Taiwanese actor Wang Shih-hsien lets children watch even grisly news on TV

Wang Shih-hsien.
Wang Shih-hsien.PHOTO: SINGTEL TV

Unlike parents who shield their children from news, actor Wang Shih-hsien encourages his kids to follow them, even grisly reports

Taiwanese actor Wang Shih-hsien, an alpha-male firefighter in a new melodrama Taste Of Life, is learning to cook.

When he is not playing a hero in long-form dramas, the family man is likely to be found at home.

"I rush home after I finish filming. My only recreational activities are done at home," the 48-year-old tells The Straits Times in an interview to promote the show, now airing in Singapore on Jia Le Channel (Singtel TV Channel 502).

His manager interjects: "When he is free, he makes it a point to pick up his children from school."

Wang, a doting father by all accounts, also makes it a point to check in with his daughters' teachers about their progress in school.

But he does not believe in mollycoddling his children, aged 11 and seven.

I may be cruel, but I will get them to face reality. They should learn from failure. They should also learn sportsmanship. I don't want them to be spoilt brats.

TAIWANESE ACTOR WANG SHIH-HSIEN on not mollycoddling his daughters, aged 11 and seven

"I'll teach my children to handle challenges such as bullying. I may be cruel, but I will get them to face reality. They should learn from failure. They should also learn sportsmanship. I don't want them to be spoilt brats," says Wang, who has been married for 12 years.

He believes that encouraging his children to follow the news - even grisly reports such as the one about a man decapitating a four-year-old girl in public in Taipei - is a good way for them to learn life lessons.

"Some parents do not believe in letting their kids watch the news. I do not want them to be stuck in a glass house where they are unaware of what's happening in society."

The veteran actor is best known as Taiwan's favourite leading man after he starred in primetime melodramas such as Night Market Life (2009-2011) and Love (2006-2008).

Wang, who is also a Golden Melody Award-winning singer, performed Taste Of Life's theme song Brave. The uplifting tune was produced by members of Mayday, one of Taiwan's biggest rock bands. Guitarist Monster penned the melody, while lead vocalist Ashin wrote the lyrics.

Wang, who got to know Monster when the two starred in the 2014 movie Second Chance, says: "Monster said he would help me out if I had any music requests. Mayday don't write songs for just anyone. People often have to wait up to three years to get a song from them."

He has another reason to treasure the song - his daughters are big fans of the band.

He says with a laugh: "They used to listen to my songs, but now they listen to Mayday."

•Taste Of Life airs on Jia Le Channel (Singtel TV Channel 502) on weekdays at 7pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2016, with the headline 'Doting dad offers dose of reality'. Print Edition | Subscribe