Girls, we’ve got bad news but you might already know this: Nathan Hartono is taken.

When the local singer-songwriter announced he was in a long-distance relationship with Dutch-Korean singer Jeon Na Young to his 129,000 Instagram followers on June 17, there were three kinds of reactions.

He had posted a picture of them on Instagram, writing: “Thank you for an unforgettable year. Distance is the only thing that is temporary.”

The 26-year-old heart-throb told The New Paper: “The response from a lot of people was like, ‘Oh, congrats!’ or ‘Oh, he’s straight!’… and a (minority was) like, ‘Oh no!’

“It was not a public announcement but (rather like sharing) another part of my life.

“I did not want to make it a big thing, but I also did not want it to be like a secret because that is more tiring.”

The couple starred as husband and wife in local musical The Great Wall: One Woman’s Journey last year.

Na Young, 29, is based in the UK and is currently starring in the West End production of The King And I.

In January, she posted a photo of Hartono and her celebrating her birthday in her hometown of The Hague in the Netherlands.

Nathan was speaking to the media on Monday at the press conference of local Chinese-language fantasy-comedy film When Ghost Meets Zombie. The movie, which is scheduled for release in the first quarter of next year, marks his big-screen debut.

Joining the leading man as his love interest is local singer Ferlyn G, and the rest of the cast comprises Fann Wong, Jesseca Liu, Jeremy Chan, Andie Chen, Kate Pang and Gurmit Singh.

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With Nathan getting close to Ferlyn, whose character wins his heart with her persistence and passion, will his new girlfriend get jealous?

“All of it is acting and I am just playing a character… (She) is an actress too, so she understands,” he said.

When Ghost Meets Zombie also marks the first time Malaysian-born actress Jesseca and local actor-comedian Jeremy, who tied the knot last year, are working together. The couple have always been extremely private about their love life and are rarely photographed together.

She will be playing a mortuary cosmetologist who is chased by Chan’s character, an aspiring mixed martial arts champion.

Jeremy, 36, said: “Actually, we never said that starring alongside each other in a film is a ‘no’. Instead, we were open to this opportunity and waiting for a script where we can collaborate.”

Watch the video below to find out Nathan’s dating deal-breakers.

Image: Jeon Na Young’s Instagram
Text: Sherlyn Sim / The New Paper / June 2018