Actor Ryan Lian, 31, was toying with the idea of quitting showbiz when he first auditioned for Jack Neo’s two-parter movie, Long Long Time Ago.
He had been taking on bit roles for 16 years. Going on 30, he felt the need for a “normal job with a normal pay”.
But he landed the meaty role of Ah Long, a gangster, and has not looked back since.
Lian told The New Paper: “It was the first time I was one of the leads in a movie. It felt like a dream — there were so many big stars on set. Plus, it was a Jack Neo movie.
“He is one of the top directors in Singapore and I couldn’t believe he chose me.”
Lian was also honest about the happiness he felt when people started to recognise him on the streets.
He said: “People were suddenly recognising me and pointing me out. Strangers came up to me to ask how I was and commented that I had slimmed down. I did not know how to react and I took a while to process what was happening.
“I initially thought that they were people I knew from somewhere, until they told me, ‘You did great in Long Long Time Ago, and our family went to watch it.’”
Fans can catch Lian at The New Paper Courts Big Walk on Nov 26, where he will “reunite” with co-star Benjamin Tan.
Lian said: “I am happy that I will get to meet Benjamin as he has been very busy. We have not met for a few months.”
Lian is also looking forward to meeting the animals at the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari.
He said: “I think going to the zoo will be fun because I have not been there in a long time. The Walk will be good as I would normally just be watching TV at home.”