself?
Rui En: It’s a little sensitive to say ‘cos it involves other people. There’s backstabbing everywhere, which is why I prefer to live in my own shell. People are scary. I used to be quite naive. It was only after many years in this business that I opened my eyes. It’s amazing what people would do for fame, for a little bit of attention. It may be human nature but I don’t believe in doing things, like stepping on people, to get ahead.
8 DAYS: Are you jaded?
Rui En: When you’re in showbiz, you either learn about human nature than detach yourself from what’s happening, or you get completely embroiled in it. Unfortunately, it’s more common for people to get embroiled – everyone’s just trying to survive. Showbiz has made me a lot more mature about what to expect from people. I used to think if a person’s nice to me, she must be nice.
8 DAYS: Do you have a bulls*** indicator when you talk to people?
Rui En: I think I read people quite well. I’ve got a gut feeling about things. I’m a little bit more straightforward and upfront so when I see someone who’s not like that, I take a step back. It’s good to be careful.
8 DAYS: With your fiercely independent streak, do you think you would have made it big in, let’s say, your BFF Chen Liping’s era when artistes were said to be more ‘obedient’?
Rui En: This is an interesting question. I guess not. The fact that audience embraces and supports me shows that our audience has matured a lot. They’re able to accept someone who’s a little different, not cookie-cutter. (Ponders) Hmm..I’ve never thought about this.
8 DAYS: Does Liping share stories about ‘back in her day’?
Rui En: She does. It’s fascinating. I’m in awe of how they used to do period drama in this heat! I had a couple of scenes in Dream Makers where I’m in period costume. They wrote it for the viewers [‘cos people have never seen me in a period costume before] (laughs). It was just one scene but it was enough. I was sweating even though there was aircon! I hear her war stories and I’m like, my life is such a breeze in comparison. To get through that kind of hardship, to be sleep deprived…I respect them.
8 DAYS: To be honest, I didn’t think that you and Liping were really friends until I bumped into you guys having coffee at The Grandstand.
Rui En: Oh my God! Are you that jaded and cynical? (Rolls her eyes and laughs) I remember that day! We were filming Dream Makers before that. Did you think it was a publicity stunt? (Guffaws) There have been many sightings, okay?
8 DAYS: Yahui says that Liping is her best friend too. You got rival leh.
Rui En: (Laughs) The three of us don’t hang out together, though. When it’s Liping and me, it’s just us. Rival? Are you in secondary school (laughs)?
8 DAYS: Isn’t showbiz like that?
Rui En: It is a little. The cool clique. The pretty girls clique. And the outcasts.
8 DAYS: You’re trying to say you’re an outcast, right?
Rui En: I’ve always been! I was an outcast in RJ ‘cos I was a bit of delinquent. Now in showbiz, I’m generally seen as an alien.
8 DAYS: You’re more like the girl people don’t dare to approach but secretly aspire to be.
Rui En: (Laughs) I’m just not in the pretty and cool clique, okay?
8 DAYS: So who’s in that clique?
Rui En: I can’t say. You should know better.
8 DAYS: Will you get mad if we ask about your love life?
Rui En: Yes, please don’t (laughs). I’ve been thinking about this a lot. It might sound cheesy but what Angelina Jolie did recently got me thinking. You can either educate the world – literally nobody knew about gene testing and preventive surgery before her – and choose to conduct your career in that way or you can let people obsess about your love life. Like I said, I only have one career that won’t last very long, especially so for women. And I need to know I spent it doing something worthy. I can’t leave this line feeling like it was all about being popular or pretty on the covers of magazines. I’ll kill myself. Reporters have told me that I’m boring ‘cos I don’t talk about my personal life. But the fact of the matter is that I want to keep the focus on my work instead of having people obsess about who I’m dating.
8 DAYS: You do wish to settle down eventually, right?
Rui En: If it happens, it happens. I’m very comfortable on my own. And I think you can be with a person and not get married. It’s easy to be cynical about marriage when you come from a broken family. And I do know that having kids is something I won’t be doing.
8 DAYS: You do seem happier and more open now, though.
Rui En: Happier, yes. I’m in a good place now. I’m thankful for what I have. When you’re younger you get caught up in the small things like, “Oh I can’t believe she said that about me.” Now it’s “Whatever.” Dirt off my shoulder (Mimics dusting her shoulder).
8 DAYS: You said in an interview years ago that you stopped wanting to be famous and popular when you got disgusted watching yourself on TV. And when you stopped wanting that, you got famous and popular. Surely the irony’s not lost on you.
Rui En: I do see it. To me, it’s one of the things I’m most proud of. The fact that this industry expects you to do things a certain way…And yet I’ve done things differently and people have accepted me. I hope kids can learn that you don’t have to be conventional, or have to follow the tried and tested path. Sure, there’s a price to be paid, and people are going to talk. But if that makes me a b****, fine (smiles).
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The Dream Makers 志在四方 debuts 24 June 2013 9pm on Channel 8.
Sudden 骤变 debuts 2 September 2013 9pm on Channel 8.
C.L.I.F. 3 警徽天职 3 debuts 10 April 2014 9pm on Channel 8.
1. 封面 Coverstory Page 16
RBKD: We have blurred the text of Terence Cao’s part as we see no need to help publicise what is ultimately, his personal affair.
C.L.I.F 2 警徽天职 2 debuts 18 February 2013 9pm on Channel 8.
She may have been calm and cool about her nomination, but her second Babe Of The Year win – with a record-breaking 6,405 votes – made actress Rui En “flabbergasted”.
In an email to The New Paper, the 31-year old said she was “bewildered” when she first heard the news about how many votes she had received this year.
She beat Jeanette Aw, who received 804 votes, and YouTube star Munah Bagharib, who received 183 votes.
“My fans… I have no words for how incredibly committed they are,” she said.
“Truly, any and all awards actually belong to RBKD, all my fans and them alone.”
RBKD, the moniker for Rui En’s fan club, was also responsible for her first Flame Awards trophy, also for Babe Of The Year, back in early 2009.
Then, she was up against this year’s nominee, Jeanette Aw, as well as Joanne Peh, both of whom had shined in blockbuster drama The Little Nyonya.
She had also been nonchalant about her chances then, saying it would be “The Little Nyonya year”.
Up against Aw again this year, as well as hot newcomer Munah Bagharib, Rui En declined to talk about her chances.
Now that she has won again, she is somewhat amused.
“I really am the sort to head down to the kopi tiam in shorts and slippers. Highly un-babe-like…” she said.
She had a few stern words for The New Paper about the title, too.
“I…have to be honest. Babe is really not one of the most favourite words of mine. To me, ‘babe’ means swaddled in pastel blankets and also had a lot of very strong Christmas connotations,” she said.
All right, we hear you. A name change may be in order. Who are we to argue with someone who has had such a great year in showbiz?
Her Babe Of The Year win caps a year of trophies, including Favourite Female Character at the Star Awards for her role in A Tale of 2 Cities, and Best Actress at the recent Asian Television Awards for her role in Unriddle 2.
All, one must note, without seemingly overly eager and overexposed or the opposite of completely catty or cold.
It is her refreshing “real-ness” that endears her to her fans, who “stretched” themselves this year to make sure she took home the Babe Of The Year title again.
RBKD fan club president Peh Xin Yi, 25 told The New Paper that this year, they heeded Rui En’s advice to “vote within their means”, but they strategised to ensure their idol would emerge tops.
“Our fan club has more than 90 members, but we posted about the Babe Of The Year voting through Facebook (where Rui En has more than 116,000 fans) and Twitter,” said the club president.
“We had one member who wanted to set aside $100 to vote for her (each SMS costs 20 cents), but we stopped her as we don’t believe in having one person vote excessively.
“That’s why we promoted it online.
“Flame Awards was one of the first we got for her (RBKD was formed in Nov 2008).
“It’s a great way to end the year.”
Juliana June Rasul
Source: The New Paper, Asiaone
Categorised in A Tale of 2 Cities 乐在双城, Asian Television Awards, Asian Television Awards 2012, asiaone.com, EN, Flame Awards, Flame Awards 2009, Flame Awards 2012, RBKD, Star Awards, Star Awards 2012, The New Paper, Unriddle 2 最火搭档 2.