'You don't know if they want to be friends': Aileen Tan doesn't want to be 'a nuisance' to younger actors using handphone on set

(Right) Aileen Tan with the cast of Fix My Life.
PHOTO: Instagram/Aileen Tan

Conversations about young people are often in tandem with their constant use of handphones.

And according to local actress Aileen Tan, this is no exception in show business as well.

Aileen was speaking to AsiaOne during a media event promoting Mediacorp's upcoming television series Fix My Life, which stars James Seah, Hong Ling, Peter Yu and Cavin Soh among others.

During the press conference, the veteran actors teased James over his regular use of his handphone during filming, to which he replied that he only used it during pockets of free time.

This practice, however, is not just limited to James. 

Aileen, 56, explained that many young actors typically use their phone on set, which makes it hard to forge friendships as she doesn't want to "be a nuisance" by talking to them when they do so.

"You really don't know what they think."

She added jokingly: "They might even take out their phone to avoid talking to you because they don't like you – you really wouldn't know!"

She noted the stark contrast between the younger generation of actors and her colleagues of her time, stating that coworkers would "gather into a room and play and chit-chat" in the past, prior to the era of social media.

'Good friendships are hard to come by'

Aileen has maintained her friendships with other celebrities from decades ago, having recently met with Yvonne Lim and her family at a Lunar New Year gathering.

The meeting was posted on Aileen's Instagram on Feb 1, with actresses Huang Biren, Phyllis Quek, Carole Lin and Candyce Toh attending as well.

She also met up with former actresses including Tang Miaoling and Cherie Lim, all of whom she had befriended back when Mediacorp was still known as Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).

Recalling her early days of friendships with them, she said she had never really worked with them before on any project. 

How the women even became friends baffles her as well, one which she attributes to just "fate".

Alas, Aileen admitted that their younger days were mostly occupied with pursuing career opportunities and carrying out family responsibilities, which kept them busy and made it hard to meet up with friends.

Read Also
How did Zoe Tay and Pan Lingling become friends? 'Beautiful' wedding rings
How did Zoe Tay and Pan Lingling become friends? 'Beautiful' wedding rings

"As a woman, there's a time when you have to sacrifice, especially when you get married and have children; you have to focus on your family so you don't get in touch [with friends] so much."

But as time passed, the value of retaining friendships at an older age became more valuable for her, especially after the Covid-19 circuit breaker in 2020 when no one was allowed to meet up with their friends.

"Now that we are getting older and all the kids have grown up, we try to get together as much as we can because we know life is short."

"Good friendships are hard to come by, and you have to appreciate that," she said. 

Fix My Life follows Fan Shede (James Seah), also known as the "Master of Decluttering", and Yuan Manying (Hong Ling), who start a business to help customers reorganise their lives and declutter their homes.

It will be available on demand for free on meWATCH from Feb 13, and will premiere on Feb 15 at 9pm on Channel 8.

ALSO READ: 'I got scolded even just sitting there': Zoe Tay recalls why she was 'marked' during filming and reprimanded at every opportunity


No part of this article can be reproduced without permission from AsiaOne.