Living in the limelight can be tough. It’s lonely, competitive and exhausting, to say the least. Who better to confide in than someone who understands what you’re going through? To celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, we take a look at the stories behind these famous friends in show business.
From the enviable bromance between Song Joong Ki and Lee Kwang Soo, to Chen Liping and Yahui’s â€œclean startâ€, it’ll make you want a celebrity BFF of your own.
Rui En and Dennis Chew are local TV’s favourite BFF. They have an award to prove it — the Most Beloved BFF Award as voted by the public in 2016.
Meeting reporters backstage after receiving the honour at The Star Awards, Chew said: “We talk to each other almost every day. Of course I can’t share our conversation topics, but we tell each other ‘I love you’ daily. I really love her as a sister, and she loves me as a brother.”
On what she likes about Dennis, Rui En, 38, said: “What you see is what you get, there’s no other side to him. I think I appreciate people who are like that. Most people in our industry aren’t like that.”
But they weren’t BFF from the get-go. Dennis, 45, didn’t take to the ice queen because of her infamous black face. His impression changed on a fateful “rainy” day, when the pair filmed together for the first time for the local drama The Dream Makers (2013).
Cast as siblings working in the media industry, their scenes with packed with spontaneous ad-libs.
“I never imagined that we would have such good chemistry together. When they cast us as siblings in Dream Makers, some people were worried,” said Dennis, who played a gossip-hungry tabloid reporter, whereas Rui En played a scatterbrained producer.
“People noticed that she’s happier now after filming Dream Makers. But I said, she’s always been happy. Just that people haven’t seen that side of her. When she laughs, she’s hysterical and loud.”
We think it’s Dennis who makes her feel comfortable.
Physical age is no barrier to friendship. South Korean celebs Yoo In Na and IU were born 11 years apart, but mentally they’re on the same page.
Calling IU her soulmate, In Na, 37, said: “A lot of people are curious as to how we can be so close despite our age gap, but we believe that age doesn’t really matter as long as we can relate to each other and we both feel at ease around each other.”
Work brought the BFFs together. In 2010, they made a connection while guesting on variety show Heroes in 2010. They can chat for hours on end.
But they respected each other’s need for privacy. That explains their living arrangements within the same apartment complex. Singer-songwriter IU, 26, explained: “We are neighbours. We both like to have alone time, so we don’t live together.”
Being BFFs has also brought in work. A Hyundai commercial gives us a glimpse into the everyday lives of the beautiful pals. Cast as themselves, they’re seen taking a drive around town, hanging out at a record shop and shopping in a quaint boutique.
“We’re just a regular pair of best friends.. When I’m with IU, we usually eat and chat,” said In Na, who is an actress.
You can’t blame us for thinking otherwise. Their beautiful friendship is BFFs goals. The singletons spent Valentine’s Day together and bought matching friendship rings inscribed with their names.
During her acceptance at the 2017 MelOn Music Awards show, IU said: “I know that she is not my family by blood, but I thank my number one fan, a best friend, and my muse Yoo In Na as well.”
Leo and Tobey’s relationship ain’t no Hollywood fling. The bros are in it for the long-haul, 33 years and counting.
The bromance all started when a 12-year-old Leo jumped out of a car — of course, after his mum pulled over.
“I literally jumped out of the car. I was like, ‘Tobey! Tobey! Hey! Hey!’ And he was like, ‘Oh, yeah — I know you. You’re . . . that guy.’ But I just made him my pal. When I want someone to be my friend, I just make them my friend,” Leo, 44, told Esquire.
Both were child actors aspiring to make an impression at casting calls and auditions. They tried out for the same roles, but it never got ugly. In fact, they only got closer.
“Every project we do, we talk about. Every single choice I’ve made, I’ve talked to Tobey about and vice versa. We’ve had endless conversations about certain projects and argued with one another and supported one another along the way,” Leo told The Associated Press.
Tobey, 44, lost out to Leo for a role in Critters 3 (1991), which was Leo’s debut film. Again, Leo beat Tobey for the lead role in This Boy’s Life (1993), but Tobey got a part as Leo’s friend in the movie.
The good pals got to work together again in films, Don’s Plum (2001) and The Great Gatsby (2013).
The famous friends apparently have very ordinary pursuits on off days. Tobey said: “We are like any other buddies. There’s a lot of laughing and chatting between us. We enjoy doing a lot of things we have in common, like basketball. We like to play and talk about basketball.”
What he didn’t mention was the outings with beautiful ladies. Tobey and serial modeliser Leo have been spotted hanging out with lanky lasses.
One thing’s for sure, Tobey is Leo’s longest lasting relationship to date.
When Ya Hui first met Chen Liping in 2007, she was “ordered” to wipe the table.
But the veteran actress wasn’t bullying the newbie. Liping was teaching the Star Search contestant the basics of acting.
“When you start to pick up acting, you’ve got to start from the most common things, (such as) what you’ll do in daily life, and you’ve got to do it naturally,” said Ya Hui, 32, whose mentor was Liping, 53, during the TV talent search program.
The table wiping exercise came in handy later on in Ya Hui’s acting career. Ya Hui played Hong Jin Zhi, a wanton mee seller in the long-form drama 118. And as a hawker, you clean tables.
The beloved character earned Ya Hui first Best Actress nomination at the 2016 Star Awards. She credits Liping for the bringing the character to life.
“She went through every single scene, every single line , every gesture. Jin Zhi’s success is all because of her. Without my mentor, Jin Zhi would just be an ordinary character.”
The mentor-disciple relationship progressed into a friendship. The straight-talking pair grew closer over movie dates, charity work and heart-to-heart talks.
Last year, the celeb pals visited Hong Kong on a whim. They returned with Insta-worthy shots and tummies filled with egg tarts, dim sum and milk tea.
You know what they say about friends who travel together? They stay together.
It’s no secret that singers JJ Lin, 38, and Harry Chang, 36, are BFFs. They know each other’s deepest darkest secrets, like how many girlfriends they’ve each had.
They hang out a lot too — apparently almost all movie dates are with each other. They’ve even showered together in the nude… at the gym.
In fact, they are such a “thing”, that netizens created a Weibo account documenting the pair’s interactions — from fan-taken videos of Harry singing at JJ’s concert to holiday snaps uploaded by the subjects themselves.
On the workfront, the famous friends have each other’s backs. Harry co-starred in JJ’s music videos of Somebody (2013) and If Only (2014), which also stars Angelababy.
You Are My Angel (2008), a ballad by Harry’s pop group Da Mouth, is a result of the two friends’ collaboration. Harry dreamed up the melody in his head, and JJ spent sleepless nights on the piano to turn the tune into a score.
The celebrities had met at singer Alan Kuo’s birthday party over a decade ago. But they only got close later because their then-girlfriends were tight.
They bonded on double dates. The romantic relationships did not last, but they became brothers for life.