Why Taiwanese actor Mike He got asked to leave the set of new drama Imperfect Us

 


SINGAPORE – Taiwanese actor Mike He’s pretty-boy looks are immortalised in classic idol dramas like Devil Beside You (2005). But in the new series Imperfect Us, the 40-year-old sports a different look, with short, greying hair that makes him look much older.

It is a successful change in image.

In an interview with Singapore media over video call, He says: “There’s a scene of me walking to the carpark, and the assistant director came up to me and tried to ask me to leave the set because he thought I was some passer-by.”

Imperfect Us, which premieres on Viu on April 6, revolves around two women with the same birthday, Rebecca (Tiffany Hsu) and Qingfen (Ariel Lin). They develop a rivalry when they discover they have the same taste in not only clothes, but men as well. A love triangle with He’s character Ruizhi ensues.

The cast is rounded out by Taiwanese actor Kai Ko, who plays an engineer who develops a friendship with Rebecca.

Both Taiwanese actresses have very happy lives off-screen – Lin married her businessman husband in 2014 and gave birth to their daughter in 2021, while Hsu wed her Man In Love (2021) co-star Roy Chiu in 2021.

But jealousy runs deep between their characters, and the cast members, as glamorous as they might be, admit to feeling envy every so often.

Mike He sports greying hair in new drama Imperfect Us. PHOTO: MYVIDEO, TAIWAN MOBILE; TAIWAN PUBLIC TELEVISION SERVICE FOUNDATION

Lin, 41, says: “Of course I sometimes feel envious of others and their life, but when I think about it, what they’re doing is often not something I can or will choose to do for myself. For example, when I see someone who spends 11 months a year overseas for work, I know that’s not something I want to do at this stage of life any more.”

Ko, 32, admits he envies people who are “financially free”.

“But on the flip side, they might have their own set of troubles, and perhaps they might envy the life of an actor as well. I think everyone has parts of their life that are worthy of envy and other parts that bring them pain,” he says. 

As for feeling jealous? Mum’s the word, at least for leading lady Hsu.

The 39-year-old reveals with a laugh: “My mother used to be my manager, and back then, she was the main attraction. Whenever she was around, it was as if she was the celebrity, and I’d have to take care of her and her feelings and even bring her tea. It was quite a complicated relationship.”

(From left) Ariel Lin, Tiffany Hsu and Mike He. PHOTO: MYVIDEO, TAIWAN MOBILE; TAIWAN PUBLIC TELEVISION SERVICE FOUNDATION

Mothers are a pressure point in the series’ core relationships as well, as Ruizhi’s mother also sways his choice in his romantic life.

“Ruizhi is with Rebecca, yet he allows someone else (Qingfen) to take care of his mother. He feels like Qingfen is giving him the help he needs, and he’s not thinking about how this situation causes a rift between Rebecca and Qingfen. His mum also has her own preferences and tries to influence him as well,” He says.

Kai Ko in Imperfect Us. PHOTO: MYVIDEO, TAIWAN MOBILE; TAIWAN PUBLIC TELEVISION SERVICE FOUNDATION

With Imperfect Us delving into love and lust, will there be steamy scenes?

Lin teases: “It feels explicit not in the sense of skin being on display, but during scenes that feature the trio, there is a lot of simmering sexual tension.”

Meanwhile, Ko, who recently starred in the sexy friends-with-benefits romance Let’s Talk About Chu (2024), jokes: “This series wasn’t risque for me at all. Any film or drama where I don’t have to show my butt is tame.”

Imperfect Us premieres on Viu on April 6.


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