Laidback Li Nanxing doesn't like being called boss

LNX Global's founder Li Nanxing signed on actress Constance Song (both above) earlier this year.
LNX Global's founder Li Nanxing signed on actress Constance Song (both above) earlier this year.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Company: LNX Global

The boss: Actor Li Nanxing, aka The Colleague

Inspiration behind the agency's name: LNX are the initials of Li.

Talent: Actress Constance Song, 40. Together with Li, 51, she shares a six-figure endorsement deal with local beauty and wellness chain Mary Chia. Song is also in the casting stages for a local movie and a China-Singapore movie.

Veteran actor Li Nanxing has a nickname - Mr Bo Chap (Hokkien for "cannot be bothered").

Having earned the monicker for his laidback personality, one would imagine that he is as relaxed when it comes to running his business. After all, being your agency's only artist for the past 11 years seems like the epitome of "bo chap".

But the bachelor begs to differ. "I don't want to sign on artists and have them sit around with nothing to do. I must make sure they have work," says Li, who opened LNX Global with his long-time friend Teri Tan in 2004. This was a year after he quit being a full-time MediaCorp artist.

Last year, he ventured into the Taiwanese market and starred in long-form dramas Justice Heroes (2014) and Dowry (2015).

He still made time for local projects. He is part of the upcoming show business-themed Channel 8 blockbuster Dream Makers 2 which premieres next month.

Last month, he released his autobiography The Real Picture in Chinese. The English version will be released next month.

Having cultivated a network, the agency was ready to sign on its first talent Constance Song earlier this year. Li had starred opposite Song in his directorial debut The Ultimate Winner (2011).

They became friends and are now colleagues.

Yes, colleagues - because Li will baulk if Song tries to call him boss. He says: "I don't want people to treat me as a boss. I want them to treat me as their colleague. We will work together."

He asked Song to join his agency because of her bilingual and acting abilities.

The actress, who is known for Channel 8 dramas such as The Ultimatum (2010), has also taken on English-speaking roles in HBO Asia's original series Grace (2014) and Channel 5 long-form series Tanglin (2015).

While she is often cast in sultry or serious roles, she says she would like to explore comedy roles, which Li agrees she has the comedic flair to pull off.

She says: "People see me as this serious, career woman. Or a vicious woman. That's my image because of my roles. Those who know me have seen my humorous side. They ask, why doesn't anyone cast you in a comedy?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2015, with the headline 'Don't call him boss'. Print Edition | Subscribe