When Chinese media zaobao.sg reached out to Xianmin, who left showbiz in 2007 when she was 15, she first shared that she got married five years ago, and now co-owns a gynaecology clinic with her friend. 

Xianmin studied at Raffles Girls’ School and Raffles Institution before entering the National University of Singapore, where she majored in International Relations. After graduating, Xianmin worked as an assistant director at the Eco-city Project Office, under the Ministry of National Development. 

Xianmin also recounted her impromptu reunion with Xiang Yun and Edmund. 

She was having a meal with her friend, who suddenly said there were celebrities around.

“I turned my head and realised it was Edmund and Xiang Yun,” said Xianmin. “Maybe it’s because my face has barely changed, but they could recognise me at one glance, and that made me feel very touched.” 

Meeting the stars whom she worked with two decades ago immediately took Xianmin back to the past, especially when exchanging numbers with Xiang Yun.

“I don’t know why but I subconsciously gave [her] my mum’s number when I should have given her mine!” she laughed, adding that it was how her people used to contact her when she was still a child actress. 

Though it has been 20 years, Xianmin still remembers her days on set like they were yesterday. For example, how Xiang Yun and Edmund took really good care of her and that she called the former “mummy” on and off set.

“I’ll always remember that one time I had to deliver some really difficult lines, which included words like ‘digestive system’ as well as ‘large and small intestines’. I had so many no-good takes and it caused the seven-to-eight people on set to have to redo their parts over and over again,” she said. 

“I was so stressed out that I cried. Edmund came to console me. Everyone was very nice, they even helped to touch up my make-up.”

Xianmin also recalled how Jin Yinji, who played her grandma in Double Happiness, would always bring good food on set. 

“In the show, we sold fish and chips. In real life Jin-jie would deep-fry food on the spot to share with everyone,” she reminisced. 

Till today, Xianmin, who also starred in Springs Of Life (2002) and A Child’s Hope (2003), still gets recognised in public, with many people telling her that they “grew up watching [her] shows”. 

Even an ex-colleague from China, who watched Double Happiness on CCTV-8 back then, could recognise her. 

Looking back at her acting days, Xianmin said she really cherishes that period.

“My childhood was really innocent. I just truly enjoyed acting and was part of a very long drama. All my seniors [such as Ivy Lee, Xie Shaoguang and Aileen Tan] were extremely well-known and they were so nice to me,” she said, adding that she’s thankful her mum agreed to let her act.

Xianmin, who won the Young Talent Award at the 2004 Star Awards for her performance in Double Happiness, still has her trophy displayed in her living room. 

So has she thought of returning to acting, like fellow child actress Regene Lim? The answer is sadly, no.

While she’s still interested in acting, she wants to focus on her clinic and has no plans to return to showbiz.

This story was originally published in 8Days. 

For more 8Days stories, visit https://www.8days.sg/

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