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Even though local actor Li Nanxing famously played a father of quadruplets on the 2003 Channel 8 TV series Baby Boom, it was not as scary as handling a four-month-old infant for the police drama C.L.I.F. 4, which starts next month.
Even after all these years, the 51-year-old still does not have the “baby touch”.
What is ironic is that his co-star Rui En does. Ironic because she said, before filming for C.L.I.F. 4 started, that she would rather not work with babies because “they can be difficult (and) do not care that the camera is rolling”, though she later retracted her comments.
In C.L.I.F. 4, which premieres on Sept 6 at 9pm, Li reprises his role as Wei Lantian, assistant superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Department and the husband of Rui En’s inspector character Huang Zhijie.
This season, they become first-time parents and have a four-month-old girl. At the show’s press conference, Li told M in a mix of Mandarin and English: “(In Baby Boom), the quadruplets were older. (This baby) was very fragile because she was only four months old, so we had to be patient with her. I felt nervous handling her, especially when she cried. I panicked.”
He joked: “Rui En told me, ‘Can you treat her more gently?’ Whenever Rui En carried the baby, she would be calm, but when I carried her, she would be crying.”
Rui En did not attend the press conference because she is on leave. According to Lianhe Zaobao, she is in New Zealand for a month to visit her father, who emigrated from Singapore years ago. On Rui En’s 7kg weight gain for her previous TV drama If Only I Could and the fact that she still appeared chubby in C.L.I.F. 4, Li said: “I think it suits her mum role (here) because it is after her confinement period, where she has to take care of the baby.” Although they have been paired up for three seasons of C.L.I.F., Li said they are not close outside of work.
While in the middle of filming C.L.I.F. 4 in April, the 35-year-old local actress was involved in a high-profile accident at the Clementi Avenue 2 carpark. She was turning right into an open air carpark and lost control of her black BMW, which mounted a kerb and collided with a parked motorcycle. The episode put her in a bad light with the public, as many were unhappy about the way she handled things initially.
GAVE HER SPACE
Li himself was infamously involved in a drink driving accident in 1997. He was fined $4,000 and given a 30-month driving suspension. He did not offer Rui En advice on how to cope because his case was different from her situation.
He said: “What I did was to give her space to calm herself down because it happened suddenly. We needed to give her time to process and reflect on her own… because everyone makes mistakes. “I could tell that she was very sad on set (after the accident), but we just had to leave her alone.”
Li said Rui En was still a “professional on set” and knew how to separate her personal problem from work. He also commended the way she apologised and bowed on stage at the Star Awards Show 1 in April, saying: “I think it is up to the individual (on how he handles his own situation), but for her to (do that), I could tell that she was sincere.”