Peter Yu talks about his wish for ex-wife Quan Yi Fong and estranged daughter Eleanor Lee

Local actor Peter Yu has had some tough experiences and the similarities to his new movie character are uncanny.

Earlier this month, AsiaOne spoke to the 54-year-old on the set of the upcoming local film The Last Letters, where he plays Ah Tan, a "useless father" who is estranged from his wife and daughter because of his gambling and drug habits.

Elaborating on his character in the movie, he said: "Years later, they join the church Ah Tan is in and his daughter also becomes one of the members in the church worship team, and their relationship improves."

In real life, Peter is also estranged from China-based actress Eleanor Lee, his 23-year-old daughter with ex-wife, local TV host Quan Yi Fong.

They divorced in 2008 and Peter is currently on talking terms with Yi Fong, 49.

When asked if he drew from personal experience when portraying Ah Tan, Peter told AsiaOne: "Not really. In the script, Ah Tan's wife and daughter join the church, so I hope that I will see this happen in real life as well.

"I hope both mother and daughter (Yi Fong and Eleanor)... I don't know if they have become believers; I hope that one day they will turn to God too. In the past, we attended church together. I have been praying for them."

He added hopefully: "I think it will be a beautiful thing."

Similar to Ah Tan, Peter took drugs and gambled after his divorce. He stopped his bad habits when he attended church and he remarried in 2011. He and his wife have two sons.

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In the locally-produced Mandarin/Hokkien film The Last Letters, set in the 1980s, Mark Lee plays Loke, who sells his kampung house and moves to a one-room apartment to save money to send his daughter Eileen (Xenia Tan) to the United States for studies.

As Loke is illiterate, he asks his neighbour Ah Tan to help read the letters from Eileen and also pen his replies. When bad news arrives, Ah Tan decides to keep it a secret from Loke for fear of it affecting his poor health.

In a February interview with AsiaOne for the Mediacorp drama Fix My Life, Peter also spoke about his renewed priorities in life now.

"In the past, I didn't realise just how important relationships with my wife, parents and friends were - I didn't give these relationships enough respect," he said.

"But now, relationships — between friends, parents, my wife and my children — are a high priority for me."

Watch our E-Junkies video for the full interview.

The Last Letters, directed by Chai Yee Wei, also stars Renee Chua, Rajeswary, Zhang Wei, Johnny Ng and Janice Seah, and is currently in production. It's scheduled to be released in cinemas at the end of this year or early 2024.

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