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MediaCorp veterans blast young actors for being rude

MediaCorp actors Chen Hanwei and Zoe Tay claimed some younger actors do not accord their seniors the respect they deserve. -TNP
Mervin Tay, Rennie Whang and Judith Tan

Sat, Jun 15, 2013
The New Paper

SINGAPORE - Are young actors rude and disrespectful towards veteran stars?

In separate interviews with Lianhe Wanbao on Wednesday, MediaCorp actors Chen Hanwei and Zoe Tay claimed some younger actors do not accord their seniors the respect they deserve.

Chen, 43, who has been in the industry for 25 years, singled out someone who was cold towards veteran actors and did not even bother to greet them.

"Respect is very important, otherwise other people won't respect you either," he told the evening daily.

However, he declined to identify the actor by name or gender.

Tay, 45, who has also been in showbiz for 25 years, also did not name any actor, but told Lianhe Wanbao it was very much a matter of the individual's upbringing.

When contacted by The New Paper, actress May Phua, 36, said that as a young artiste in the late 1990s, she not only acknowledged the veterans but also those younger, "as long as they had helped me, or simply smiled at me".

"As long as there was eye contact, I would try my best to acknowledge their presence, their efforts and time spent with me by smiling or a simple nod. It's manners... If we incorporate that into our lives, it becomes part of us," said Phua, who was talent-spotted in The New Paper New Face 1995.

Three up-and-coming artistes contacted by TNP declined to speculate on who they thought Chen and Tay might have been referring to.

But Ian Fang, 24, who plays Tay's nephew in the upcoming Channel 8 drama The Dream Makers, said there was indeed such poor behaviour among his peers.

"Some actors become arrogant just because they've won an award," he said, but declined to say if he was referring to an individual or several people.

Fang, who has been in the industry for two years and just won Best Newcomer at April's Star Awards, said: "For me, winning an award is great. I was really happy and partied really hard the night I won, but it was back to work the next day. That's the reality of my job. There's nothing to be arrogant about."

He said he was mindful of being respectful and behaving well in front of veteran actors. In fact, he was very nervous before filming his scenes with Tay in The Dream Makers.

"The first day we met, I was so happy just to shake her hand and call her Ah Jie," he said, laughing.

The younger artistes usually refer to Tay as Ah Jie, which means older sister in Mandarin, out of respect for her status as the "Queen of Caldecott Hill".

"For me, especially in this line, we youngsters should show respect to veterans... How to memorise your lines, pronounce your words - you cannot just do it yourself. You need to learn from others who will teach you, and (Tay) and (Chen) will do that," he said.

MediaCorp actress Jayley Woo, 21, also felt it was important to respect senior actors.

Woo, who worked with Chen in the horror movie Ghost Child (2013) and who will play Tay's daughter in the telemovie, The Recipe (to be broadcast on Channel 8 in September), said: "As newcomers, it's the most basic form of respect to people more senior than us."

"I learnt a lot from these experienced veterans. I don't see why we should be rude or cold towards them."

Edwin Goh, 18, who played Tay's son in the 2010 film Love Cuts, said while he didn't know who Tay and Chen were referring to, he wondered whether it could have been newcomers who did not dare to say hello to the veterans.

"Speaking for myself, the first time I worked in MediaCorp, I didn't dare to chat with people at (Chen's) level. But greeting is a basic courtesy that everyone should do," Goh said.

Irene Ang, the CEO of Fly Entertainment, which manages several young artistes, said: "Respect is something that must be earned. It does not come automatically. It is not a natural entitlement.

"Having said that, if you are a young person new in a profession, you need to accord respect to someone who has earned his stripes."MediaCorp veterans blast young actors for being rude

mervtay@sph.com.sg

- Additional reporting by Rennie Whang and Judith Tan


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