Pierre Png’s abs stole hearts and the show in Crazy Rich Asians

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SINGAPORE: Unless you’ve been living under a (seriously big) rock, you, like the rest of us, seriously cannot wait till the launch of Crazy Rich Asians, set to launch at the end of this month. 

Pierre Png Crazy Rich Asians

And if you’re anything like us, you’d have been watching the movie’s trailer over and over again to tide you through this difficult waiting time. Oh, the hardship. 

Here’s a quick recap (in case you’ve just emerged from under said rock): The film, based on the 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she travels with her long-time boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Only then does Rachel learn that Nick is the only scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families, and… yup that definitely complicates things. 

Besides the obvious allure of getting a sneak peek into the otherwise cloistered lives of the ridiculously rich in Singapore (Kwan claims to have grown up around said folk, where he’d apparently seen things like a tennis court next to an airplane hangar at a family friend’s home), there’s a lot of excitement over the movie being set on home ground, and the use of many familiar local actors. And then there’s… this. 

Crazy Rich Asians Pierre Png Gemma Chan

Watch the moment at 1:59, in the trailer down below:


Yes, those – amidst the flashy scenes of glitterati, first-class travel, extravagant parties, million-dollar gems – are Pierre Png’s abs. It took us a couple of takes to realise they belonged to him because the scene was cut so tight, but who knew all that was lying beneath? 

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Naturally, we had to reach out to Png (who plays Michael Teo, the husband of Astrid Leong, Rachel Chu’s friend in the show) to find out his secret to his scene-stealing abs (because any abs that can distract us from the actual plot of the movie are worth finding out more about). 

This is what he had to say: “Most mornings I try to get a workout in before breakfast. For the movie, I had just about a month to get into shape so they assigned a personal trainer to work on me. My physical trainers would work on my back, shoulders and chest today. Rest tomorrow. Work on biceps, triceps and chest. Rest. Abs and legs. Rest. 

“I’d cheat. I would do my own workout on those rest days. When I was back in Singapore, I did a lot of compound exercises and finished them off with 100 push-ups after each session,” said Png. 

Intense. But we all know that abs are also made in the kitchen, not just at the gym. How about that diet then? 


“On a daily basis, my meals are quite simple. And I eat just about anything, really… except for anything white like bread, rice and kway teow. I love my ice cream! 

"But I am making an effort to cut down on my sugar, salt and oil intake. And once a week, I do not eat meat. For the filming period, my diet was nothing extreme, I just had to increase my meals to five times a day. No salt. No oil. Lots of meats and protein shakes in between workouts.” 

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Well, all that hard work’s definitely paid off. Catch Png’s abs (and the rest of him) when Crazy Rich Asians opens in theatres Aug 22.

This article first appeared in ELLE Singapore.