Hong Kong actor Francis Ng does not mollycoddle only son

Actor Francis Ng and his son Feynman, aged five, in Where Are We Going? Dad. -- PHOTO: STARHUB
Actor Francis Ng and his son Feynman, aged five, in Where Are We Going? Dad. -- PHOTO: STARHUB

Hong Kong actor Francis Ng admits that he has a strange parenting style when it comes to handling his five-year-old son Feynman.

Not one to mollycoddle his only child, he can be seen making fun of Feynman on the hit China parenting reality TV show Where Are We Going? Dad.

"I'm not a good cop or a bad cop. I constantly poke holes in my son's confidence in order to make him stronger," he says in an e-mail interview to promote his horror movie The House That Never Dies, which airs tonight on Thrill (StarHub TV Channel 618 and SingTel mio TV Channel 415). 

"I believe he should go through a bit of hardship and strict education. He should be disciplined if he makes a mistake. Only then will he mature and become independent," adds Ng, 52, who jokingly calls his son a "Baby Girl" as Feynman is often mistaken for a girl on the show because of his pretty boy looks.

The child will then protest goodnaturedly and declare that he is a boy.

Ng's wish to toughen up his son was the reason he signed up for Season 2 of the travel show, which follows the trips of celebrity dads and their young kids.

"I wanted to let Feynman experience things and toughen him up. He has many bad habits typical of Hong Kong kids these days. Even though he is five years old, he still relies on us to do many things for him," says Ng, who is married to former Singaporean actress Ong Lay Pheng, 44. The family lives in Hong Kong.

Looks like the exposure on the adventure trips has helped Feynman man up. During a trip to New Zealand, the child required five stitches for a wound sustained near his eye. He was playing with fellow child co-stars when he reportedly hit his head against a table corner.

The determined boy insisted on continuing with the filming and even proudly told his dad: "I'm not a baby girl."

The innocent Feynman's forthright manners, coupled with his looks, have earned him fans.

Viewers have set up Facebook accounts dedicated to him and one Facebook site, which counts more than 4,600 followers, has crowned him "little male god" in Chinese.

With a ready fan base, how about letting junior follow in his father's footsteps and pursue an acting career?

"Indeed, he is a born actor. We should wait till he grows up before he decides on his career path," Ng replies, then quips: "I hope he doesn't become an actor. He's so handsome, it would be a waste if he is an actor."

The charismatic Ng, who has been in show business for over three decades, has been busy on the work front.

He just wrapped up filming of the movie adaptation of the popular TVB drama series Triumph In The Skies and has three movie projects lined up: a Hong Kong production and two Chinese films.

He stars opposite Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin in The House That Never Dies (2014). The 3-D thriller's plot is inspired by a house at 81 Chaoyangmen Inner Street in Beijing, said to be haunted.

In a strange twist of fate, Ng said he almost bought the mansion when he was property hunting in China a few years ago. He says: "I can't believe that my fate is tied to the movie. I spotted an abandoned mansion that was overrun by weeds. It was offered at a good price for its spaciousness and convenient location. I thought of opening a restaurant, but my friend advised me against it.

"He told me later that it was the infamous haunted house."

nggwen@sph.com.sg

The House That Never Dies airs tonight at 11pm on Thrill (StarHub TV Channel 618 and SingTel mio TV Channel 415). 

Where Are We Going? Dad airs on Saturdays at 9pm on nowTV Mango (StarHub TV Channel 836).