Busy hosting and presenting, Allan is one sought after actor who has starred in an extensive list of productions. Never one to back down from a dare, Allan has braved many challenges on various reality shows. So, can he conquer the fear of racing manual cars? Let’s find out…
With your build, was it tough to find a racing suit which you could fit into?
Caltex had really tight suits, and we had to go one size larger just to fit in. It was really hot and humid in the Philippines, and I went for my blue suit for comfort.
Describe your greatest moment in HISTORY’s Celebrity Car Wars!
I had many big moments! I would call them colourful moments, where I had the excitement of car racing; the chemistry, or lack of, with the other competitors; people with colourful personalities! I went all-out, overcommit sometimes and I do make mistakes, and a couple of cars get banged up. And… some malls.
One of the challenges was to race inside a brand new mall. So, you’re trying to go as fast as you can, while navigating through a tight course. It just goes to show that anything can happen in a race. There is a danger element with six amateur wannabe race car drivers on a track together!
What have you learnt from the show?
I’ve learnt to be a much better at manual transmissions. That was the very first challenge on the show. I’ve also got better at reversing with a trailer attached. It was nice to apply what I learnt on the show elsewhere. Understanding the apex, taking the line, going through a corner, how to brake, how to correct a sliding car, just to name the big ones from the racing component.
What are your thoughts on today’s automotive culture?
I think I have worked with the most car brands in China, hosting events. China has money and a huge automotive market. In the USA, it’s very developed, you have Indy, offroading, and a whole lot of different styles. The Philippines scene is really, really big on automotive scene too. Hong Kong and Taiwan, they’re big on racing. In Singapore, there definitely is a market, but it’s so small and it’s more of a niche. Cars are so expensive, but you still see a small group of enthusiasts tricking their cars up.
Now, do you see motorsports as another form of physical activity?
Prior to the show, I’ve always questioned how athletic race drivers are, since they just sit in a car. After the show, I have a more profound respect for them, because it is very physical – if not mentally tiring too. You’re going so fast, there is so much going through your head that you like a super computer trying to calculate if you should downshift here, or how to negotiate the turn ahead.
They are a different breed of athlete. I have a different perspective of motorsports now, it’s not as easy as one might think. To be at the competitive level, you’re on the edge of your seat that it becomes a rush. You won’t realize how tired you get until the adrenaline runs out.
Sooo… How can one be as fit as you?
The secret is to establish a routine early on. I’ve been working so much that I haven’t had the time. But, when I don’t have to work, I train as part of my work five times a week, minimum. It’s not even about looking good, but also for a general state of health. I haven’t been sick in years, which helps a lot when you’re filming and travelling a lot.
Some say, you’re a reality show junkie. Does it become routine after a while?
The template is similar, but it’s like asking different people the same questions. The answers will always differ. You have a structure for these shows, but the cast is almost different from show to show. Within that, their chemistry – the way they interact with each other, what transpires is always completely in itself unique.
When it comes to reality shows, there is always something new every time. That makes the show so exciting. With Celebrity Car Wars, you have a group of celebrities that are comfortable in front of the camera and are not afraid to talk trash and do their thing.
There is quite a lot of work being a contestant as well! Being a host, you have to memorize lines and conveying stuff to the audience and contestants, but it’s more fun being a contestant- no lines to memorize, waiting around, and definitely… a lot of fun.
Is racing going to be part of your future plans?
I’ve never raced cars before the show, so this was a new experience. If I didn’t have kids, I would probably spend more time on the track. However, I have friends who have got into bad mishaps on the track and I rather not go through that. If I had to choose between racing or going out for a run, I rather go for the latter. Yup!
Now.. why “Wulander”? Is there a story behind the name?
A long time ago, there was a movie called Zoolander which made fun of male models. I used to be a male model a long time ago, and I just loved the way the movie portrayed male models in such a funny way. Add my last name, and there you go!
Last but not least, in the spirit of SG51, what do you like about Singapore?
There was once I got tired of Singapore for having no seasons. But, I don’t like cold weather at all and I rather have the heat and humidity. The food here is so good as well – you can’t get that anywhere else. Also, I like to drink water straight from the tap. The biggest thing, is that everything works, and efficiently. Things are constantly changing here, plus it’s safe to boot!