The Singapore director and Taiwanese actor hit it off on the set of omnibus film Distance.

Singaporean director Anthony Chen is always the first to arrive on set and the last to leave, said Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin.

“Anthony’s very serious in what he does, very diligent, attentive, and a bit of a control freak,” Chen Bolin quipped in Mandarin when he met the Singapore press at Marina Bay Sands.

The cast of Distance poses for the cameras at the press conference at MBS.

Both Chens were in town to promote Distance, an omnibus feature film made up of 3 short stories that centred on the meanings of alienation and connection. Anthony Chen executive-produced the film – the first from his boutique company Giraffe Pictures to hit the cinema. Chen Bolin played three different characters – a businessman, a young father and a professor – in the three stories set in three different countries – China, Singapore and Thailand. Each story was helmed by a young director from the respective countries.

Anthony Chen, who won global recognition with his multiple award-winning debut feature film Ilo Ilo in 2013, was also all praise for his leading man from Taiwan.

“He is continuously challenging himself. He’s definitely not the type of person who gives up or throws in the towel. It’s very easy to imagine an actor of his fan base and his young age to take it all for granted. But not when the actor is Bolin. You can see there’s so much commitment and hard work. I really applaud that,” the homegrown executive producer had told Channel NewsAsia.

Chen Bolin is a familiar face on Taiwanese TV. The 33-year-old model-turned-actor is best known for his part as a ‘Mr Nice Guy’ in the 2011 idol drama In Time With You. The role won him his first Best Actor trophy in Golden Bell Awards, Taiwan’s equivalent to the Emmy Awards. He’s also appeared in popular Korean reality show We Got Married, and has signed on to BM+ Entertainment to advance his career in Korean showbiz.

The stars of Distance gather with the students of Ngee Ann Polytechnic for a cozy picture.

Besides Anthony Chen, Chen Bolin also worked closely with Tan Shijie, another Singaporean who directed the Singapore segment in Distance. Tan Shijie said he was initially rather nervous about directing Chen Bolin, the first established name to star in his film. But he was relieved when the Taiwanese hunk turned out to be “the most down-to-earth listener”.

Chen Bolin’s easy-going nature also shone through when complimented for his acting versatility in the film. “I leave it to the audience to determine if I was successful in portraying those roles,” he said during the cast’s visit to Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Anthony Chen’s Alma mater. “To me, the most important thing is to enjoy every take like it’s a brand new experience.”

Check out the cast’s visit to Ngee Ann Polytechnic and the trailer of Distance below!