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10 years on and the magic is very alive for Desmond

Mediacorp artiste Desmond Tan (left) has been acting for 10 years in Singapore.

Mediacorp artiste Desmond Tan (left) has been acting for 10 years in Singapore.


During his recent visit to Ngee Ann Polytechnic, MediaCorp artiste Desmond Tan talks about new inspirations that keep him excited about acting.

By Darienne Sim

Living the experiences of the various characters he plays remains a magical magnet that keeps local star Desmond Tan, 31, glued to his career.

Tan, who was at Ngee Ann Polytechnic on Oct 25 to promote Korean makeup and skincare label Etude House’s new Dear My Matte Tinting Lips-Talk range, met his fans at LT73A, and shared with npTribune insights into what makes him tick.

Discovered through local reality programme Star Search in 2007, Tan still finds acting as “magical” as it has ever been.

He says: “It allows me to live [as] who I am, and to live someone else’s life, and to breathe under someone else’s skin. That’s something I can’t quite explain. It’s a magical experience.”

To improve his performance, Tan finds inspiration not only in Hollywood actors like Christian Bale, but Asian ones as well. In fact, while raving about the 2016 Chinese drama, Hao Xian Sheng (To Be A Better Man), Tan says that Chinese dramas are not to be ignored.

“It kind of blew my mind. [The] Chinese [industry] is doing quality pieces, and to the extent that I would like to go to Shanghai after I watch that show. And the performance by Sun Hong Lei is just incredible.”

He also finds it useful to watch documentaries, and observe people on the street, as he feels that there is a difference in “watching a real person do a real thing” and learning from them, as opposed to studying a fellow actor’s performance.

Almost a veteran in local television, Tan plans to expand his reach overseas. He recently finished filming for an upcoming Taiwanese film, A Simple Wedding, slated for release next year.

“For the last nine years in my career, I’ve been working on local projects. And you come across these people again and again. But when I work with the Taiwanese team, I am surprised by their performance, their delivery, and that allows me to broaden my spectrum for performance,” he says.

Tan says that while he isn’t sure how his life may be in 10 years, he is confident that he will continue to act, and urges Singaporeans to support local television.

He says: “No one else speaks Singlish but us.”

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