WHEN A-Wei of Taiwanese band Lollipop F went to China to work on a film for seven months, he jokingly lamented that nobody in the group missed him at all.
His revelation drew laughs from the other members of the Mando-pop quartet during an interview last month at the 56th Asia Pacific Film Festival in Macau, where they performed during the awards ceremony.
The 28-year-old singer- actor was working on The Four 2, a sequel to the 2012 fantasy martial arts blockbuster directed by Gordan Chan.
A-Wei, whose real name is Liu Jun Wei, has a supporting role alongside Anthony Wong, Collin Chou and Ronald Cheng.
The 3D action flick was a box-office smash in China during the Christmas season and opened in Singapore yesterday.
A-Wei admits his bandmates in Lollipop F are slowly getting used to being apart from each other. Besides performing together, all of them are also heavily involved in their own film and TV projects.
"It definitely gets lonely when we're working on our own solo projects because over the years, we've gotten really comfortable with each other as a band," he says. "But I also think that helps us build character and makes us stronger individuals."
The band was put together in 2006 from six winners of a Taiwanese reality TV show. Two members left in 2009 at the height of the band's popularity, causing the group to break up momentarily before the remaining members reunited a year later.
As the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder and A-Wei believes that that temporary split and downtime they spent from each other working on TV and films is what keeps Lollipop going stronger than ever. "Being together in a group is a bit like a relationship between lovers - you want to be together all the time and no matter what happens, you try your best to keep things going," he says.
"But the reality is it might not always work out the way you think it would so it's something we have to face up to.
"Going from a six-piece to a quartet now also means each of us has to work harder to make up for the missing members."
Since its re-formation, Lollipop F has also been looking to break into K-pop and has slowly made inroads. In 2011, it became the first Taiwanese band to appear on South Korean national TV.
Their pretty-boy looks and nifty dance moves have drawn comparisons to K-pop boybands like Super Junior, Big Bang and SHINee but A-Wei says the members of Lollipop F, who are all pushing 30, don't mind this at all.
"When we first started, we really hated it when people referred to us as a boyband," he explains. "But now at our age, we'e actually quite flattered when people call us that!"
The Four 2 is showing in cinemas islandwide now