4 Questions With Local Director Jack Neo

Weekender catches Singapore’s film icon for a quick morning chat

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Donning a chic minimalist smart watch and tapping away on his mobile phone, director Jack Neo looks as busy as you would expect. It’s little wonder why: He sits atop an impressive portfolio of quintessential Singapore films, from the side-splitting Money No Enough to the serialised Ah Boys To Men.

Many would call him an auteur and even a businessman. But in real life, Neo registers as far from the philosophical artist or the suit-and-tie type. In his khakis and polo shirt, he reminds one more of their favourite funny uncle.

“Did you know you could send messages by speaking into your phone and it would translate everything into text?” Neo asked me.

I knew, but I decided to play along.

“Here, let me show you. Isn’t that amazing?” When he saw my ‘surprise’, he grinned with satisfaction.

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Speaking to us after his new radio segment on 88.3 Jia FM, Neo answers a few quick questions about his new show, his favourite trend and plans for the future.

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1. How do you manage to come up with witty lines so quickly?

We’ve been in this industry for very long, and we’re older. [Points to co-host Wang Lei] He’s got to be as old as Obama. [Laughs]

We’re experienced, especially with comedy programmes… And I’ve been on TV and in movies for so long. So if you ask us to crack jokes, it’s like second nature. Every reaction can be turned into a punchline.

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