Actor Ryan Lian pulled out of When Duty Calls 2 drama series due to mental health issues

Ryan Lian pulled out from the series just two weeks before the shoot was scheduled to start. PHOTO: RYANLIANYY/INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - Local actor Ryan Lian has opened up about his struggles with his mental health and emotional wellbeing, revealing that they led to him withdrawing from the Mediacorp drama When Duty Calls 2.

In March, just two weeks before the shoot was scheduled to start, he pulled out from the second season of the military-themed series, which ends its 20-episode run on Friday.

The 37-year-old, best known for his role as Ah Long in Jack Neo movies like Long Long Time Ago and its sequel (2016) and Ah Boys To Men 4 (2017), spoke to Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao about his struggles at that time.

“I was unable to sleep at night and my online business was not doing well. It subsequently became impossible to continue with the business and I felt emotionally unstable,” he said, added he had suffered from insomnia for a long time.

To make ends meet during the pandemic, Lian dabbled in selling fish and other products on live stream, and also promoted cars for sale online.

He added in the interview that his management agency decided that he was not ready both mentally and physically to take on the When Duty Calls 2 role, which was that of an Air Force pilot.

Lamenting that it was “not fated”, he also apologised to the cast - which included Desmond Tan, Paige Chua, Felicia Chin and Pierre Png - and crew of the show for the last-minute withdrawal.

Lian, who had taken on minor roles in local productions for more than a decade, last appeared on the small screen in the 2019 Mediacorp drama My One In A Million.

As for upcoming work opportunities, he said: “I’m not waiting anymore, I’ve been more able to let things go and not dwell on these matters. I only want to move on.”

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