updated 26 Jul 2012, 09:25
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Tue, Jul 03, 2012
The New Paper
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No real-life Wedding Diary for them
by Tan Kee Yun

SINGAPORE - Many might think that the saccharine sweet, light-hearted touches in romantic comedy The Wedding Diary II are like a slap in the face for actor-singer A-niu and veteran actor-deejay Marcus Chin. After all, both men made depressing announcements a few months ago.

A-niu admitted he had been divorced for a couple of years, while Chin called it quits with his girlfriend, the mother of his two-year-old daughter.

With such a weight on their shoulders, how does one expect this downcast duo to depict scenes of domestic bliss?

Well, they say they are doing all right. And they are open to the idea of finding new love. The sequel to this year's surprise box-office hit The Wedding Diary - slated for a February 2013 release - sees Malaysian star A-niu's geeky engineer character moving into the next phase of his life with wife (Hong Kong actress Elanne Kwong) and turning into a stay-at-home dad.

His onscreen father, played by Chin, becomes a grandpa.

They spoke to The New Paper last Saturday at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, where the filming commencement ceremony for the Singapore-Malaysia co-production was held.

Chin, 59, grinned as he reassured us that he was more than just fine.

"I'm enjoying my newfound singlehood," he said.

"In March, I told the press that I was keen on patching (up and getting) back with my girlfriend (27-year-old Eileen Cheah), but right now, I'm happy with the way things are. I'm not hoping for a reunion any more... We might be separate, but we remain very good friends.

"Our current situation is an ideal one."

Chin, who had earlier admitted that the huge age gap was a factor in his split with Cheah, is still in the midst of a legal divorce battle with his estranged wife, Ms Murong Ying.

His daughter stays with Cheah in Johor Baru and he goes there often to visit them.

"I plan to relocate to Johor Baru after settling some of my work commitments in August," he said. "My daughter is starting pre-school soon and I want to be as physically close to her as possible."

A-niu, 35, whose real name is Tan Kheng Seong, told TNP that his evasiveness and reticence about his divorce stemmed from the fact that for a long time, he "could not accept" that he was divorced.

"Those two years were really difficult for me," said the father of one sombrely.

His daughter, 11, is looked after primarily by his mum.

"It was hard for me to accept my divorce, let alone talk about it, even to my closest buddies... Bringing it up just made me feel even more miserable.

"Initially, I did try to reconcile (with my ex-wife), but it didn't work."

Filming an upbeat, joyful movie like The Wedding Diary II "would definitely help to take my mind off some of these personal problems," he added.

Their failed relationships have not dented the two actors' hopes of finding new romance.

"Honestly, after what happened with my previous marriage, I'm a little scared," said A-niu.

"But it does get lonely at times (being single). And I don't think I should totally rule out love, just because I failed once.

"I guess I'll take things slowly and let nature take its course."

Chin, too, feels that "there is no way human beings can do without love".

However, he has his reservations about presumed happy, fairy tale endings in marriages.

"I like being in love, but personally, I think marriage is quite a terrifying thing," he said candidly.

"It's basically about two people forcing themselves to stay together forever. You can be lovey-dovey for a year, two years, three years, four years, but to be like that forever... How is that possible?"

With a chuckle, he jokingly added that he is "probably not fated to find a wife".

He added: "Look at the cast of The Wedding Diary II, almost everyone's character is attached to somebody else, except mine."

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This article was first published in The New Paper.

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