Actress Lynn Poh opens up about failed marriage: 'It's been difficult'

Remember blur queen Zhu Zhu from popular sitcom Don't Worry Be Happy (1997), or bikini-clad yuppie Haze in As You Like It (1999), one of Singapore's first TV series that explored sex and one-night stands?

Lynn Poh, the local actress who played these memorable Channel 8 characters and who was also known for hosting variety show City Beat circa 2000 alongside Jeff Wang, Sharon Au and Lina Ng, is back on our small screens after a long hiatus.

Her last Channel 8 series was 2010's Your Hand In Mine.

Poh, 39, will be playing a supporting role in upcoming Channel 8 crime drama The Truth Seekers as Yamamoto Akizuki, the devoted Japanese wife of investigator Bai Qingxiong (Chen Hanwei) and mum to teenager Xue Er (Somaline Ang).

The Truth Seekers, also starring Rebecca Lim and Desmond Tan as Bai's colleagues, premieres on April 28 at 9pm.

"I was drawn to the script and I like my character a lot," Poh told The New Paper over the phone last Friday.

"Yamamoto is a traditional Japanese woman who'd do anything to protect her husband and family, to the point that she'd even sacrifice herself.

"That was something that really resonated with me. It's strange but I feel that the roles I've played have mirrored the different stages of my real life.

"I feel that Yamamoto's experiences reflect my recent marital troubles. Or when I was filming As You Like It in the late 90s, I was exactly like Haze. I was young, single and badly wanted to get myself married off by 30."

Unfortunately, Poh's life has not exactly been a smooth ride.

She tied the knot in 2011 to bank executive Ryan Gwee in a star-studded, glitzy wedding banquet at St Regis Singapore.

And marriage was the main reason she cut back on acting then.

Lynn Poh married bank executive Ryan Gwee in 2011. Photo: The New Paper


"It was my plan to settle down," said Poh, who is also a part-time property agent.

She and Mr Gwee "divorced two to three years ago". They have no children.

"The past few years have been very difficult and challenging for me, but I'm getting better," she said.

Like any human being with feelings, I went into marriage with all my heart. I worked so hard to keep it going and of course, I had hoped that it would last."

Poh said she has "stayed single" ever since her divorce and "is not actively looking for love".

"To be honest, I'm a bit afraid of getting into a new relationship. Maybe it'll take some time. Right now, my aim is simple: I just want to make myself feel happier every day."

Poh was offered the role in The Truth Seekers and to her own surprise, getting back into the groove was "quite easy".

"Most of my scenes were with Hanwei and he is a great partner, that certainly helped," she said.

When asked if she planned to return to acting full-time, Poh said: "I'll have to see if there is the opportunity. In the meantime, I'll just go with the flow."

But she doesn't miss the trappings of showbiz.

She said: "I keep a low profile and I'm not proactive in contacting my old colleagues from the TV industry. I'm not really close to a lot of them.

"I think I'd be happier if I hear comments from viewers like, 'She has done a good job despite being away from the acting scene for so long.'

"It would show that my hard work has paid off."

This article was first published on April 26, 2016.
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