With her convincing fight scenes as a trained assassin, Tiu Nan, in the 2016 drama A Fist Within Four Walls (AFWFW) and a bodyguard with a mixed martial arts background in 2017 crime-thriller The Unholy Alliance, you might have thought that Nancy Wu, 37, has had months of training prior to filming.
Nancy revealed to Her World that it was not the case, “We had to learn it on the spot, practice it for three to four times, and immediately shoot the scene.”
The actress-singer was here in Singapore to meet fans as part of the events leading up the finale of Starhub’s Night of Stars happening on Dec 22.
Fun fact: Tiu Lan is a homophone for a Cantonese phrase that translates to the quality of being picky, difficult and demanding. The role also scored Nancy a win - TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2016.
This year, Nancy starred as one of three leading lady roles in palace drama Deep in the Realm of Conscience, where she played the Tang Dynasty Empress Wang Zhen beside Steven Ma, who played the Emperor Xuanzong.
Nancy’s most challenging role however, was as Naka Yuen Ching-yan in The Unholy Alliance. Nancy recounted, “the martial arts style was mixed martial arts and I had to fight my male colleagues in fight scenes where we were in proximity. The actions were more numerous, complex and we had less down time in between shoots.”
It is this common experience of late nights and tough action scenes that Nancy has found camaraderie with her fellow colleagues from TVB, which she commended for their professionalism.
Despite the demanding routine, Nancy had been praised for still looking fresh and energetic.
Her secret? “Fake it till you make it! *laughs* Our filming goes into the late night and people would remark that I don’t look tired but I am actually very tired. Maybe my eyes still look bright and fresh so it helps to look fresh even though I am fatigued.”
Her other trick to maintaining a youthful, energetic glow comes from her discipline to be conscientious about her skincare routine.
“I’ll start with a double cleanse first with oil to remove my makeup, then I’ll go in with a foam cleanser to wash everything off. After that I’ll apply a mask and go in with my serums and moisturiser.”
Cleansing thoroughly, Nancy said, is her most important step as it aids the subsequent skincare steps to be absorbed well into the skin.
We caught up with Nancy and also found out how what beauty product she will rescue in a fire, her favourite song to sing and how she maintains a healthy, fit body. Find out:
Ride-or-die beauty product
“My must-have is lip balm. Everyone calls me a ‘lip balm fiend’ because they always see me applying lip balm as it has become a habit for me. I feel like if there was a fire and I had to rescue one beauty product it will be my lip balm and not my identification card.”
“Because I have to burn midnight oil very often, diet is very important for me to keep my energy up. For that, I actually take supplements which I am also endorsing in Hong Kong. I feel like these supplements actually do help.
When I was younger I wouldn’t take supplements because I feel like I could still push through. But with age and my work schedule, the body inevitably takes a toll and needs vitamins and supplements to nourish.”
Song to sing
“My all-time favourite, which I have also sang the most on stages, would be Rene Liu Ruo-ying’s 后来 (which translates to ‘later’ or ‘in the end’). The song is easy to sing and has meaningful lyrics and people like it very much.”
Way to keep fit
“I do weighted exercises with dumbbells that works the whole body. I also go to a physical trainer twice a week for more than an hour per session. Exercise is my way to keep fit.”
Favourite spot to unwind in Hong Kong
“At home *laughs*. I would find time to meet my friends for a meal with drinks as well. I rarely go sing karaoke with my friends.”
Must try dish in Hong Kong
“My favourite would be hotpot, especially the spicy mala ones, in Tsim Sha Tsui. My tolerance would be somewhere in between the little to medium level, I don’t like it too spicy.”