An exclusive interview with Romeo Tan where he tells us more about what it is like to be one of the most popular local male artistes

By: Tan Li Yan

If you haven’t noticed, our local award winning heart-throb, Romeo Tan, 30, is an NYP Alumni. It won’t come to you as a surprise if you have already seen his poster boy photos taken in school during his time spent here. 

Currently one of the most popular male artistes locally, his unique name caught the attention of many when he first went on Star Search in 2010. Although his official TV debut was in 2011 after coming in 4th in Star Search 2010, he cameoed in several different dramas from 2005 for both channel 5 and channel 8.

What is your favourite memory in NYP and why? 

I guess that would be the atrium? It’s where me and my friends would always meet up. We would set a time to meet and go to lectures together.  And the shopping arcade just above. We like to get stationaries there and they even have clothing there. It’s probably one of the more happening areas where we were normally at.

What do you like to do on your off days? 

Because of my busy schedule, I tend to pack myself with a lot of errands whenever I have off days. But if I’m totally free, I love to go for long runs, hit the gym, catch a movie and have coffee with my friends.

What are the 3 most important things in your life and why? 

I think one of them is family, because whenever you meet with any failure, regardless of whether what you are doing is right or wrong, they will always be behind to support you and will never leave you.  The second one will be friendship and love. I’ll put these two together because love can be found in friendship as well. And as human beings, we need a lot of love to keep ourselves motivated.

And lastly, dreams. We all need to have dreams in order to keep ourselves busy and give ourselves something to look forward to,  a very crucial part in life

Out of all the characters you’ve played so far, which is your favourite character and why?

I think by far my favourite character, also the one that got the most comments, would be Zhang Yan from The Journey: Tumultuous Times Zhang Yan is a character that was living in the 50s and his background was a lawyer and a politician from back in that era. Being a villain because he was empowered with a lot of authority made him a very hard role for me and it was beyond my imagination. So to be able to receive that role I felt that it was a very good challenge. No matter how well or bad I did, I still think that it’s a role that I will never forget.

Are there any characters you hope to play in the future?

I hope to challenge myself in terms of something more action packed. Not the kung fu fighting kind, but the S.W.A.T kind. Like hanging in mid-air and climbing down from the roof top. It’s quite hard to film this kind of drama and so if there is ever such an opportunity, I’d love to try it.

What was the most memorable thing your fans have ever done for you? 

They came to Penang when I was filming my first overseas drama in Malaysia and they were there with me for a few days. Just that kind of simple gesture, I think that was the most memorable one. And of course also the photo montage and photo books, handmade with photos from the first day of my competition at Star Search 2010, like photo memories from then till now. These kind of little gestures is very touching to me.

What do you think is the most important qualities that an actor like you must possess? 

I think the most important quality an actor must possess is passion. You need to have passion in order to stay in this line because without passion, whatever you are doing is just dragging your feet to complete it. But with passion, you will want to excel and be better, to break your own boundaries to achieve a better result. So I think passion is still very important.

Do you have any words of advice for the students or aspiring actors and actresses? 

My only advice, which was something I’ve encountered before, is to never be scared or worried to try something new. Because when I was back in school, I was doing part time acting and modelling but I was always afraid of trying things because I was scared of failure, so I would always reject. And because of that, I let some great opportunities pass by me. 

Just do it so that you will never regret the things that you do. Just try and you’ll never know what will happen next. If you like something, be it if its in the entertainment industry or any other industry, just take your first step and try. We are still young so it’s ok if you fail. If you fail, just pick yourself up and move on. 

What do you think made you who you are today? 

I guess it’s the stubbornness in me. I don’t like to see myself fail too many times. I don’t like to go on a 

slump in my life so I will always try to push myself and even though I know that it is something difficult or there’s an obstacle in front of me. I guess because I’m so stubborn to have the feeling of success so I guess that what made me who I am today.

Do you have any plans to venture overseas or to work in a differently part of the entertainment industry? 

I’m definitely open to the idea if there is such an opportunity. I would love to give it a try. After all, there is so much different perspectives to acting and if there are opportunities to venture out to work with other artists from other regions, it would be a great new experience.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your journey to becoming one of the most popular male artistes?

The biggest obstacle would be the relationships between humans? It’s like PR, because in the entertainment industry, I learn to be more careful with the things I say, and how to juggle between the people around me, my surroundings, to be more aware of the situation and knowing when is the right time to speak. All these might affect a lot of things. For example, if I was being ignorant and say anything I wanted, it can cost me a lot. This is one of the challenges that I’m still facing because it is never ending, and I’m still learning how to communicate with people better.

What is it like working with Flapper in some of your productions?

Flapper the dog is one of the most amazing dogs, because it’s my first time working with a dog that can act, and it is a very lovely and very obedient dog. One of the challenges is that we have to give the priority to the dog first because once they get drained of their energy they will just sit there and not listen to your instructions anymore. So the only problem is that we have to give them priority, so we finish their scenes first before we do ours. Other than that he’s actually very obedient and reacts accordingly to our instructions, so it makes it very easy for us to film.


An exclusive interview with Romeo Tan

Starring: Romeo Tan

Filmed by: Heidi Chan

Edited by: Tan Li Yan

Music: Everyday

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