REL­A­TIVE VAL­UES

Ac­tors Ran­dall Tan and Melody Chen give us an insight into their mar­riage.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Contents -

You’re a good-look­ing cou­ple. What do you do when some­one hits on your spouse?

Melody: Ran­dall still gets that a lot! I used to be quite af­fected by it when we were dat­ing. I’d had some bad ex­pe­ri­ences in my past and it took me a while to come to terms with my trust is­sues. But I’m han­dling it bet­ter now.

Ran­dall: I avoid do­ing any­thing that makes Melody feel in­se­cure – I tell her where I’m go­ing, who I’m with and what I’m do­ing. We also go to events to­gether. We’ve learnt to trust each other. I never get jeal­ous be­cause at the end of the day, Melody goes home with me!

How did you first meet?

Ran­dall: Melody is my sis­ter’s friend and she was al­ways want­ing to in­tro­duce us. But I was work­ing as a flight at­ten­dant then, and when­ever my sis­ter in­vited Melody and their friends to our home, I would al­ways be away! We fi­nally met on the set of The Donny Lee

Show in 1996 and I was like, “Hey, I think I know you…” That’s when we started hang­ing out as friends.

What were you like as friends?

Melody: We were like brother and sis­ter, so if I’d imag­ined us be­ing to­gether then – it would have been al­most in­ces­tu­ous! (Laughs)

It wasn’t love at first sight; it was about how com­fort­able we felt with each other. And we just de­cided, “Why not?”

Ran­dall: I was al­ready the son her mum never had. My par­ents loved her too – they could see how much she cared for me. Our par­ents met when I was hos­pi­talised for Guil­lain-Barre syn­drome (a disease which at­tacks the ner­vous sys­tem) in 2007. I re­cov­ered from it in the same year.

So you started dat­ing nine years af­ter your first screen role to­gether in 1998, when you played lovers in The Teenage Text­book Movie.

Ran­dall: My first thought was: “I hope I don’t mess this up.” Melody is a great friend and I didn’t want to lose that. But I also didn’t want to go through life not know­ing if we’d work out as a cou­ple.

Melody: It was dif­fer­ent from all my pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ships – not only was Ran­dall a friend, lover and con­fi­dante, he also felt like fam­ily. So I thought that maybe this was how love should be. We’ve been mar­ried for five years and it’s still good.

Do you still dis­cover new things about each other?

Melody & Ran­dall (in uni­son): Ev­ery day!

Ran­dall: Just re­cently, I found out why Melody keeps the cap of the tooth­paste tube open – so it doesn’t ruin her man­i­cure! Now, I just leave it open for her.

What do you fight about?

Ran­dall: It can be some­thing as small as me want­ing to stay home, while Melody wants to go out for din­ner. I lit­er­ally “tsk” at her and that’s when it starts.

Melody: He’s quick-tem­pered, es­pe­cially when he’s hun­gry or when it comes to driv­ing.

Ran­dall: When I get an­gry, Melody likes to say, “Can you calm down?” And I’m like, “No!” I just want to be an­gry for that mo­ment but I al­ways cool down af­ter­wards.

Melody: That’s why I’ve learnt to ig­nore his out­bursts.

What do you ad­mire most about each other?

Ran­dall: Her or­gan­i­sa­tional skills and at­ten­tion to de­tail, es­pe­cially when she’s plan­ning our hol­i­days. At first, I thought, “Re­ally?”

(laughs). But we al­ways have a good hol­i­day, so I now ap­pre­ci­ate this trait of hers.

Melody: Which some peo­ple think of as bossy… (laughs). I got it from my dad. Grow­ing up, I re­mem­ber think­ing I’d never want to be like that. Then, I re­alised I love hav­ing check­lists – they make me feel safe. It’s not some­thing most peo­ple can put up with, so I’m glad Ran­dall’s easy-go­ing enough to ac­cept it.

What about you, Melody?

Melody: Ran­dall’s ex­tremely loyal and I love that about him. He’s so­cia­ble and has no prob­lems mak­ing new friends. But he never for­gets his old bud­dies. If they need him, he’ll make great ef­forts to be there to help if he can.

Who do you look up to as a cou­ple?

Ran­dall: I wish I could be more like my dad. He’s very pa­tient with my mum’s quirks, and they still hold hands when they go out. He’s the jovial guy ev­ery­one loves.

Melody: I look up to my par­ents, too. When­ever they quar­rel, I won­der how they’ve kept go­ing for 30 years and count­ing. It’s some­thing that never fails to amaze me. My par­ents aren’t openly af­fec­tion­ate like Ran­dall’s, but af­ter my dad’s re­cent bout with can­cer, he hugs his loved ones a lot more.

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