The Bag Page

Actor-host Paul Foster considers himself Singaporean born and bred

HIS BAG: Under Armour duffel bag. It’s a duffel bag cum backpack, and big enough to carry all the stuff I use. -- PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
HIS BAG: Under Armour duffel bag. It’s a duffel bag cum backpack, and big enough to carry all the stuff I use. -- PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Even though many people assume that he is European, actor-host Paul Foster considers himself a born-and-bred Singaporean.

The 34-year-old, who is of British-Peranakan heritage, is often made to play an "angmoh" or Caucasian character in his TV roles, with one example being his part as a British policeman in Channel 5 drama Mata Mata in 2013.

Nevertheless, he is grateful for roles that he can fit into well, such as the part of a Caucasian rugby coach in one of his dramas on the Suria channel.

"They could not have found a better person to play that character," he says enthusiastically. "Rugby is a huge passion of mine, something that my father and I used to play together."

Foster, who was also a former national rugby player, subsequently found himself the rugby consultant for that drama, Rempuh, released on May 15. "I would track the script and make changes to make the games and movements more genuine and realistic."

Despite his love for the sport, he has not played it in nearly four years because of work commitments. He also makes the point that as an actor and TV host, his face is his most important asset, so he cannot risk any face injuries from vigorous games.

To keep fit, he hits the gym and plays social mixed netball for the Singapore Cricket Club, which used to be his former rugby club.

His fondness for grooming, particularly haircare, is clear in his choice of interview location, which is the We Need a Hero hair salon in Tiong Bahru, a favourite haunt of his.

His dressing style is mostly simple and his fashion palette is largely monochrome. He believes that with proper grooming, one can gain positive energy and look good, one of the main requirements for his job.

The roots of his acting career can be traced back to his university days, when he first joined a reality show called The Big Unknown in 2002, when studying in Melbourne.

After he completed his studies, he took on roles in a number of local game shows such as Deal or No Deal in 2007, before landing larger parts in serials on Channel 5 and Suria, in the dramas Red Thread, The Polo Boys, and Mata Mata.

Foster, who is in a relationship with an assistant restaurant manager, is currently working on five back-to-back TV productions for Okto, Suria and Channel 5, with filming scheduled till August.

"It can be quite overwhelming but it feels good to have something to do consistently with my time," he says.

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I'm doing a lot of studying at the moment. With so many productions, there are many lines to memorise.

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Working out to keep fit and healthy is part of that holistic lifestyle I believe in. Carrying these gym gloves around is a must.

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This was a gift from my girlfriend for Christmas. She knows I like monochrome colours.

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I sunburn quite easily and I think I have quite a few sun spots from all the outdoor shooting this year.

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This was knitted by a friend's mother in 2002. It's been with me everywhere - to Australia, Indonesia, China, Korea, you name it.

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I use this when filming videos on my mobile app, Channel M. You never know when you might need to capture something impromptu.

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I'm an earthy type of guy who prefers woody fragrances.

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