SINGAPORE - Actor Terence Cao may not have a squeaky-clean reputation in local showbiz.
But even he was appalled when a woman he was meeting for the first time used a rude word on him.
She told him repeatedly: "You are a b******. My whole family hates you!"
The 46-year-old told The New Paper: "She is a friend of a friend and I thought the first thing we should do is to introduce ourselves to each other.
"But before I had the chance to do that, she started cursing (at) me. I was stunned, but I listened on calmly to what she had to say." Cao made headlines in 2012 for fathering a child during a one-night stand.
It turned out that the woman had watched the Channel 8 blockbuster drama, The Journey: A Voyage, in which Cao played villian Zhang Guangda.
His character was a scoundrel who abused his wife and poisoned his family.
The series, which ended its run in January, also starred Li Nanxing, Elvin Ng, Joanne Peh and Jeanette Aw.
Cao was speaking at the press conference for police drama C.L.I.F. 3.
He added: "I get scolded by random people on the streets as well.
"I don't feel affected. Instead, I feel happy because it means that many people are following the drama," he said.
It is also Cao's convincing portrayal of Zhang that earned him a Best Actor nomination in next month's Star Awards.
However, the same role may have led to him missing out on nominations for the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artiste award.
This award is determined by public voting and Zhang is not exactly Singapore's most popular TV character.
Cao said: "It doesn't matter to me which category I am nominated for, be it Best Actor or Most Popular Actor. Most importantly, people remember me because of that role (Zhang) and I am thankful for that."
He added that he came up with the idea for Zhang's character, which he said was "unforgettable" and different from his other roles.
Also vying for the coveted Best Actor award are Pierre Png, Bryan Wong, Qi Yuwu and Chen Hanwei.
Cao said: "The other nominees can act very well, too. I know that there is a panel of judges who will choose the winner and it depends on their tastes and preferences, so I cannot be sure who will win."
Guys and Guns
In C.L.I.F. 3, he plays another baddie who engages in illegal activities.
Even though he did not act in the first two seasons, Cao said: "I've always loved police shows and movies. It's a guy thing, being able to hold the guns and participate in fight scenes."
Initially, he was worried that his latest villainous role would be overshadowed by his earlier role as Zhang.
"I didn't think it was difficult to break out of Zhang's character, but this is also a baddie role and I didn't want people to find them too similar," he said.
"I'll not reveal too much but I promise viewers will see a different side of me this time."
The third series of popular police drama, C.L.I.F., premieres on April 9 at 9pm on Channel 8.
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