Alex Lam, son of Hong Kong singer George Lam, wants to be his own person

Alex Lam's first love is music, but he likes the exposure that acting gives him.
Alex Lam's first love is music, but he likes the exposure that acting gives him.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Actor-singer Alex Lam, the son of Hong Kong singer George Lam, hopes that he will not always be compared to his famous father

8Q

His famous father is known for his signature bushy moustache, but do not expect Hong Kong actor-singer Alex Lam to grow one any time soon.

The 31-year-old son of singer George Lam says in English with a grin: "I actually had one before, years ago. I was teaching yoga at the time and as a lot of my students were older, I grew (a moustache) to appear older as well. Now that age is catching up with me, I don't want to grow one anymore because I don't want to look old."

Perhaps his refusal to don a moustache also has to do with wanting to be his own person - and not just a clone of his father.

As he points out, one of the biggest disadvantages of having a celebrity dad is that people will always compare the two.

He says: "People will always associate me with my father and I have to accept that.

"The comparisons are slowly happening less, though. I think with time and just doing a lot more work, people are starting to see that I'm serious about my job and the effort that I put into it. I put in a lot of hard work."

He and his younger sister are from their 69-year-old father's first marriage to former record label manager Ng Ching Yuen. Their stepmother is Lam's second wife, renowned Taiwanese singer Sally Yeh, 55.

He was speaking to The Straits Times last week at the Esplanade, where he was due to perform in a Cantonese adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In the classic comedy, he plays Lysander, a young man who attempts to elope with his love Hermia (played by Kate Yeung), but who gets spiked with a love juice that leads him to fall in love with another woman, Helena (played by Rosa Maria Velasco).

The play marks his stage debut, but it is not his first acting gig. He had supporting roles in films such as Lan Kwai Fong 3 (2014) and Break Up 100 (2014).

He is also a singer, and singles from his eponymous 2012 EP, such as Happy Marriage and Magic, have appeared on Hong Kong radio charts.

The bachelor says: "I just want to try a bit of everything. Music is my first love, but acting gives you great exposure. Doing this play has been a great opportunity for me and I'm just so grateful."

1 Did you always want to go into show business?

Not at all. I started out as a yoga instructor and I did that full time for about seven years. I grew up in the world of show business because of my family, but I didn't plan on being a part of it as an adult. It was only because of my growing love for music that I started to think about joining the entertainment industry.

2 Has your dad given you much advice about working in the entertainment industry?

He's a hands-off parent. He just lets me go and do what I want, even if he doesn't think it makes sense. He was quite sceptical of my decision to do this play because it's a huge commitment and the money isn't that good. But he's supportive and came out to see it (the Hong Kong version).

3 What did your father think of your performance in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

He has the notion that Shakespeare would be very boring, so he wasn't excited to see it at first. But he ended up loving it. I think he was pleasantly surprised. My stepmother says he was giggling a lot.

4 Will you be doing more theatre work in the future?

I hope so. I want to improve my acting. Doing A Midsummer Night's Dream was tough because our version is so physical.

But it's also rewarding. When we did our first show here and I had my first comedic moment, I heard everyone in the audience laugh. And that feeling was amazing.

5 This version of A Midsummer Night's Dream also stars Hong Kong veteran actor Anthony Wong in the dual roles of King Oberon and Duke Theseus. He has a reputation of being intimidating to work with, so what is he really like?

He is actually a big softie at heart. One time, I went to take a nap in between rehearsals and someone came by to put a blanket on me. I was still awake so I took a quick peek and saw that it was him.

And if any of us gets injured, he always comes and checks on us. He's considerate and just a very gentle guy.

6 You have been in Singapore for about a week to rehearse and perform the play. Have you had time to explore the city?

I lived in Singapore for about three months - years ago - to teach at a friend's yoga studio here. So I'm quite familiar with the city.

I didn't get a chance to go out though, because of rehearsals, but I did get to eat durian and go for hawker food in Geylang.

7 You do not teach yoga anymore, but do you still practise it ?

Yes, I do, maybe two or three times a week. Lately, I've been trying to look more fit because of this play. So I've been doing a lot of gym work.

8 How would you like to be remembered?

I guess I'd like to be remembered as being different. Interesting and different.

•Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Lam wants to be his own person'. Print Edition | Subscribe