A baby made in S'pore for Settle
MATTHEW Settle spent two months in Singapore last year to shoot the horror flick The Faith Of Anna Waters, helmed by Kelvin Tong.
It was the American actor's first time working here - or anywhere in South-east Asia for that matter.
But in those weeks, he managed to do a lot - watched the Singapore Grand Prix on his birthday, checked out many restaurants, went shopping and even enlarged his family.
"My wife and I decided to have a baby a year ago, and we have a one-month-old daughter now," he says over the phone. "Our baby was conceived in Singapore."
Settle is calling from Hawaii, United States, where he is overseeing the construction of a property he owns.
Another thing that changed for the 46-year-old after his visit to Singapore was the discovery of the traditional Chinese medicine food chart and the heating and cooling properties of food.
He says this is something he has started to observe. This knowledge came in handy when Settle's father was hospitalised for pneumonia recently. His dad has since recovered.
Settle - who spent 2007 to 2012 playing Rufus Humphrey in the hit TV series Gossip Girl - is the youngest of six children. His father has a doctorate in theology and his mother is an organist and pianist.
Besides Gossip Girl, Settle also worked on Band Of Brothers and the mini-series Into The West. He also had guest-starring gigs on many shows, including Brothers & Sisters and ER.
However, he usually gets recognised for Gossip Girl - something that happened in Singapore too.
"Gossip Girl was an international sensation. It was one of those shows that struck a chord on every level - it had a great formula and lasted for six years. So I am grateful for that," he says.
Although many good things came to Settle during the Gossip Girl years, it was also the time when he and his then wife, Naama Nativ, got divorced.
They have a seven-year-old daughter.
For his role in The Faith Of Anna Waters, he accessed that part of his life to play a father who does not know how to help his daughter.
"Estrangement, fatherhood, a daughter who's slightly out of reach… I related to that personally because I went through something similar," says Settle.
In the film, the young daughter is entangled with a supernatural entity, making it impossible for Settle's character to come to her aid.
The actor confesses that he was equally interested in the horror portion of the tale.
"The idea of doing a story about possession is intriguing because I think inside all of us is that curiosity… to understand why we fear things. And as an actor, I like to figure out what leads a character to do what they do."
Although he is aware of the horror genre's popularity in Asia, he was still amazed at the rituals done on the set to ward off bad luck and rain.
"And it worked.
"It would be raining 100m down the street and it didn't rain on our set."
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
The Faith Of Anna Waters will be released on
May 12 in Singapore.