Judging from his social media life, the idea of Tyler Ten being reticent or even remotely shy seems implausible. On TikTok, the 27-year-old actor has carved a commanding niche with more than 85,000 followers through dynamic dance, filter challenges and effusive performances. Then, there are the distinct “thirst trap” posts on Instagram—showing off his sculpted form, with washboard abs, and that arresting 1.9m stature.
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Through the digital lens, the former model radiates a potent mix of confidence and energy. But off-screen, the real Tyler Ten, he admits, is very shy.
“Okay, so, for me,” he starts, choosing his words carefully, “I would say that I am an introvert. When I am not working, I often watch shows or read at home and in my room.”
Given the energy he exudes on-screen and online, this revelation might surprise many, but it offers a glimpse into Ten’s coping mechanisms. His sanctuary, he shares, is the gym where he focuses on himself and shuts out the world. “Plus, it is a great way to relieve stress,” he explains.
Considering the pressures of the entertainment world, it is easy to see why he would need a reprieve. “When I’m at work, I’m always talking, always in character. But off-screen? I prefer being quiet and doing my own thing.”
Ten shares that he prefers spending time reading these days—a habit he recently picked up. “I didn’t use to read when I was younger, but it really helps to calm my mind down. I don’t have many life experiences, so this allows me to do that, albeit through someone else’s words. It is like acting.”
Yet, it is not as if Ten shies away from celebrating his achievements, especially those of a physical nature. “I won’t deny it; I was quite liberal with those thirst traps early on,” he confesses with a grin. “But I’ve scaled back because too many can dull the impact. So, I now share selectively.”
This is by no means due to a lack of confidence. Ten’s physical transformation is the product of grit and perseverance which began when he was 13. Once a slender, somewhat awkward teen, the younger of two siblings found his calling in Muay Thai, a journey sparked by the awe-inspiring feats in the Thai movie Ong Bak, which starred Thai martial artist and actor Tony Jaa. “When I was younger, I struggled with confidence. But watching Tony Jaa effortlessly take down multiple opponents with Muay Thai in that film somehow inspired me.”
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Fourteen years later, the Star Search alumnus’s dedication to Muay Thai is bearing fruit. He has shone in the action- oriented drama series When Duty Calls and stepped into the limelight in In Safe Hands—his first lead role. The rising star has also recently wrapped up filming for the eagerly anticipated blockbuster All That Glitters, sharing the screen with popular actors Desmond Tan, Ayden Sng and Jeremy Chan.
“Each role I take on brings its own set of challenges,” Ten reveals. “For this role, not only am I portraying a Thai individual, but I’m also speaking Mandarin at the same time. Perfecting an authentic accent was very important.” To master the correct inflections, he often consulted his Thai friends, seeking insights into how they would naturally deliver the lines.
And Ten wants to be the next action star. “I hope this will bring more action scenes in Singapore,” he says. “There are many martial arts enthusiasts, particularly among the stunt performers. So, it would be great to one day come together and create something memorable.”
But he is also determined to show his range as an actor. Currently, Ten is in the midst of filming another drama series— this time, a romance drama revolving around three interracial couples with Felicia Chin in the lead role. Called I Do, Do I?, the series will see him as a Singaporean husband to a Korean wife, played by actress Ferlyn Wong. Ten will portray both a husband and a father. “Both the roles are unfamiliar to me in reality. While it is fun, I recognise my limited life experiences, especially in these roles. So, I had to study and understand the character,” he reflects.
Despite still charting his course, Ten is astutely aware of the wind in his sails: his fans, whose unwavering support is not lost on him. In May, Ten showed his gratitude by treating his fans to lunch at Swensen’s.
“They have been with me since the very beginning, while I was just a contestant on Star Search in 2019,” he says. “So, I want to give back to them to show my appreciation.”
His fans have also made sure their love and support is felt in different ways. He recalls that one unforgettable moment was earlier this year when his fans surprised him at a Fendi store event to celebrate his birthday with a cake. “I was genuinely surprised but also deeply moved. So after they sang the birthday song, I stepped out to cut the cake with them.”
While his on-screen roles and social media presence continue to evolve, another aspect of Ten’s persona is undergoing a transformation: his sense of style. In a recent TikTok post, he jumped on the trend of denouncing skinny jeans in favour of a more relaxed and oversize fit. “To be honest, I used to wear really tight-fitting clothes to show off my physique. But now I prefer boxy shirts and have thrown away most of my skinny jeans. I think it is a good change,” he says with a laugh.
When asked about his approach to dressing, the former model shares that it is often grounded in simplicity and comfort, gravitating towards clothes in “neutrals or muted shades.”
However, recent times have seen a shift in his wardrobe choices. “Lately, I’ve been exploring edgier looks,” he shares. To him, “edgy” translates to the inclusion of bold and striking colours—an interesting contrast to his introverted nature.
“I have a few brands I’m particularly fond of,” Ten confesses. “Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ferragamo, and Valentino are definitely on top of that list.”
As he reflects further on his life, Ten says, “I think my younger self would be shocked at where I am now,” he muses. “If I could advise him, it would be to step out of that comfort zone and make more friends. Building connections is just as essential as building a career.” His aspirations, however, stretch beyond the borders of Singapore to the vibrant film industries of China and Taiwan. He is eager to deepen his craft and expand his horizons. Yet, when probed about his current standing in the industry, Ten remains humble. “Am I good at what I do? I think there is always room for improvement. Every role teaches me something new, and every project is a new journey.”
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As for romance? Ten chuckles. “It is not my first priority at the moment. Right now, my focus is on my career. Love and relationships will come when it is meant to. But for now, I have roles to prepare for and stories to tell.”
Photographed by Cher Him
Styled by Jeffrey Yan
Hair: Sylin Yer/Shunji Matsuo
Makeup: Zhou Aiyi using Gucci Beauty
Photographer’s assistant: May Chong
Styling assistant: Zoe Tauro
Digital Content Manager: Navin Pillay
Videographer: Ewan Lim/Ohai Media