'Girl friend' to her kids

Bernice Liu (above) plays a stay-at-home mother in Lion Moms.
Bernice Liu (above) plays a stay-at-home mother in Lion Moms.PHOTO: MEDIACORP
Bernice Liu plays a stay-at-home mother in Lion Moms (above).
Bernice Liu plays a stay-at-home mother in Lion Moms (above).PHOTO: MEDIACORP

Lion Moms' Bernice Liu wants to be a cool mum when she becomes one

Hong Kong-based actress Bernice Liu, 36, has wanted to be a mother since the age of five.

The bachelorette can satisfy her maternal instincts when she plays a mother in the new Channel 5 drama Lion Moms.

"Ever since I was five, I had wanted to be a mum. So my parents bought me Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. I wanted seven - one for each of the Seven Wonders of the World," the Canadian-born Liu says in crisp English in an interview with Life.

In Lion Moms, she plays a stay-at-home mother of a son, 15, and a daughter, six.

Liu has plenty of real life "parenting" experience from taking care of her seven dogs and "a lot of auntie practice" with her 5 1/2-year-old niece.

"I'm not a real mum. I don't have kids, but I have seven dogs. In a way, I have kids that never grow up. That's how a lot of people describe dogs.

"My daughter in my show is similar to my niece - in terms of character and age. It's easy for me to draw from that," says the proud aunt, who took her niece to her first day of school last month.

Describing herself as "girl friend" to her young niece, she hopes that she will have such a friendly relationship with her children when she becomes a mother.

"It's hard to say because now I'm just babysitting other people's kids. My niece and I talk like how friends talk to each other. I'm the cool one right now.

"When I become a mother, I want the husband to be the one who disciplines the kid. Then, I can be the cool mum," says the actress, who was previously romantically linked to Hong Kong businessman Alastair Lam and Hong Kong actor Moses Chan.

The local drama Lion Moms revolves around three mothers with different parenting styles.

A characteristic of a strict lion mum or tiger mum is putting her child through many enrichment classes.

Recalling her own childhood, Liu attended all kinds of lessons - from piano to taekwondo.

Her mother, a retiree in her 60s, was a lioness with a soft touch.

Liu says: "There's no way I would know what I would like at the age of three. My mother had to be a lioness to put me through different things, so that I would learn what I like and didn't like."

She stopped learning the piano and thrived at dance lessons.

She went on to learn all sorts of dance - ballet, jazz, tap dancing, musical theatre and Chinese dancing.

The cheeky Liu shares how she got out of piano lessons.

She says: "I thought that playing the piano for an hour a day was painful, but dancing six hours a day was awesome.

"I knew that I couldn't sit there and play the piano, so I would play horribly so that I didn't have to play any more.

One day, my mother said, 'Stop lah, it's too noisy.'"

•Lion Moms premieres next Monday at 10 pm on Channel 5.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline ''Girl friend' to her kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe