Growing Up with Rui En

Growing Up with Rui En

The Mighty Girl

Since we last spoke to her in 2003, Rui En seems to have become a much happier person, despite having to don a bridal gown and getting drenched by the rain.

UrbanWire caught up with the rising local star at the Singapore Zoological Gardens during filming for upcoming Channel 8 drama You Are The One, and found that Rui En appears to have transformed from a young girl full of passion and angst, to a mature young woman focused on her career.

Growing Up

Said the 23-year-old, who was resting while waiting for her shoot to commence, “It’s so much better to be able to focus one thing.

Because, at that point [2003, being a student and artiste], it was just crazy. When you are able to just focus on your work… you will be able to concentrate.”

The Banking and Finance graduate from Nanyang Technological University is grateful she doesn’t have to balance work with school anymore.

“I have made a transition from being a little kid into a working woman. Since I graduated, it’s [been] a big change, from [being] a student to having so many possibilities and options,” Rui En recounts.

“Life is just different when you have obligations! I have [become] a little bit more mature since the past.”

Obligations indeed, as Rui En is bound by a 10-year contract with HYPE Records.

What’s Rui En Been Up To?

Bursting onto the media scene in 2001 as the “running” girl in the Singtel Pod ad, Rui En has since taken on numerous roles; from acting as independent outspoken deejay in Chemistry, releasing her debut Mandarin album Rui En ver.01 in 2002, to hosting the newest season of comeback variety prank show Gotcha! on Channel 5.

Having tried her hand at different professions, Rui En’s choice of the one she enjoys most is: “Singing!” the zesty star says without hesitation. But she also welcomes change.

“Sometimes it’s good to try something new, like hosting on Gotcha! I’ve never hosted before, but singing is still definitely what I want to do.”

But with no news about the release of a possible 2nd album anytime soon, questions from eager fans have been sprouting on Rui Bu Ke Dang, Rui En’s online fan community.

“It’s not done, not done yet,” said an apologetic Rui En. “I keep having to telling my fans, ‘Yeah we’re working it’, but we’re definitely going to do it.

I think my fans must be so annoyed with me, but I know they have been waiting for a long time and I hope all these TV shows will at least help to make them happy for this period of time,” giggled Rui En.

The Girl and Her Roles

Depending on whether you’ve turn to Channel 5 or 8, you’ll catch her as wife of popular and dishy Bollywood actor, Jas Arora’s character in Achar! 2 or My Mighty In-Laws, which ends its run on Dec 14, as independent and over-confident Yingying.

Does Rui En feel the heat from the comparisons with Steph Song who originally played the role of Jas’s onscreen wife in the first season?

“Oh gosh, a lot. People are just going to compare us no matter what, like they’re going to say, ‘Yeah she this, she’s that’.

I wanted to approach it like a new role… I didn’t want these expectations [to] get to me.

The lucky thing is I didn’t watch much of Achar! the first season, so when the producers offered the role and asked me whether I wanted to take the role as it is from the last season, I said no because I just wanted to do it fresh,” said an adamant Rui En.

“I wouldn’t want to do a ’muo fang’ [impersonation] of Steph Song and I wouldn’t want to be influenced in that way.

As for comments and comparisons, I think as artistes we are compared all the time.”

However, Rui En did express some concerns when she was approached with the offer.

“I was a bit hesitant, not for these reasons [filling Song’s shoes], [but] because I was afraid it might not be suitable in the sense that the role was a lot more mature than all the other roles I ever played.

I was a little worried that I might not be able to carry it off, but I thought it would be a good challenge to play someone who is 10 years older than me.”

Gaining Recognition

Despite not winning the Best Newcomer Award during this year’s Star Awards, UrbanWire found out from Rui En that she was not overly confident of her chances of going beyond her Best Newcomer Award nomination in this year’s Star Awards. “…all the other nominees have had lot more exposure than me this year.

It’s only right now that both my shows are out, before this it was quite quiet. Awards to me are not a big deal; it’s not crucial to my career.

I don’t feel that they are very crucial and important. But of course, it’s satisfying to know that you have had recognition for your efforts.”

Whether or not she won the award, Rui En still remains an idol to her fans.

Even Singapore Idol runner-up Sylvester Sim declared Rui En as his idol in an interview on Channel NewsAsia’s Primetime Morning.

“That’s really nice of [Sylvester]! I haven’t met him actually, I will thank him, and he’s very sweet.

Ahh, now I’m very scared of his fans!” joked Rui En, who had ruffled a few feathers in Taiwan with fans of Jay Chou, who had penned a song in her album and featured her in a few of his videos. “I’m going to get my car bullet-proofed!”

Catch Rui En on Achar! every Thursday night, 8.30pm on Channel 5.


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