The Mighty Girl
Since we last spoke to her in 2003, Rui En seems to have become a much happier person, despite having to don a bridal gown and getting drenched by the rain.
UrbanWire caught up with the rising local star at the Singapore Zoological Gardens during filming for upcoming Channel 8 drama You Are The One, and found that Rui En appears to have transformed from a young girl full of passion and angst, to a mature young woman focused on her career.
Don’t worry fans, Rui En is not getting married yet.
Said the 23-year-old, who was resting while waiting for her shoot to commence, “It’s so much better to be able to focus one thing. Because, at that point [2003, being a student and artiste], it was just crazy. When you are able to just focus on your work… you will be able to concentrate.”
The Banking and Finance graduate from Nanyang Technological University is grateful she doesn’t have to balance work with school anymore.
“I have made a transition from being a little kid into a working woman. Since I graduated, it’s [been] a big change, from [being] a student to having so many possibilities and options,” Rui En recounts. “Life is just different when you have obligations! I have [become] a little bit more mature since the past.” Obligations indeed, as Rui En is bound by a 10-year contract with HYPE Records.
What’s Rui En Been Up To?
Bursting onto the media scene in 2001 as the “running” girl in the Singtel Pod ad, Rui En has since taken on numerous roles; from acting as independent outspoken deejay in Chemistry, releasing her debut Mandarin album Rui En ver.01 in 2002, to hosting the newest season of comeback variety prank show Gotcha! on Channel 5.
Having tried her hand at different professions, Rui En’s choice of the one she enjoys most is: “Singing!” the zesty star says without hesitation. But she also welcomes change. “Sometimes it’s good to try something new, like hosting on Gotcha! I’ve never hosted before, but singing is still definitely what I want to do.”
But with no news about the release of a possible 2nd album anytime soon, questions from eager fans have been sprouting on Rui Bu Ke Dang, Rui En’s online fan community.
“It’s not done, not done yet,” said an apologetic Rui En. “I keep having to telling my fans, ‘Yeah we’re working it’, but we’re definitely going to do it. I think my fans must be so annoyed with me, but I know they have been waiting for a long time and I hope all these TV shows will at least help to make them happy for this period of time,” giggled Rui En.
Rui En in “You Are The One”
The Girl and Her Roles
Depending on whether you’ve turn to Channel 5 or 8, you’ll catch her as wife of popular and dishy Bollywood actor, Jas Arora’s character in Achar! 2 or My Mighty In-Laws, which ends its run on Dec 14, as independent and over-confident Yingying.
Does Rui En feel the heat from the comparisons with Steph Song who originally played the role of Jas’s onscreen wife in the first season?
“Oh gosh, a lot. People are just going to compare us no matter what, like they’re going to say, ‘Yeah she this, she’s that’. I wanted to approach it like a new role… I didn’t want these expectations [to] get to me. The lucky thing is I didn’t watch much of Achar! the first season, so when the producers offered the role and asked me whether I wanted to take the role as it is from the last season, I said no because I just wanted to do it fresh,” said an adamant Rui En.
Rui En with co-star Vincent Ng in My Mighty In-laws
“I wouldn’t want to do a ’muo fang’ [impersonation] of Steph Song and I wouldn’t want to be influenced in that way. As for comments and comparisons, I think as artistes we are compared all the time.”
However, Rui En did express some concerns when she was approached with the offer. “I was a bit hesitant, not for these reasons [filling Song’s shoes], [but] because I was afraid it might not be suitable in the sense that the role was a lot more mature than all the other roles I ever played. I was a little worried that I might not be able to carry it off, but I thought it would be a good challenge to play someone who is 10 years older than me.”
Despite not winning the Best Newcomer Award during this year’s Star Awards, UrbanWire found out from Rui En that she was not overly confident of her chances of going beyond her Best Newcomer Award nomination in this year’s Star Awards. “…all the other nominees have had lot more exposure than me this year. It’s only right now that both my shows are out, before this it was quite quiet. Awards to me are not a big deal; it’s not crucial to my career. I don’t feel that they are very crucial and important. But of course, it’s satisfying to know that you have had recognition for your efforts.”
Whether or not she won the award, Rui En still remains an idol to her fans. Even Singapore Idol runner-up Sylvester Sim declared Rui En as his idol in an interview on Channel NewsAsia’s Primetime Morning.
“That’s really nice of [Sylvester]! I haven’t met him actually, I will thank him, and he’s very sweet. Ahh, now I’m very scared of his fans!” joked Rui En, who had ruffled a few feathers in Taiwan with fans of Jay Chou, who had penned a song in her album and featured her in a few of his videos. “I’m going to get my car bullet-proofed!”
Catch Rui En on Achar! every Thursday night, 8.30pm on Channel 5.
08 December 2004
PITY my second helping of Achar left a sour taste in my mouth.
The sitcom premiered with the novelty of an inter-racial marriage and cross-cultural clashes on its side, spiced up by the much-reported off-screen skirmish between its two leads, Bollywood hunk Jas Arora and Chinese-Australian babe Steph Song.
The appealing, fresh-faced couple played opposites-attract newlyweds Ajay and Stephanie.
This season, singer-actress Rui En replaces Steph, and apparently got along swimmingly with Jas.
But maybe some of that old spice goes a long way, because the comfortable chemistry between them is more of the good buddies kind than of the passionate lovers variety.
With her exaggerated gestures and facial expressions, baby-faced Rui En proves she’s better-suited for Channel 8 comedies.
Despite a sophisticated wardrobe and hairdo, she still can’t match Steph’s edginess, and comes across as too young, too bubbly and too childish for Jas that he almost looks like a cradle-snatcher.
And that’s not very funny.
Speaking of which, Achar seems to have lost its recipe for clever humour and relies on leftover stereotypes instead.
The second season opened with Ajay and Steph forgetting their first anniversary, with things getting messier when the meddling in-laws conspire to get their offspring in the mood for love.
Ajay’s roly-poly mum Uma (the ever-reliable Malti Lalwani) scatters tealights, aromatic bath oils, rose petals and gold dust on the floor.
Predictably, Stephanie’s parents bring plastic flowers, a cake, Yomeishu and cheena red lingerie, causing Uma to exclaim: ‘You’re supposed to inspire romance, not horror.’
Unfortunately, Achar 2 doesn’t inspire much laughter either.
Achar 2 is showing over Channel 5, Thursdays at 8.30pm.
Source: The New Paper
2nd December 2004
Source: I Weekly
01 December 2004
HAPPY TOGETHER : Jas Arora (with co-star Rui En) says he gets along fine with her.
Byline: Sheela Narayanan
J AS Arora is one relieved actor.
The 29-year-old Bollywood resident told The New Paper that shooting the second season of the MediaCorp sitcom, Achar!, was ‘like a dream’.
Compared, that is, to last year’s storm in the masala teacup when he apparently fell out with former co-star Steph Song.
Steph was replaced with singer-actress Rui En.
The 23-year-old has been nominated for the Most Popular Newcomer category for this year’s Star Awards.
The actors’ spat in the first season didn’t do the sitcom or Jas’s reputation any damage.
Achar! did quite well in the ratings with 538,000 viewers tuning in to its debut episode last year.
But there won’t be any spicy off-screen falling-out between the new leads.
‘We rehearsed about a week. I guess my producers tried to play it safe to make sure Rui En and I got along fine,’ said Jas ruefully.
Jas took 40 days out of his tight filming and modelling schedule to shoot Achar! 2.
‘It’s just great to come to the set this year,’ he said.
As for Rui En, he has only good things to say about her.
‘She is a sweet girl, simple, not too complicated.’
‘We are all very professional,’ said the Delhi-born actor.
Rui En said she didn’t let last year’s baggage get in the way.
‘I felt it wouldn’t be fair to let all the bad press affect my performance or the way I am with the cast.’
‘I kept an open mind. We are all professionals. We are here to work, not to make friends,’ she said.
But she said it turned out quite well anyway.
‘It was very relaxed since it was a sitcom and we (the cast) were always goofing around.
‘It was comfortable,’ said Rui En.
That’s a weight off Jas’ mind, that’s for sure.
He said with a grin: ‘I just hope without the controversies, we get a higher viewership.’
Achar! 2 will debut tomorrow over Channel 5 at 8.30pm.
Source: The New Paper
22 November 2004
THE sort of politically correct spiel that avoids any satisfactory engagement of thorny questions is not Rui En’s style. The intrepid singer-actress has, after all, stepped into the role vacated by Steph Song in the sitcom Achar!.
Faced with the fairly generic question of ‘What kind of experience did you have filming Achar?’, she chooses to tackle the unspoken subtext head-on instead.’The experience was quite pleasant,’ says the 23-year-old matter-of-factly in a phone interview last Saturday.
Her experience is in stark contrast to the reportedly tumultuous relationship between her predecessor Song and co-star, Bollywood actor Jas Arora, during the filming of the first season of the Channel 5 sitcom last year.
‘I’m sure everyone has heard all the rumours about the last season,’ Rui En says. ‘When I took on this project, I kept telling myself not to make judgments and to go in with an open mind. And it was fine, really.’
She insists that her screen husband is ‘very well-mannered and gentlemanly in a way that you don’t really see much nowadays’.’He actually does things like opening doors for you. The chivalry is quite refreshing.’
Rui En, who bears some resemblance to Song, first came into the spotlight in 2001, when she appeared in a SingTel TV commercial. She then starred in a Jay Chou music video before releasing a Mandarin album in 2003.
Tackling challenging roles is what she has set her mind on after graduating from her banking and finance course from Nanyang Technological University last year.
‘This character is quite feminine, very different from my previous tomboyish roles and my own personality,’ she recalls.
‘It’s quite a challenge to wear skirts and be graceful. The character’s wardrobe is very different from what I would wear in real life.’
Currently starring in the Channel 8 drama My In-Laws, Rui En has also been nominated in the Most Popular Newcomer category for this year’s Star Awards. ‘I was very surprised when I found out because I’ve only been in a few shows.
‘She adds: ‘I won’t be wearing a dress to the Awards. It’s such a struggle to wear them for work.’
The new season of Achar! starts on Dec 2 on Channel 5 at 8.30pm.
Source: The Straits Times
10 April 2004
Showtime & Lifestyle
After a two-year hiatus, Channel i is again offering local dramas, starting with Perceptions. JEANMARIE TAN talks to its stars, Eelyn Kok and Steph Song, about potentially career-changing roles.
Whatever the case, Steph is ‘curious’ to see how the second season of Achar will turn out, now that singer/actress Lu Rui En is rumoured to be taking over her role.
She said: ‘It should be an exciting opportunity for (Rui En). And frankly, Achar was a good show and deserves to keep going.’
Source: The New Paper