Elvin Ng and Rui En “squabble all the time” like “an old husband and wife”

Plus, Rui En tells us about the time her intense fear of cockroaches got her in big trouble with her dad.


Silence may be golden, and old may be gold, but there usually wasn’t much silence on the set of Channel 8 long-form drama Old is Gold, according to Elvin Ng.

The cast apparently got along so well with each other - “like a house on fire”, as his co-star Rui En described - that as soon as the director yelled “cut”, the set would descend into chaos as everyone would start talking and making a racket.

“Sometimes we go overboard, and the director has to try and control us. I think it’s quite tough for them,” he chuckled.

The noise level came to a dramatic and ear-splitting peak one fateful day when two unwelcome guests were spotted in the kitchen area of the drama set on September 19. We’ll let Rui En, whom we caught up with (along with Elvin) during a set visit a couple of weeks ago, narrate the events of that fateful morning.

“I think when you’re scared of cockroaches, you have a good ‘radar’ when it comes to detecting them. So I walked into the kitchen, and although the lights were off, I looked down and was like, that looks like a dead cockroach,” she recounted to us. “Everyone came in to check it out, and I think someone said, ‘Oh my god. There’s a live one eating the dead one.’” Cue utter panic and a dramatic retreat to higher ground.

For those who haven’t seen the clip, which was recorded by Chantalle Ng and posted on Elvin’s Instagram page, it features a thoroughly terrified-looking Rui En perched on top of a dining chair, shrieking and looking generally distraught as the other cast and crew members check out the offending creepy-crawlies.

Poor Rui En's reaction to spotting a cockroach (two, actually) on set. (Photos: Instagram/Elvin Ng)

It’s possibly the most unglam side of the actress we’ve ever seen, but Rui En told us that she’s “actually very glad” the moment was immortalised on video. “I find it damn funny!” she chortled. “I still laugh every time I watch it. I’m thankful I wasn’t scolding vulgarities! (Laughs)”

As it turns out, the 38-year-old has always had an intense fear of roaches - and insects in general - since she was young, although there wasn’t any particular incident that sparked it.

When we asked how she usually reacts to seeing a cockroach at home, she said that it’s “exactly the same” as depicted in the clip: high-pitched screaming, running, and getting as far away from the bug as possible. She then admitted that the screeching once landed her in hot water with her dad when he was still living with her (he has since retired and moved to New Zealand).

“I actually shocked him out of his sleep so badly that he lost it and scolded me for scaring him like that,” she recalled. “Like, he got really angry and was like, ‘Girl, you know you can’t be screaming like that in the middle of the night!’ I think even my neighbours in the next block thought I was being murdered.”

“I know I can be a bit overdramatic, but that comes with the territory of being an actress, right?” she mused. Honestly, as fellow entomophobes, we find her response completely understandable, regardless of her occupation.

Watch 'Old is Gold' episode 94:

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Read on as we chat with Rui En and Elvin Ng about their experiences working on Old is Gold, “aunty uncle spats” (seriously), and more!

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