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Thu, Jan 13, 2011
The New Paper
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Kit's not into kids
by Tan Kee Yun

She put glamour on the back-burner to play a dowdy, long-suffering housewife mum stuck in a loveless marriage with a cheating husband.

But in real life, local singer-actress Kit Chan is far removed from the sad, lonely existence of her character in the new Hong Kong film Lover's Discourse.

The romantic urban drama, which features an ensemble cast including Eason Chan, Karena Lam and Eddie Peng, opens here on Thursday.

It is Chan's big-screen debut.

While the 38-year-old is no stranger to acting, having starred in television (she was a cast member of TVB's hit medical series Healing Hands II in 2000) and also ventured into theatre (musicals Snow Wolf Lake, Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress, and last year's December Rain), this was one role where she could not apply any of her life experiences.

In reality, Chan is unmarried but happily attached to her Singaporean boyfriend of 10 years.

In 2004, she left the entertainment scene to follow him to Boston, where he was relocated briefly for work. Her boyfriend is a senior investment consultant.

Six-year hiatus

During her six-year hiatus, he wholeheartedly supported her decisions to do a stint in corporate public relations and to return to school.

She completed her degree at Lasalle College of the Arts with first-class honours.

While promoting Lover's Discourse with Hong Kong directors Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan yesterday, the
singer told The New Paper that although she and her boyfriend aren't engaged, "marriage is on the cards".

"That card hasn't been dealt yet," she said coyly. "I'm not someone who rules out marriage for good.

"Then again, I won't marry just for the sake of getting married... It should come naturally; I believe I'd know when the timing is right."

But she declined to reveal if he has proposed.

Her boyfriend, who is in his 40s, is back in Singapore for good.

In a rare tell-all interview with Hong Kong's Mingpao Weekly in May 2009, she revealed details of her first encounter with him.

"We knew each other on a plane, during a long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Singapore," she told the magazine.

"He was sitting next to me and, oddly enough, we shared such good chemistry we chatted for eight whole hours.

"Before we touched down, he asked for my contact number. Normally, in such situations, I'd just give my manager's number. But after some thought, I decided to give him mine."

The rest, as they say, is history.

Chan added during the interview that she was particularly attracted to her boyfriend's "sense of filial piety".

Not keen on kids

She admitted to The New Paper that the notion of having children was definitely less appealing than tying the knot.

"Kids are not a must-have for me," she said firmly.

"I think it's quite silly for women to set targets, such as when to get married or when to give birth.

"A lot of women, such as the mother I play in Lover's Discourse, shelve their dreams after marriage and, before they know it, their children become the centre of their universe."

She's irritated with playing the ingenue

Chan's fiery, independent streak is displayed when it comes to work, too.

She relished the opportunity to play an aunty for the first time.

"I view acting as a form of escape. It's a chance for me to turn into somebody I'd never be," she said, adding that taking on her auntie role was "a huge relief".

"Frankly, I was getting quite irritated with always playing the ingenue," said Chan.

"Due to my soprano voice, in theatre, I never fail to get the sweetie-pie, princess-type roles."

Portraying a repressed mother in Lover's Discourse was a welcome change for her.

"I like contained characters like these. They have such a complex, inner life," said Chan.

"It gives me more room to go beyond the pages of the script, to create an identity for them."

But there is one way in which she and her character are similar.

In the film, her best friend's teenage son has a crush on her, but she rejects him when he expresses his affection.

Similarly, falling for someone 20 years younger is not likely to happen to Chan.

She said that since her younger days, she has "always preferred older men".

Added Chan: "I think the gap between 18 and 38 makes the pair really incompatible. The guy is still a kid. But if he's 28 and she's 48, maybe it would still work out."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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