Vivian Hsu loves the wet market in Singapore

Now based in Singapore, Vivian Hsu has signed on to star in The Tag-Along 3, the third instalment of the hit Taiwanese horror movie series.
Now based in Singapore, Vivian Hsu has signed on to star in The Tag-Along 3, the third instalment of the hit Taiwanese horror movie series.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The singer-actress is so familiar with stallholders that one of them asked her to sing for him on the spot

8Q

Taiwanese singer-actress Vivian Hsu's favourite place to go to in Singapore is not what one may expect.

"I love going to the wet market here. I'm very familiar with everyone there, whether it is the fishmonger or butcher," she says in Mandarin.

She adds that the local butcher once asked her to sing for him on the spot. As for the fishmonger, he saves his best fish for her.

"He says it's supposed to be for his grandson, but since I'm there, he'll give it to me," she says with a chuckle.

Hsu, 43, was speaking to The Straits Times following a product launch by beauty brand Bio-essence, for which she is an ambassador.

This is her first interview with local press after relocating here four years ago when she married Singapore-based Indonesian businessman Sean Lee.

Other than the wet market, she spends her days outdoors with her son Dalton, who turns three in August.

"I think it's important that we get out and spend some time in the sun and enjoy nature. We like to go to the Botanic Gardens. The other day, we went to the Bird Park, which was so much fun."

She also has two stepdaughters aged 17 and 14 from her husband's first marriage.

Now that Dalton is attending pre-school, Hsu has gradually returned to work.

Besides doing promotions for the beauty brand, she has been doing more press interviews and magazine photo shoots in the region.

She has also signed on to star in The Tag-Along 3, the third instalment of the hit Taiwanese horror movie series. Filming is expected to start in Taipei next month.

It will be her first movie since she starred in the romance drama Sex Appeal four years ago.

Hsu, who has been singing and acting since she was 14, says with a laugh: "I feel like a turtle coming out of my shell again."

1 After being a housewife and stay-at-home mother for years, you have recently taken on more work. What made you want to work again?

I've worked from such a young age and I've always planned on working until I'm 70. That has never changed. I'm used to being able to make my own decisions and have my own achievements. I feel happy when I work.

2 Do you plan on helping your son with his schoolwork when he is older?

Yes. I've been trying to improve my English skills. The only English words I know now are from Paw Patrol though. I know the names of all the characters in the cartoon.

3 Does Dalton know that his mother is a celebrity?

I don't think he understands that concept yet. But when we're in Taipei, he'd sometimes see my face on bus advertisements and gets excited. Occasionally, when he sees other actresses featured on bus ads, he would go, 'Is that mum?'

I have to tell him that they're not all me.

4 Unlike some other celebrity mothers, you are quite open about posting pictures of Dalton on social media. Why is that?

I always think of myself as a regular mother who is just excited to share photos and news of her child.

But when Dalton is older, I would probably have to seek his approval first. My daughters are older and have classmates who will look at their social media pages, so I will ask them first before posting photos of them.

5 Do you consider Singapore or Taiwan home now?

Home is wherever my husband is. He's here now, so Singapore is my home. But I do go back to Taiwan almost every month to see my mother so, in a way, it's like I never left.

6 Every foreign celebrity who comes here is asked about his or her favourite Singapore dish. What is yours?

Bak kut teh. I have it almost every week.

You can't find good bak kut teh in Taiwan, so I buy packets of it for my family whenever I go back to Taiwan.

7 You have such a svelte figure. Do you stay away from Singapore hawker food that are high in calories?

No, I love laksa and Hokkien mee. But I tend to just take a mouthful of something I like. I just want to taste it.

8 How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who was very conscientious. I may not be the best singer or actress, but I always take my work seriously and do my very best.

Now that I'm a mother, I have added responsibilities and I take those very seriously as well.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2018, with the headline 'Vivian Hsu loves the wet market in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe