Hollywood star Chin Han still calls Singapore ‘home’

Peace Chiu
Singapore Showbiz

Chin Han (centre) and the cast of 'Serangoon Road' (Yahoo! photo)
Chin Han (centre) and the cast of 'Serangoon Road' (Yahoo! photo)

He’s one of Singapore’s most successful acting exports, having made his big break in 2008’s "The Dark Knight" and the end-of-the-world blockbuster, "2012".

But Chin Han, 43, says that whenever he is back in Singapore, he sheds off the tag “Hollywood star” and likes to simply spend time with his family and “eat carrot cake and Hainanese chicken rice” at hawker centres. Though he is largely based in Hollywood these days, Chin still calls Singapore “home”.

But there’s no doubting that the affable star, who’s been in the acting business for over 20 years, has paid his dues and is currently on a hot streak.

Having gained acclaim in Singapore through his role in "Masters of the Sea", Channel 5’s first foray into English dramas back in the 90s, Chin has acted in a string of high-profile roles since his big break in 2008.

In 2011, he starred in "Contagion" and followed that up with plum roles in TV series like "Fringe", "Last Resort" and "Arrow".

And there’s no letting up yet. Next up is the April 2014 release of the much-awaited Captain America sequel, "Winter Soldier", where he got the chance to act with his childhood idol Robert Redford.

Also up on his plate is the Asian film "Final Recipe", starring Michelle Yeoh, about a young chef who dreams to take over the family restaurant. Chin said he spent five months learning how to cook, adding that he’s now good with stir frying and making reductions.

In town to promote HBO Asia’s first original drama series, "Serangoon Road", Chin said it was a great opportunity for him to “be home and work at the same time”.

Having been approached to star in the series – which will be set during the Malayan Emergency in 1960s Singapore -- while he was back in town between projects last year, Chin said he loves the “intimacy” and “collaborative”, “communal” spirit of working on a TV set.

Besides Chin, “Serangoon Road” also stars award-winning Australian actor, Doh Hany, Asian diva, Joan Chen, Singapore director-actor, Alaric Tay and Singapore actress, Pamelyn Chee.

It will guest star home-grown veterans Lim Kay Tong, Edmund Chen and Xiang Yun.

So what’s next for Han?

Moving forward, he said he’s ready to take on -- yup you guessed it, comedy -- and that his favourite all-time movies include “When Harry met Sally”, “Notting Hill” and “Love Actually”.

“Serangoon Road” will premiere on HBO and HBO HD on 22 September at 9pm.

The ten-episode hour-long detective noir series is a co-production with Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television.

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