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Xu Bin and Aloysius Pang: Kings of social media

Local television hunks Aloysius Pang and Xu Bin have joined the ranks of international stars, as they receive their very own sticker set on popular messaging app Line

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Accruing millions of followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is an achievement of yesterday. Now, bagging your own emoticon collection is the latest status symbol among celebrities.

Pop crooner Taylor Swift had hers. So did famous Korean sensations like Lee Min Ho, Psy and Running Man’s Lee Kwang Soo.

 

Now, joining the ranks are our very own Aloysius Pang and Xu Bin, who recently received sticker sets on popular messaging app Line. The two have risen in popularity with local audiences for their dashing looks and roles in recent Mandarin dramas like “118” and “Poetic Justice”, and in local movie Timeless Love.

The stickers serve like emoticons, with the guys sporting comical expressions while uttering phrases like “Bo Jio!!” (Hokkien slang for “Why didn’t you invite me?”) and “OMG!!!”

The pair reveals to Weekender their favourite sticker of the bunch, the secrets to their dashing good looks and their thoughts as the reigning kings of social media.

What have you been busy with recently?

Aloysius Pang: I’m currently filming the long-form drama “Life Fear Not”. The shoot will be close to six months for 120 episodes.

Xu Bin: I’m currently preparing for my next drama “Revenge Queen”. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time reading the script and understanding the role I will be playing.

Do you use Line when chatting with friends?

Aloysius: I’m a pretty active Line user because many of my friends are using it as well. I love how adorable the Line stickers are… Most importantly, I can send my own stickers to my friends and family, which is pretty cool.

Xu Bin: Yes of course! I started using Line two years ago and I’m definitely a fan. The wide range of cute and fun stickers also adds joy to my conversations with friends!

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Aloysius Pang (top) and Xu Bin recently received their own sticker sets on LINE

Which of your LINE stickers is your favourite?

Aloysius: My favourite is the “Bo Jio” sticker. I had no clue as to how the stickers will turn out from the shoot but they’re pleasantly adorable, and I like how localised the captions are.

Xu Bin: The “Please” sticker. I thought my expression looked rather cute and innocent. I have no idea how I managed to pull it off! Haha!

How else do you like to connect with your fans?

Aloysius: Through the timeline that Line offers, I am relatively more active and I’ll be sharing exclusive posts and information about myself and my daily lifestyle.

Xu Bin: I have been sending direct messages, and posting behind-the-scenes pictures and videos on my timeline to share with my fans.

Tell us something that your fans may not know.

Aloysius: I think a lot. Besides thinking about filming, I think about my future, finances, jobs, etc – things that are more on the serious side.

Xu Bin: I’m pretty much an open book – what you see is what you get.

Xu Bin (left) with fellow actor Desmond Tan in drama “Against the Tide”. (Photo: Channel 8)

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Xu Bin: I tend to speak before I think and I might not always be “picture-ready”. Sometimes I answer a question too quickly and my answers might be misinterpreted.

On days I’m not filming, I am dressed quite casually in a T-shirt, slippers and cap and this makes me look sloppy when I take pictures with fans. Sometimes, these unflattering pictures could easily go viral due to social media.

How did you overcome these obstacles?

Xu Bin: I have learnt to take my time to reply questions so as to give myself more time to think. I also try to look presentable when I step out of my house, no matter where I’m going.

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Aloysius, as well as Xu Bin, connects with his fans on social media platforms like Instagram (Photo: Instagram)

With social media, many youths feel pressured to keep up with trends. How would you advise them to deal with this pressure?

Aloysius: Be yourself. You don’t have to be like everyone else. You are special just the way you are. If you don’t see it yourself, no one else can see it.

If you could be part of a Korean variety show, which would it be?

Aloysius: I’d pick “Running Man”. I have always loved to challenge myself on physical and intellectual levels. I don’t think I’m suitable for varieties because of my quiet personality, but I can get pretty competitive when challenged.

Is there a type of role that you’ve always wanted to play?

Aloysius: I’ve always wanted to play roles that involve disabilities… It’s a dream of mine to be able to reach out to the public through my acting and to properly educate the public on the problems these people are facing.

Xu Bin: A beggar or coolie, where I can forget about looking good and focus on my acting.

What’s your favourite Singapore food?

Aloysius: I love chicken rice.

Xu Bin: Salted egg crab!

Not one to shy away from showing off his looks, Xu Bin also wishes he could act in more challenging roles like a beggar or coolie (Photo: Instagram)

How do you maintain your good looks?

Aloysius: I go through a standard facial routine every day and I make sure to moisturise my face.

Xu Bin: I believe in healthy living and I try to exercise whenever I can (swimming, jogging and going to the gym). I also follow a basic skincare regimen – proper cleansing, applying moisturiser and sunblock.

What is one funny rumour about yourself that you would like to correct?

Aloysius: That [actress] Jayley [Woo] and I are together. We are really good friends and it’s a weird idea.

What do you like to do to relax and treat yourself?

Aloysius: I love to study movies and actors in the comfort of my own bedroom with air con, no lights and some chips on the side.

Xu Bin: Sleep is my best medicine for relaxation! And of course, a short get away to a place with the sun, sand and sea is also a good treat!

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?

Aloysius: I’d probably be an entrepreneur. I have many ideas running through my mind that I can work on when I have time. But right now, my focus is solely on the art of acting.

What upcoming projects can fans see you in?

Aloysius: “Hand in Hand” is airing on Sep 24 and “Life Fear Not” will probably air in mid-October. I’m also involved in a movie that should be in theatres this November.

[Aloysius is filming for upcoming school comedy Young & Fabulous, co-starring Gurmit Singh, Henry Thia and Joshua Tan.]

Xu Bin: I’m involved in an upcoming Channel 8 drama “Crescendo”. Tune in!

Aloysius and Xu Bin’s LINE sticker sets are available for download until Sep 17.

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