updated 8 May 2012, 18:16
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Wed, Apr 18, 2012
The New Paper
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Tsunami made her tie knot
by Tan Kee Yun

When June Tsai announced her decision to marry fellow television actor Li Yi, her gal pals objected to their union more vehemently than her parents.

The 36-year-old veteran Taiwanese actress - who has played prominent roles in the popular long-running series Love and The Unforgettable Memory and is one of Hokkien soap opera's most recognisable A-list faces - is eight years older than her husband Li.

The couple's age difference was a sore point for Tsai's close friends.

"Initially, they weren't supportive because they felt he was too young for me," recalled Tsai, who is better known to audiences as as Liu Yue.

"Thankfully, when I brought him along to meet them during our gatherings, he managed to impress them greatly.

"He displayed maturity and a lot of financial wisdom."

Dated less than a year

After dating for less than a year, the celebrity pair tied the knot last June, at a star-studded banquet reception that included guests such as singer Jolin Tsai, actresses Ariel Lin and Chen Meifeng.

Tsai was in town over the weekend with Taiwanese actor Liang Che to grace a charity walkathon organised by SingTel mio TV.

Both stars can currently be seen in the new drama series Way Back Into Love, showing at 7pm on weekdays, on Jia Le Channel (SingTel mio TV Ch 88).

The pixie-faced actress revealed that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last March was a deciding factor in her whirlwind marriage.

"Before Li Yi, my previous relationships lasted three to four years on average. But I've reached a stage in my life where I don't want to waste any more time," she explained.

"I was watching TV and the images of the (Japan) tsunami were really depressing...That led me to think, what if something happens to Li Yi or me the next day? We should just live in the moment.

"Besides, he shares my faith, which is very important. None of my previous boyfriends would go to church with me."

Tsai and her husband are devout Christians.

While Li is just kick-starting his career in the Hokkien soap opera industry, Tsai has a lot of experience in her decade-long acting career.

She has seen it all - when it comes to interacting with fans from different parts of Asia.

"The aunty fans from Singapore and Malaysia are really warm and passionate, even more so than fans back in Taiwan," she remarked with a laugh.

"They get really immersed in the drama's storyline and the development of the characters.

"For (the series) Love, some would tell me that they really wanted my character Tang Kexin to be with Wang Wenqiang (played by actor Li Zheng-Yin), but alas, he died towards the end of the show."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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