Desmond Tan goes from hunky duke to bikini babe

The actor boldly took on a scene in skimpy swimwear for ‘The Truth Seekers’ – something his co-stars Chen Hanwei, Rebecca Lim and Yusuke Fukuchi said they would tackle as well

Desmond Tan goes from hunky duke to bikini babe

Photos: Tammi Tan, Channel 8
Videos: Zhang Jia Hao

Last week, Desmond Tan flaunted the fruits of his two-month labour (of clean eating and vigorous exercise) when he shot a scene for The Truth Seekers in naught but his skivvies and shoes – but that was not the most daring thing he embarked on for the upcoming Channel 8 drama, which centres on a team of investigators that tackle cold crime cases.

In November, the cast and crew headed to a Japanese restaurant to film an act where, upon losing a bet to Rebecca Lim’s character Huang Yu Yang, Hong Jun Yan (played by Desmond) has to fulfil his end of the bargain and accept his punishment by wearing a bikini.

However, when the 29-year-old duke first found out about this interesting task in the script, his first reaction was not to be embarrassed by the thought of squeezing into a skimpy two-piece for the very first time.

“I was pressurised because after enjoying lots of good food in Penang while filming Mata Mata, my body was quite out of shape, so I started training very hard and eating healthily,” he told Toggle in an interview during a set visit yesterday (Dec 2). “Shooting both a topless and bikini scene in one drama is quite incredible! But I was satisfied with the results.”

Desmond Tan goes from hunky duke to bikini babe

When asked what it felt like to don the scanty beach garment, Desmond admitted that it was “confusing” at first because he didn’t know how to put it on. “It’s quite hard to reach to the back to tie it – I don’t know how girls do it!” he remarked.

After struggling with the perplexing swimsuit at the drama’s imaging session a few months ago, Desmond thought he would be able to handle it on the day of the shoot, but he ended up wearing it too high on his chest – and that was only the beginning of his adventures.

As filming took place during the restaurant’s regular opening hours, there were several people around to witness the actor’s brave feat. “When the waiters started laughing when they saw me, and some Japanese customers went (mimics shocked, gaping expression),” he recounted sheepishly. “I felt quite paiseh (embarrassed) and ran into the private VIP room.”

His friends and family members didn’t seem to take too kindly to the sight either. When he showed them pictures of his risqué getup, Desmond expected them to admire his hunky build. Unfortunately, the reaction he got was more along the lines of, “Oh freak, so disgusting!”

“They said it’s just weird seeing me in a bikini,” he chuckled.

Although it seems like he suffered a slight blow to his manly image with this stunt, Desmond declared that it was all worth it. “When I heard about this, I took it like a soldier because I like challenges,” he elaborated. “Also, these scenes are quite beneficial for the character in terms of comical value – it’s really funny to see him lose a bet when he was so confident!”

Desmond Tan goes from hunky duke to bikini babe
The cast of the The Truth Seekers (clockwise from top left): Yusuke Fukuchi, Rebecca Lim, Desmond Tan, Brandon Wong, Hong Ling, Chen Hanwei, Lyn Poh

Over the weekend, a group of our local artistes made their way to Cambodia for the inaugural PPCTV MediaCorp Awards, where Desmond picked up Favourite Onscreen Couple, which he shared with Jeanette Aw for The Journey: A Voyage.

“I’m thankful for winning my first ever award in Cambodia,” he gushed. “It also made me realise how magnificent my job is – it doesn’t just stop at Singapore’s borders, but has gone across to places like Cambodia and China. It’s very heartening to know.”

While he was there, he received lots of local delicacies, paintings of himself, two huge teddy bears, and an interesting proposition from a fan – an invitation to her wedding. “Because I’ve been to Cambodia a few times and the fans are very active on social media, I know them by name. I’m so happy she’s getting married!” he exclaimed.

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