Showbiz taught Star Search winner Teoh Zetong to distinguish friends & colleagues

He expressed concerns about being misunderstood as pretending to be friendly.

Karen Lui | September 10, 2021, 01:40 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Malaysian actor Teoh Zetong is the fifth guest to appear on the second season of "Hear U Out", a talk show hosted by Quan Yi Fong.

After being crowned the Star Search winner in 2019, the former Carousell manager went on to bag the Best Newcomer award at the Star Awards 2021.

In the episode, the 28-year-old revealed that one thing he learnt in showbiz was to discern between colleagues and friends.

Screenshot via meWATCH.

Colleagues are not necessarily friends

When asked by Quan if he has any friends, Teoh struggled to reply immediately and decisively.

Teoh hesitates before he replies, "Yes, I guess." Screenshot via meWATCH.

He premised that he previously did not mull too deeply over the concept of friends and treated everyone he met as friends.

"After entering  this industry, I realised that is not the case. It turns out that the distinction between colleagues and friends can be drawn very clearly."

Despite joking around and having fun on set while filming every day as colleagues, it may not reach the level of friends, he added.

Familiar with what Teoh was referring to, Quan demonstrated how colleagues may be chatting excitedly during the shoot but once filming wraps up, they quickly say goodbye and leave.

Laughing, Teoh confirmed that he had indeed experienced that, which was not the case in his previous jobs.

Screenshot via meWATCH.

He added that he had to adapt to this work culture and learn to distinguish between colleagues and friends.

Playing devil's advocate, Quan suggested that perhaps when one is filming a television show or in her case, conducting an interview, she might have already spent a week researching on him.

"It's not that I don't like you, it's just that I've focused all of my energy on you in the past 12 hours. I'm alright with you after that but I don't want you to be part of my next 12 hours," Quan explained.

Teoh said that he naturally saw his colleagues as friends while building rapport with them during filming, but agreed with Quan that such an approach was not sustainable in the long run as he collaborates with more artistes on various programmes.

Misunderstood as being overfamiliar

Teoh shared his concerns that he may be misunderstood by others in showbiz as being overfamiliar, pretending to be friendly, and being too "PR-savvy".

Caption translates as, "Often misunderstood". Screenshot via meWATCH.

He personally disagrees with such views and instead clarified that he believes everyone has their own virtues and avoids jumping to conclusions and judging their negative behaviour that may be triggered by external factors.

The difficulty of striking a balance and navigating showbiz was previously highlighted by fellow Mediacorp artiste, Joanne Peh, in an interview in 2019.

She explained how her Best Actress win at the 2012 Star Awards indirectly caused her distress as acknowledging her win over experienced actresses like Zoe Tay and Fann Wong may be perceived negatively, while downplaying it may come across as false humility.

Read more

Follow and listen to our podcast here

Top images via meWATCH.