Actor and host Shane Pow 25, has had a hard time shaking off his hunky 2011 Manhunt image, but his role in Channel 8 drama Beyond Words may help him do just that.
The drama, which was filmed in Kuala Lumpur, debuts on March 17 and viewers will get to see him playing a henpecked office man. He also put on weight for the role as he "did not want the character to be too buff".
When asked what he did to put on the kilos, the actor happily replies: "I just had a bigger appetite and the food in Kuala Lumpur is so good that I could not stop eating."
While last year was relatively quiet for Pow in terms of screen time - he was on Channel U's travelogue show Super Jumbo and Celebrate 2016, the New Year's Eve countdown party at Marina Bay - he will be seen in three Channel 8 dramas in the first half of this year: Beyond Words, House Of Fortune and Peace & Prosperity.
In House Of Fortune, which is now showing, he plays a "bubbly and cheerful" volunteer who helps troubled youths. Says Pow: "I think the character is similar to my personality. I am cheerful and optimistic in real life."
ON HIS BAG
This black Calvin Klein bag with leather handles was a Christmas gift from my aunt three years ago. I like this because it is easy to match with my outfits, whether casual or formal. I can also remove the sling and use it as a tote bag.
Things in his bag
KINDLE AND CASE
I use this to read on set. I got the case from online Chinese shopping site Taobao.
SUNGLASSES FROM SURFACE TO AIR
I like this because it is black and fits my face nicely. It has the right tint to it too - once I put it on, people cannot see my eyes. It is for when I have eye bags or when I head out and do not want to have eye contact with strangers, because I do not know whether to smile or talk to them.
ACQUA DI BERGAMOTTO COLOGNE FROM ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA
I think it is courtesy to smell pleasant, especially in my line of work, where I am in close contact with my co-stars. I like this because it smells refreshing and clean and is not too strong.
MUJI MAKE-UP POUCH AND LAB SERIES MOISTURISER
I usually do my own make-up and hair for variety shows. Although we have make-up artists on set, they are sometimes busy. I like the moisturiser because it works and is travel-sized. I have been the ambassador for Lab Series for the past two years.
DOCUMENT BAG WITH SCRIPTS
This is the perfect size for my scripts and there are compartments inside for pens and highlighters. I used to put the scripts in plastic files, but they broke after a while. I pack this bag every day and change the scripts depending on what I am filming for the day.
I got this to replace my iPod which died on me. I listen to music when I am taking the bus to filming locations or when I am at the gym.
TYPO NOTEBOOK AND MONTBLANC PEN
This is my homework book for dramas that I am filming. We do not usually shoot in sequence and we jump in between scenes and episodes, so sometimes I get a bit lost. I make notes about what we have filmed so there is continuity.
In Peace & Prosperity, which debuts on April 4, he plays a rich, spoiled brat who believes he will inherit his grandfather's medicine hall and fortune.
"He does not work hard and spends his time fooling around and partying," Pow says.
He also has a role in movie anthology 4 Love. He plays a photographer and the third party in a relationship experiencing the "seven-year itch". It is slated for release in the first half of the year.
On what he loves about his job, Pow says: "I get to experiencewhat people otherwise would not get the chance to, like filming in a detention barrack and feeding emperor penguins.
"It is not repetitive and I get to be someone else through my roles."
The actor, whose parents are in their 50s and are divorced, has an elder sister in her 30s. He shot to fame in 2013 with his first major role in Channel 8 drama It Takes Two. He played a property agent and a scene in which he complained about the high cost of living in Singapore went viral. He won a Top 10 award at last year's Star Awards.
However, there is a downside to being busy. Pow cites not having time for himself and his family and friends as the worst part of his job.
"I have not spent New Year's Eve or Chinese New Year with them for the past four years because of work."
But this is a sacrifice that he is willing to make for his career, at least for the next decade.
"I am someone who is goalorientated and have a lot of dreams," he explains. "If I have not reached my goal, I feel like something is not right."
The actor declines to comment on his relationship status.
"I am at this stage in my life where I have to work hard. I will focus on my career for the next 10 years and then think about settling down and all that."