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Ex-Mediacorp actor Dai Xiangyu doesn't set goals anymore, explains why he wants to 'wait calmly for death'

Ex-Mediacorp actor Dai Xiangyu doesn't set goals anymore, explains why he wants to 'wait calmly for death'
Dai Xiangyu went on a six-month break last year to study acting.
PHOTO: Weibo/Dai Xiangyu

Former Mediacorp actor Dai Xiangyu turns 40 this year, and is slowing down when it comes to the projects he takes on.

In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao published yesterday (July 9), Xiangyu — who returned to China a decade ago and is now based there — said that he planned to take a month off after finishing his current drama and has been reducing the roles he takes because he "may not have so much creativity for some characters".

He even went on a six-month break after Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty II: To The West last year to study acting.

Xiangyu, who was previously known as Dai Yangtian, added that the change comes from a different outlook on life where he no longer sets clear goals for himself, a far cry from how he used to be in his younger years.

"Do you know how far I used to set goals?" he shared. "I bought a watch at 25 and a house at 30, but I didn't know what my next goal would be after I bought a house. I also told myself that after age 30, I would never fly economy class again."


He told Zaobao that he had once discussed life goals with his wife, fellow actress Chen Zihan, and told her: "My goal now is to hope that I can wait calmly for death."

He explained that it was not a negative outlook on life but one he realised in the last five years after seeing people around him fall ill and die, that he should "slow down and accept everything that will happen" so he can be at peace with life.

Xiangyu was based in Singapore as a full-time Mediacorp artiste from 2007 to 2013, and is best known for playing Yamamoto Yousuke in The Little Nyonya (2008). In 2020, he reprised his role in the Chinese remake of the drama.

When he first moved back to China, Xiangyu said he pushed himself to work hard to stand out as an older actor among many emerging talents. He admitted that he was "anxious" and "lost the rhythm of looking at problems slowly".

"This has a lot to do with your mentality," he said. "When you are in a hurry to do something, you want the results but don't enjoy the process. But acting is in fact more about the process than the result."

Looking back at that time, Xiangyu said that he didn't feel like he was improving when he was pushing himself and could have overlooked many things.

But now he no longer feels the need to rush, and believes "what should happen will always happen".


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