Tomboyish Rui En on her new girly role: 'I really don't like it personally'

Rui En plays Chen Huahua in Mediacorp's new drama Mister Flower.
PHOTO: RBKD

Rui En has been acting for 18 years and has played a multitude of characters. And in her new Chinese drama Mister Flower, she had to portray three very different roles.

But doing that is simply like putting on different clothes, the 39-year old said in a recent interview with AsiaOne to promote the show.

"It becomes second nature, having to act different roles. Even if I did three of the roles in one day, it is not as hard as it sounds", she said. Nevertheless, one of them still posed a small challenge.

In Mister Flower, Rui En plays Chen Huahua, a supernatural being who is sent by a deity — her boss Da Shen (Liu Lingling) — to possess people with flawed behaviours to teach them a lesson. When that happens, the latter's soul will enter Huahua's body. 

The possessions happen on Chen Datian (played by Shane Pow), who grew up with a deep-rooted hatred for women, as well as the very girly and judgemental Chen Xueli (Hong Ling).

Playing Datian was almost too easy for Rui En. "For me to do a tomboyish character was not a stretch because I am not the most lady-like female", she recalled.

However, when it comes to playing Xueli, she revealed that it was her "biggest challenge" throughout the series. 

"Hong Ling's character was a girly, feminine, and vain role that is very foreign to me. I really don't like it personally", she explained.

 "When you don't like a role personally, how do you go and have empathy with this person?" she added. 

PHOTO: RBKD

Her possessions of different people also meant numerous costume changes for Rui En.

Being patient while changing her make-up and clothes in between scenes was difficult for her and the rest of the cast as well.

"A lot of the time, they had to wait because I had to change my image, my make-up, and my hair, so there was a lot of waiting involved," she explained.

Her seemingly intimate scene with Datian's girlfriend Zou Xiaoman (Julie Tan) seen in the drama trailer was, however, "a lot of fun" for Rui En. She reiterated her "tomboyish" personality and recalled how filming the scene was not in the slightest bit awkward because "there was no very explicit intimacy".

From left: Hong Ling as girly Chen Xueli and Rui En as Chen Huahua with Chen Datian's soul within. PHOTO: Mediacorp

"We suddenly broke into giggles, collapsing into a giggle fit. We couldn't hold it together, not because of the intimacy, but because we are so tired," she laughed as she recalled the incident. 

Apart from the drama series, she is also currently hosting meWATCH's new variety show Dare To Try, where she experiences the lifestyle of guest celebrities like Kym Ng.

She admitted feeling a little "rusty" and "unfamiliar" initially, since she last hosted a variety show more than 10 years ago. Nevertheless, she was excited for such an opportunity to meet with other celebrities, who are mostly her close friends.

"Isn't it the best job in the world to get paid to have fun with your close friends?" she quipped. 

The 20-episode Mister Flower will be available on demand for free on meWATCH from Dec 28, and will premiere on Channel 8 on Dec 31 at 9pm.

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Posted by Mediacorp Channel 8 on Friday, December 18, 2020

qistina@asiaone.com