COVER STORY

What does it take to be­come Sin­ga­pore's hottest celebrity cou­ple of the mo­ment? Shane Pow and Kim­berly Wang talk about fall­ing in love.

Pets (Singapore) - - Contents -

Me­di­a­corp ac­tor Shane Pow, 28, and 987FM DJ Kim­berly Wang, 27, aren’t Sin­ga­pore’s first celebrity cou­ple, and nei­ther will they be the last. But for some rea­son, Shane and Kim­berly have in­ad­ver­tently be­come lo­cal show­biz’s most mar­ketable pair. So what is the driv­ing force be­hind the Pow­erly ef­fect?

“Our re­la­tion­ship isn’t a pub­lic­ity stunt. It is what it is. But I think the power comes from that—the re­al­ness of it,” shares Kim­berly. That “re­al­ness” has led to a slew of mag­a­zine cov­ers ( just like this one), TV shows, com­mer­cials and en­dorse­ments for the pair. Al­though it’s been 1.5 years since they went pub­lic, in­ter­est in the cou­ple doesn’t seem to have waned. “I’d be ly­ing if I said that our re­la­tion­ship didn’t change our ca­reer tra­jec­tory. I think peo­ple recog­nise that as a real cou­ple, you have chem­istry that def­i­nitely sur­passes what you may have with another co-worker or ac­tor. We ap­pre­ci­ate that peo­ple see the mar­ketabil­ity of us as a cou­ple. It’s fun for us as well, so it’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion,” adds Kim.

The chem­istry she’s re­fer­ring to is pal­pa­ble dur­ing our photo shoot. It’s as if Shane and Kim­berly are tun­ing into some ra­dio chan­nel we’re not privy to. Dur­ing the shoot, Shane in­stinc­tively reaches for his girl­friend’s hand in ev­ery frame—even when it isn’t asked for. In be­tween shots, he word­lessly un­zips his bomber jacket and she au­to­mat­i­cally slides her freez­ing palms in for warmth. Dur­ing our in­ter­view, with­out even glanc­ing in her di­rec­tion, he hands her a fried squid skewer from Old Chang Kee be­cause he knows it’s her favourite snack.

It’s the epit­ome of #re­la­tion­ship­goals, and this adorable cou­ple makes ev­ery­thing look so easy, and en­vi­able.

Even 16-year-old Bebe, Shane’s Jack Rus­sell Ter­rier, ap­proves of Kim­berly. While the ’ol tem­per­a­men­tal pooch barks at strangers, he was re­ally friendly when he met Kim for the first time. Cer­tainly, that’s a stamp of ap­proval, but Shane wasn’t sur­prised at all—Kim’s a furkid mag­net and an­i­mals just seem to love her. “I’ve seen stray dogs and cats come up to her and buah (rub) them­selves on her,” says Shane with a laugh.

Given Shane and Kim’s ob­vi­ous chem­istry, it’s sur­pris­ing to learn that their first meet­ing went so dis­ap­point­edly. While Shane was down­right smit­ten with the bub­bly, witty Kim at the Pres­i­dent’s Star Char­ity 2015, the lat­ter couldn’t re­mem­ber his name nor did she have much of a first im­pres­sion of him! It was only af­ter he de­vised ways to get closer to her that their friend­ship be­gan.

Even af­ter they started dat­ing, it wasn’t ex­actly a fairy tale. When Shane asked Kim­berly to be his girl­friend in mid-2016, she turned him down. “I gave him a very solid rea­son as to why I said no,” shares Kim. “I felt there were things he had to work on. It’s like an exam—you fail, you work harder, and then the next time you try again.” Try again he did, and she fi­nally said yes.

Since then, they’ve landed sev­eral projects as a cou­ple—a Sing­tel com­mer­cial, and as cou­ples in up­com­ing Tog­gle series Die Die Also Must Serve and Dance With Me. They fin­ish each other’s sen­tences, bicker like a mar­ried cou­ple, and plan to have a zoo at home in the fu­ture—or at least, that’s what Kim wants. “Any­thing fluffy,” says Kim with a laugh. “I’d prob­a­bly take as many pets as I can.” Shane, are you up for it?

Shane, is Bebe jeal­ous now that Kim gets a lot of your at­ten­tion?

Shane: He’s a bit se­nile, so I don’t think he re­alises.

Kim: I think that Shane is more jeal­ous that I give Bebe at­ten­tion. (laughs) But Bebe’s not the kind of dog that will get jeal­ous. Shane: From young, he’s never had a jeal­ousy prob­lem. He’s just very chill.

So who spoils Bebe more?

Shane: Kim. It’s very ob­vi­ous. He’ll look at me and I will go, “What do you want?” Then he will look at her.

Kim: Then he will fol­low me. (laughs) He knows I al­ways give him treats.

How has Bebe changed over the years? Shane: He used to be very ac­tive, just like a typ­i­cal Jack Rus­sell Ter­rier. Now he still loves to be up and about­—he will keep walk­ing even though he can’t run any­more—but as he ages, you can tell he has no more en­ergy to play even though he wants to. That’s quite sad.

Were you al­ways close to Bebe?

Shane: We grew up to­gether—he’s like a brother to me. I used to play a lot with him, but now that he’s older, we spend most of our time at home.

There is a spe­cial bond there.

Shane: I feel like we have this con­nec­tion be­tween us be­cause we grew up to­gether and I used to talk to him a lot in the past.

Do you worry that he doesn’t have a lot of time left with your fam­ily?

Shane: We try not to think about it, but we can’t help it some­times. That’s why we wanted to do this shoot soon.

Is it im­por­tant that your part­ner likes an­i­mals?

Shane: I think so. I like an­i­mals, and she likes an­i­mals also.

Kim: All my friends with dogs know that I treat their furkids like mine!

If Kim didn’t like an­i­mals, do you think you’d be to­gether?

Shane: I think that played a big part. In a re­la­tion­ship, you have to ac­cept what­ever your part­ner likes or dis­likes. So if I didn’t like an­i­mals, I don’t think she’d have been in­ter­ested as well. Be­cause half the time, and this is true, the photos she sends to me on In­sta­gram are pup­pies, cats, pup­pies, cats... Kim: My whole feed is just an­i­mals.

Shane: If I’m some­one who didn’t like an­i­mals...

Kim: ...we will have one ma­jor thing less in com­mon.

What made both of you so open about your re­la­tion­ship since go­ing pub­lic in 2016?

Kim: I think we were the first celebrity cou­ple who was so open about it.

Shane: We just want to be happy with each other. There’s re­ally no point in hid­ing be­cause if you lie about it and get spot­ted to­gether af­ter that, it’s very awkward.

Kim: If you’re hap­pily in love, why do you have to be so sneaky about it? It wasn’t like we planned to an­nounce to every­body. We only said it be­cause at that point, some­one asked. So we just chose to be hon­est. Touch wood, but do you ever worry about hav­ing to deal with the fall­out if things don’t work out?

Shane: No­body goes into a re­la­tion­ship think­ing that they are go­ing to break up. (laughs) There’s no plan B.

Kim: You take it as it comes. If it hap­pens, it hap­pens. If you break up, then you break up—just like how nor­mal hu­man be­ings deal with it.

Shane: It’s just that we will be on the pa­pers, if we ever break up.

Kim: On a slow news day. (laughs)

Kim, how did you get from not know­ing his name to be­ing his girl­friend?

Kim: There must have been an ac­ci­dent. (laughs) Some­thing must have hit me in the head. Se­ri­ously, all it takes is time. For me, ev­ery­thing starts with a friend­ship be­cause how can you say you love the per­son if you aren’t friends? That’s in­fat­u­a­tion and I don’t be­lieve in that.

What made you say yes to Shane af­ter turn­ing him down the first time?

Kim: If you tell me you want to be a good per­son, then don’t do bad things. It’s very sim­ple—you can’t say one thing and do another. At the end of the day, ac­tions speak louder than words.

How has your re­la­tion­ship evolved since you got to­gether?

Kim: We’re su­per in sync now, it’s scary. I don’t know when it started. There are times when I’d know what he’s think­ing and I can com­plete his sen­tence, and he’ll be like, “Oh my God, how did you know?!”

Shane: It’s quite freaky.

Would you be fine if your part­ner had to shoot a kiss­ing scene with some­one else? Kim: I think we’re on the same page with re­gard to that. Shane doesn’t worry about me be­cause I don’t like hu­man con­tact with a per­son whom I’m not in love with.

Shane: Peo­ple al­ways think that as a male ac­tor, you’re so lucky to be able to kiss all those ac­tresses. But guys are also hu­man right? I will also feel un­com­fort­able kiss­ing some­one I don’t love. When you’re in a re­la­tion­ship, you must al­ways con­sider your

other half. It’s a form of re­spect.

Do you fight of­ten?

Shane: We bicker. But there haven’t been any se­ri­ous fights. I don’t think we’ve had a ma­jor fight in a long time.

Kim: I wouldn’t say it’s been plain sail­ing, but we’re very quick to re­solve is­sues. Shane: We won’t stay angry with each other for too long. Kim: (mut­ters to Shane) I’ve got no stamina to stay angry at you for too long also.

Shane: I think we’re too drained from work as well, so we just try to en­joy what­ever time we have with each other.

So who apol­o­gises first? Kim: He makes most of the mis­takes, so he says sorry first. (laughs)

Shane: That is true.

Kim: But I also do make mis­takes and when I know it’s my time to say sorry, I will. But I mean, he makes more stupid mis­takes. Shane: That is also true.

As celebs, do you get to spend much time with each other?

Shane: Yes.

Kim: No! Rephrase. We had time be­cause we were film­ing a drama to­gether. So for the past few months we were work­ing to­gether ev­ery day. But I don’t have time at all! If we weren’t film­ing to­gether, I wouldn’t have seen him for two months.

So how do you stay con­nected?

Shane: She’s on the morn­ing shift, so she will def­i­nitely be at Me­di­a­corp Ra­dio in the morn­ing. I’ve dropped by to say hi a few times. At least we get to see each other for a while. One good thing about work­ing in the same com­pany is that we‘re some­how able to meet dur­ing our short breaks.

Kim: We man­age to find pock­ets of time.

But when we worked to­gether, it was re­ally con­ve­nient. So maybe we should find more projects where we work to­gether, then we can date on set. (laughs)

What do your par­ents think of the other half?

Shane: My mum re­ally loves her.

Kim: My mum said, “Go out with ac­tor good meh? Later they lie to you and you won’t even know.” (laughs) But my mum is jok­ing. She likes to make sar­cas­tic jokes, so you can see where my sense of hu­mour comes from.

Shane: When I met her mum, I couldn’t tell if she was jok­ing or if she was se­ri­ous.

Kim: At first my mum pre­tended to be re­ally fierce, and Shane seemed un­sure about how he fared with her. Af­ter he left, she told me that it was very fun to dis­turb him. (laughs)

What are you saved as on each other’s phones?

Kim: His Chi­nese name.

Shane: Same.

Kim: If any­one called me ‘baby cakes muf­fin’, I would die.

Do you dis­cuss with each other be­fore post­ing each other’s photos or pics to­gether on so­cial me­dia?

Kim: I look good in ev­ery photo. (laughs) Just kid­ding. I have a lot of ridicu­lous photos. Peo­ple have the im­pres­sion that celebrity cou­ples think a lot, but not re­ally. We’re very nor­mal.

Valen­tine’s Day is com­ing soon, so do you have any plans?

Shane: I don’t know if we’ve got the day off or not.

Kim: Valen­tine’s Day is very close to Chi­nese New Year, so I think we’ll be hav­ing a good time.

Shane: No, it means I’ve got Chi­nese New Year show, which means re­hearsals.

Do you have any gifts pre­pared for each other?

Shane: Don’t have. Even if I have, I also don’t want to say. (laughs)

Kim: I’m so not ro­man­tic. I don’t usu­ally give gifts at the time where it mat­ters. Shane: Same, I’m also not ro­man­tic.

What have you learnt from each other? Kim: He teaches me to be spon­ta­neous and chill. I’m more prac­ti­cal and I think a bit fur­ther, so he’s learnt how to be a bit more metic­u­lous and care­ful when mak­ing cer­tain de­ci­sions.

Shane: I think that’s one of the main rea­sons why we are a good com­bi­na­tion. Some­times I’m too chill, so I don’t think of the con­se­quences be­fore I do some­thing.

Can you share a few tips on how to main­tain a re­la­tion­ship?

Kim: First, you al­ways have to be open and hon­est with each other. Mak­ing the truth palat­able is not nec­es­sar­ily be­ing hon­est. Sec­ondly, al­ways have fun with each other. The mo­ment you stop hav­ing fun is when you start to tire of each other and get ir­ri­tated all the time. No mat­ter how busy or tired you are, find joy in the lit­tle things. Shane: Be pa­tient with each other. For ex­am­ple, if she’s be­ing un­rea­son­able be­cause she’s angry or un­happy about some­thing, it’s best to just be pa­tient, take it in and talk to her when she’s cooled down. Be­cause at that point of time, she’s not go­ing to lis­ten to what­ever you say. Kim: We al­ways have a rule where only one per­son can be angry at any point in time. If not, every­one’s just go­ing to start fight­ing. It’s about be­ing kind to each other. Be­cause if you’re kind to each other, you have a lit­tle more pa­tience, tol­er­ance and un­der­stand­ing. But I mean, we’re not love gu­rus, so don’t take our word for it. (laughs)

So is mar­riage on the cards for you any­time soon?

Kim: Still no money. (laughs) Ask us again when the dol­lars roll in. We might have a dif­fer­ent re­sponse.

Hang­ing High Blouse fromMoxiePi­geon Sou­venirJacket from Brat­pack Lim­itedOn KimOn Shane

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