Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua signs with international talent agents, lands roles abroad

Tan Kheng Hua has signed with Conway van Gelder Grant in Britain and GVA Talent Agency and Zero Gravity Management in Los Angeles.
Tan Kheng Hua has signed with Conway van Gelder Grant in Britain and GVA Talent Agency and Zero Gravity Management in Los Angeles.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - Fresh off the success of Hollywood romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua has signed with international talent agents and is scoring more roles in film and television shows abroad.

The 55-year-old, who played Kerry Chu, the mother of Chinese-American heroine Rachel Chu in Crazy Rich Asians, has signed with Conway van Gelder Grant in Britain and GVA Talent Agency and Zero Gravity Management in Los Angeles.

She continues to be represented in Asia by her long-time Singapore agent, Fly Entertainment.

She has just wrapped filming on Foreign Skies, a four-part limited series adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood's acclaimed play Chimerica for British TV broadcaster Channel 4. It will be released next year.

The series stars American actor Alessandro Nivola as an American photojournalist who took the iconic image of a lone man defying tanks in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989. Years later, he sets out to find this man.

Tan plays Ming Xiao Li, an ailing neighbour of another main character, Zhang Lin, who is played by Canadian actor Terry Chen.

She will also be in the HBO film The Garden Of Evening Mists, which is based on Penang-born writer Tan Twan Eng's 2012 novel of the same name.

The book moves between different periods in the life of Teoh Yun Ling, a Malaysian judge who was captured and interned by the Japanese during World War II and later serves as an apprentice to an exiled Japanese gardener.

The novel won the Man Asian Literary Prize and Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

The movie is directed by Taiwanese film-maker Tom Lin and stars the likes of Malaysian actress Lee Sinje and Taiwanese actress Sylvia Chang.

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Tan plays Emily, the wife of Scottish actor John Hannah's character Magnus. The couple are close friends of Yun Ling.

She says that while she is now globetrotting for her roles, she remains just as committed to her work as an actress, director and producer in Singapore. She has just returned to Singapore to helm She's A Great Way To Fly, a theatre showcase about Singapore Airlines stewardesses that is part of The Substation's programme Singapore Girl, Or Heritage Deployed.

"All the work I have done, I have loved. I don't ever feel that I was making a beeline for Hollywood or anything like that," she says. "I have a great sense of loyalty and commitment to all my different works, whether here or in the UK or the US or Timbuktu."