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Tue, May 05, 2009
The New Paper
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I can't fall for a girl who annoys me
by Charlene Chua

THEY became a couple in reel life.

And idol drama fans wish Taiwanese stars Matthew Lin and Chen Qiao En would also become a couple in real life.

Matthew and Qiao En first paired up in the 2005 idol drama, The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog.

Their on-screen chemistry made the show a hit and it became the most watched Taiwanese drama of all time.

So will life imitate art?

In a phone interview with The New Paper recently, Matthew, 29, said of his pretty co-star: 'She likes to make me angry. How am I supposed to fall for a girl who always frustrates me like that?'

He revealed that he and Qiao En 'became extremely close' through the hardship that they had to 'endure together' while filming The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog.

In the series, Matthew plays a rich tyrant who gets involved in an accident on his wedding day. Qiao En's character, who thinks she caused the accident, brings Matthew's amnesiac character home and both of them eventually fall in love.

The many filming locations and 5am morning calls wore both of them down physically and mentally - they pulled through only with each other's support.

Still, the pair's on-screen sparks have got fans swooning.

There are scores of forums dedicated to discussing their sizzling chemistry, with fans dubbing them the 'dream combination' and 'most perfect lovers'.

Wrote adrienne83 on the Asian Fanatics Forum: 'Their chemistry in a word... amazing! Whoever thought of pairing these two up is definitely a genius.'

Added another netizen named ramen on the same thread: 'I think they look really good together. Hopefully, they'll be a real couple soon.'

Best friend

Matthew attributes it to the tight bond he shares with Qiao En, whom he has known for seven years.

But because of that familiarity, he says they know each other too well to fall in love.

He said: 'She would often retort boldly to something I say when we're having a conversation.

'She annoys me like how a child would annoy his or her parents.'

Still, when asked about her redeeming qualities, he quickly said that the way she puts 'her heart and soul' into her acting is something that he admires about her.

And although he has never had that 'girlfriend feeling' with her, he still calls her his 'best friend'.

The success of The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog was beaten only by last year's You're My Destiny - in the latter, a couple must face the consequences of their one mistaken night of passion together.

Coincidentally, Qiao En was also the female lead for the series.

But Matthew turned down a chance to be the show's male lead, a role that eventually went to Ethan Ruan. All he would say is that it was 'my management's decision'.

He admitted that after the series was aired, 'many people' had speculated that the show's ratings would have been even higher if he had acted opposite Qiao En. He said: 'I don't totally agree with them. I think Ethan and I would have brought very different things to the drama.

'And who knows? It could have been a disaster if I had played that role,' he said, with a laugh.

But Matthew is ready to move on from pairing up with Qiao En on-screen?

In his latest series, Knock Knock Loving You, he will cosy up to Taiwanese model Wu Ya Xin.

In the series, currently showing on (Hong Kong/Taiwan) Mei Ah Drama On-demand (SingTel mio TV Ch 314), Matthew plays a wealthy businessman who is secretly in love with Ya Xin's character and finds it tough to express his feelings for her.

'As I am now of an age where I can call myself a man, playing a mature role really suits me.

'It's something that all those infantile young actors will not have a clue about,' he said, with a chuckle.

This article was first published in The New Paper

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