Desmond Tan says his dogs are good ‘big bros’ to his baby, Latest TV News - The New Paper

Desmond Tan says his dogs are good ‘big bros’ to his baby

Since becoming a new father, Singaporean actor Desmond Tan says he has been awash with emotions he has never experienced before. 

The 37-year-old welcomed his first child, a girl, on March 5. He tied the knot with his university sweetheart in 2021.

The Mediacorp artiste tells The Straits Times over the phone: “I feel this deep happiness. I think most people tend to be focused on themselves, but after the birth of my little one, I feel a shift. Now, I put my family way ahead of myself in all my decision-making.”

He is starring in the series Moments, which premieres on April 9 on Channel 8 at 9pm and is also available on mewatch. In the drama, his character is tasked to run a detective agency with his deceased colleague’s daughter (Paige Chua). After a mysterious incident while investigating a case, he gains the ability to foresee the future, while she can see into people’s past.

While Tan enjoyed a leisurely babymoon with his wife in Paris from late 2023 to early 2024 after filming on Moments wrapped, his daughter’s birth was a little bit more hectic. The baby arrived more than a week before her expected due date, leaving Tan in a rush to finish up the nursery. 

But things have settled now and the couple have a confinement nanny for the first two months after the birth. Tan is making sure he learns everything he can to be a hands-on father.

He adds: “My wife is breastfeeding, so there’s not much I can help with, but I’m the king of burping the baby. It’s my special talent, I’m pretty good at it. When she is in my arms, she burps well.”

He did, however, commit a rookie blunder – putting on his daughter’s diaper back to front.

“The nanny was asking, ‘Who changed her diaper just now?’ I thought she was going to praise me for a job well done, but actually, I put it on wrongly.”

When asked what he would like to see if he could look into the future just like his Moments character, Tan says he is most curious about his child.

“What will she grow up to be like? I’ve been looking at her these past few weeks and she’s just a tiny human being. What’s her personality going to be like? Even just how she will look – she’s changing every day. At first, she looked more like my wife, but her tanned skin is definitely from me. I hope she embraces not being the fairest girl when she grows up.”

Prior to her arrival, Tan already had “furbabies” – his two dogs, Hoshi and Udon. 

He says: “I’m glad Hoshi met the baby because he wasn’t doing well. He has some senior dog issues and we had a couple of health scares. We thought we were going to lose him last year.”

Hoshi, a 14-year-old cocker spaniel, took to his role of big brother well. While recovering from ill health before Tan’s daughter was born, Hoshi chose a spot in the nursery to rest in. 

“I realised later on that the spot where he’d been sleeping was where the baby cot would be. It was significant to me, because it was as if he was there guarding the spot for his younger sister,” he says.

Meanwhile, Udon – an eight-year-old mixed breed – took some time getting used to the newborn.

Tan says: “Udon’s the noisy one. Whenever kids or babies cry, he barks. He barked a lot when our daughter first came home, but he has started to mellow a bit in the past one or two weeks. It’s quite heartwarming to see this rascal mellow for her.”

While he now has a bigger family, Tan, who has been steadily starring in two to three Mediacorp series a year as one of the broadcaster’s most prominent leading men, says he hopes to keep up his workload.

“I got a dose of drive from my daughter’s birth. I want to push myself harder and work harder, but I also want to learn to prioritise and manage my time more efficiently so I can draw a balance between my family and career.”

He has a guest role in a new project that begins production in April and will start work on a new drama in June.

He says: “I felt a lot of emotions in the past month and want to know how these emotions will translate into my craft. Screen performances rely on emotions and experience, so I’m curious to see if it will all flow into my work.”

Tan, who won the Best Actor gong at Star Awards in 2018 for When Duty Calls (2017), is nominated in the same category at this year’s Star Awards on April 21 for All That Glitters (2023). 

He says: “I want to manage my expectations, but I’m happy to be nominated and, hopefully, I can bring something home to the family to celebrate.”