This is the interview (questions from all of you) which Jeanette spent 8 hours to complete. Find out everything you have always wanted to ask her: Dai Yang Tian or Qi Yu Wu truthfully? And her thoughts on plastic surgery for female stars…
Q: Which genre of dramas do you like to film? What genre of shows do you like most? and would like to try out? What kind of roles would you like to explore in future. If you were given a chance to create a character/role of your own (for you to act in), what type of character would you create?
I love period dramas. I always have. As far as I can remember, even as a child, I loved watching period dramas. There is a certain quality to it that appeals to me personally. I would love to do action dramas from time to time, I think it helps that I have a strong dance foundation and had a short period of training in wushu. It probably does sound weird to many, but I actually do enjoy action scenes where I get to do a fair bit of stunts. I still do want to grow emotionally as an actor. Having said that, I do hope to explore characters with emotional depth, it could very well be darker characters burdened with conflicts, challenging myself with the delivery of varying nuances of expression. I would like to explore roles outside the scope of what I’d personally be into, I like to push myself beyond comfortable limits in terms of acting.
Q: Which role that u have portrayed so far are u most satisfied with & like best? why?
There are a few roles that I particularly love.
Holland V – Mo Jing Jing, A child’s Hope 2 – Lin Jinghao, Rhythm of Life – Chen Xiao Rou and The Little Nyonya – Huang Juxiang/Shanben Yueniang.
To be honest, there isn’t any one time that I look back and feel that I’ve aced it, there will always be an element in there where I feel I could have done better. But the roles that I’ve listed have left indelible marks on me and are dear to me for various reasons. I love the characters, I love how they have been explored and developed, and I love how they have given me the chance to explore and grow as an actor.
Q: How would you rate your own performance in Together, as compared to TLN
In all honesty, Yao Jianhong (Together) is a totally different character from the two roles in “The Little Nyonya”. However, it’s still hard work and sweat and blood put in for these two dramas, but I would say that Yao Jianhong’s portrayal would have been delivered with more maturity and sensitivity. I hope you and the audiences will like it.
Q: Do you now prefer Juxiang/Yueniang in The Little Nyonya or Jianhong in Together?
If you asked me this question before I started filming for “Together”, my answer would be that I prefer Juxiang/Yueniang. But without fail, I fall in love with the character I play. There will always be a special quality in each character and there will always be something different in them. It ends up hard for me to choose which I prefer, and if given the choice, I don’t wish to pick one over the other because they can’t be compared.
Q: Given your popularity has been soaring ever since u acted in TLN which was a huge success , do u feel a lot of pressure / pressurized with each future Drama Serials that u are currently involved in ? Why or why not ?
Inevitably, there will be additional pressure to perform. Expectations are raised, I demand more from myself, and I personally wish to breakthrough whatever I have created before. I always hope that I will be able to improve with each drama that I have so I will push myself to the max. Ultimately, the pressure comes mainly from myself and it serves as a driving force.
Q: Up till Together, you have had no news of any upcoming production after wrapping The Little Nyonya. Were you never for once worried? Just how confident were you of landing with the Together’s role?
If I said no, would you believe me? There are many things which aren’t within my control. I only knew about Together’s casting when I was told to go for the audition. With each audition, I start from zero, I do not like to enter with baggage or with so-called experience of “I did this before”, “I did that before”. I just did my best, did what I could for the audition, and left the rest up to the production team to decide.
Q: ” I understand that after filming 当我们同在一起 – TOGETHER , u will be involved in the filming of 红白囍事 where u will play a character of a Funeral Director in the Series , considering that it is a widely known fact that most Chinese, especially the elderly & the old do shun this type of things as they view it as bad luck & inauspicious, are u afraid that your soaring high popularity now will be affected as a result ? Do u in any way have any regrets in accepting the role because of the above ‘ considerations ‘ that some if not most viewers may have?
I’m actually thrilled to play a funeral director. I think this is new material that has never really been explored and I’m glad to have this role. Honestly, I think death is part of life, it comes a time when we all have to deal with it. Funerals are a part of Chinese customs and traditions, and I believe those who have lost loved ones would want to do one last thing for the deceased (be it in a big or small way). I’ll be dealing with pretty raw emotions in that drama, and delivering the emotional loss and pain is my main concern.
Q: 你会愿意为艺术牺牲吗？例如演大胆的戏? To what extend you would sacrifice in the name of art?
Q: There have been calls or suggestions by some viewers & fans for u to sing Drama Serial Theme Songs or Sub Theme Songs , are u willing to try doing so , considering that it is something that u have never done so before so far in your career ? And if the opportunity does come along one day , will u be keen to try doing so ? Why or why not ?
I am always keen on trying new things, and honestly, I am quite interested to try. I think it is nice to be able to contribute to the drama in a very different way, and music to me is a big part of post production work.
Q: Are you willing to be on CelebriTea? the 2nd one is ” do u have confidence with ur cooking skill? If you r invited to attend that variety show (3 plus 1), will u be glad to accept it and present your cooking skil to everyone? We rarely see you on tv variety shows. well, i wouldnt want to see you on CelebriTea because i dont see a need for an artiste to reveal private matters on national tv and make a hoo-ha over it.. what about cooking shows? You do like to cook, isnt it?
I am a very private person, and I have a very simple outlook on things. I personally am not comfortable with people probing into my personal life, my friends and my family. I am extremely protective over these areas in my life. So, I may not have the kind of material that the show wants to begin with. There were a million and one reasons comments or speculations as to why I was not on CelebriTea. This is something I cannot control, but I do believe I have the right to stick to my principals and keep my personal life private.
I love cooking, especially baking, I think it’s therapeutic. In fact, I did a short baking segment for a variety show – 当公主遇上王子. I like cooking leisurely, I’m not so sure how my food will taste like under pressure though.
Q: What do you like most about acting? Jeanette, how ur interest in acting came about? 你加入影艺圈该有八年了吧？你最大的满足感是什么？
I love performing in general. I was very into the arts, theatrical performances, dance, etc. In fact, dance is my first love. Perhaps, you can even say dance is like a theatrical mime. You express yourself with your facial expressions and body, and of course, through choreography. My interest in acting started when I was in College. I was involved in music and dance, and acting came as a natural progression. That’s how I decided to take up Theatre Studies in NUS, and later on, to do my Honors in that.
With acting, I get to try things that I would never do in a lifetime, I get to explore human emotions and most importantly I get to perform. Well, I guess I’m happy and blessed that I have a job that I’m passionate about.
Q: Good role or Acting ability. Which do you think is more important?
Good role + no acting ability to support it, it will not be able to achieve its maximum potential. But with strong acting ability, you can also turn a weak role around to make it shine.
Imagine a theatrical staging: there is an actor with only one line in the whole entire play, but once he went on stage and delivered his act and that one line, he stole the show. It’s happened and that is what I believe to be strength in delivering. So big role or small role, there is always room to make that role shine.
Q: Are there any artistes/veterans that you admire and regard as role models in Mediacorp? Also, are there any particular actors/actresses that you wish to work with? Do you have any particular local artiste you would like to work with, or admire for his/her work ethics?
Xie Shaoguang and Huang Biren. It’s a pity they aren’t acting anymore.
Q: Having been in the entertainment industry for a number of years now, what is one piece of advice you would offer a new and inexperienced artiste? How do you encourage the younger artistes?
It’s all about hard work, there is no such thing as fast fame.
Q: If Star Awards was modified such that there is a Best Actress and a Favourite Actress award, which one would you rather win if you could only win one of them?
Favourite Actress. This award would be given to me by the audience, a direct appreciation of my efforts. I perform for the public, and if they like what they see, then that will mean everything to me.
Q: U were the ultimate Hot favorite going into this Year’s Star Awards to win the Best Actress Award , but in the end u lost … Were u in any way very disappointed considering the fact that u may be having very high hopes that U will Win the Best Actress Award ? Have that hype brought that thoughts into your mind as u enter the Awards Ceremony on that night ? In the end , u nearly even lost out on the Top 10 , with your name being the last to be called … Were u yourself shocked at that point of time , considering the hype & the odds were very high on U to win at least something … ? If … If u had not been called on stage that night & u were to leave the Awards empty handed , how do u think u would have felt ? Embarrassed ? Or disappointed or both ?
I wasn’t disappointed, I prepared myself for all extreme scenarios. If I didn’t get any award that night, I don’t think I would feel any different, because I had nothing to begin with.
Q: The Media has been labelling u as the upcoming Ah Jie or the term ” the next Ah Jie ” even some of your Fans even accepted & agreed to the fact that u have what it takes to be the next Ah jie , how do u yourself view this phenomenon ? Were u yourself shocked ? Do u think it is still too early to be talking about u succeeding the Title of Ah Jie ? Why or Why not ? You are labelled as the next ah jie. Whats ur take on this?
You said it, it’s phenomenal. I think it’s amazing, I’m flattered and I’m thankful for everything. The opportunities that I’ve had, and the experiences I’ve garnered along the way is something the title alone will not be able to give me. Knowing that the audiences loved what they saw in my characters makes it all worthwhile for me. It gives me the satisfaction and happiness knowing that through my roles, I’ve been able to reach out and touch people in different ways.
Be it “Princess” or “Ah Jie”, they’re titles and titles change with time. I personally feel detached from the business of labeling. What I’m more concerned with is audiences love me for my craft, and that they enjoyed my performances.
Q: How do u feel about being famous? What do you feel about the fame that you are achieving? Almost every artiste, if not all, would like to be recognized for their craft. However, do you consider fame very important in your life?
I’m grateful for the accolades I’ve received. Fame is a bonus in the equation of hard work, hard work and more hard work. However, there’s still a long road ahead of me and that’s where I place my focus.
Q: Are there any ups and downs in your career?
Of course. My career is like a roller coaster ride, it’s had its fair share of ups and downs, twists and bends, and you never know what will happen next. It’s exciting in that sense, isn’t it?
Q: What would you say is your biggest sacrifice after becoming an artiste?
Q: When you read negative reports about you that give harsh criticism, how do you deal with them and what would you tell your fans who get upset over such comments? 经常会有许多观众批评你这个那个的（其实并非如此，咱们是心里有数）你会为了这一小撮人而去改变吗？又是否值得吗? 你一向比较低调的作风并不取悦于娱乐记者，因此她们经常向你做出许多不利的负面报导，你有什么看法？
I view criticisms objectively. If it’s constructive I will take that into consideration and improve on those aspects. My fans have been a huge source of encouragement and strength. More often than not, fans and readers are able to decipher for themselves, whether comments are there to help or they’re acerbic comments meant to hurt.
Q: DYT said he have the most feeling when acting with you, how about you? Do you think you and DYT will be couple? When the Director suddenly ask you to have a kiss with DYT to make you closer, then at TLN, musical performance and now Together, all require very deep feeling between you and DYT… And after Together’s shooting is over, how you manage your feeling? Is being an actress just can forget everything immediately and easily? I think you must have a bit feeling, right? Like having loss of something so suddenly? Just curious, as both of you have been partnered continuously several times.
My roles have all been created professionally. In the drama, emotions run deep and I love my “partner” with all my heart. But I also know how to pull myself out of it. Loving the character or the person playing the character are two totally different matters. Having worked with DYT continuously for 3 times now, the chemistry we have is definitely better and stronger than in The Little Nyonya.
Q: Many people think Qi Yuwu and you are compatible off-screen and on screen. Will you consider him to be your partner off screen? Look at Chris and Fann. Why not you and Qi Yuwu? Actually you and he have many similar interests – like arts, reading. Once you mentioned you like men who have toned body eg. those with six packs. You preferred Qi Yuwu over Elvin in your interview in 2007.
I personally think Yuwu is a very suave person, he’s also a very good working partner. We both take our partnership very professionally and we’re very comfortable with that. As for men with toned bodies, who doesn’t like that? But essentially, I would want my other half to be able to make me feel like the most special girl in his world, I think that’s more important that the 6 pecs.
Q: Some of the viewers and fans have express their interest in you collaborating in a drama with Rui En. What do you think of this?
I am open with the idea of working with anyone, including Rui En. To think about it, I have never worked with her before, I believe it would be a great experience if we had the chance.
Q : 你对于大马观众的热情有什么话要说？You came twice to Malacca for filming. What is your impression on Malacca? How about the fans there? What is the difference between Malacca fans and Singapore fans?
There was overwhelming support from the fans in Malacca and their hospitality was what touched me most. It is not often easy to be away from home, filming in another country, but the fans there made that possible. What I want to say is that it touches me greatly that you enjoyed The Little Nyonya, and your support will act as a constant reminder for me continue to strive for better performances.
Q: From your blog, we know that your fanclub, Jeanius organises gatherings with you. how close are you with your fans? Do you treat your fans as your friends? Perhaps alot of ppl were impressed by the really short but definitely touching dialogue between u and Jeaniuses at Star Awards 2009. thus, besides ‘thank u, Jeaniuses’, what do u want to say to Jeaniuses the most?
My fans have been with me, holding my hand, through my darkest and toughest moments. They are the ones who continue to believe in me despite the odds. They are also the ones I would never want to disappoint. Yes, they are my friends and I appreciate every single one of them.
Q: Staying true to yourself has been of utmost importance to you. When was it the hardest to do so during your career and is it still a struggle at this point of time?
It was the hardest to carry through in the initial stages, when I first entered the industry. I was new, I didn’t know what I could say, what I should say, or how I should say it. It was a moment of trying to crack the media code and wondering if everything was done in the appropriate manner.
It isn’t a struggle anymore, because I’ve grown confident and comfortable with myself being this way. No masks, no lies, just me.
Q: Being someone known to be reserved in the media industry, how are you like in school? Are you just as reserved or are you popular and high profile?
I was never high profile in school. I just went about doing my thing in school, hanging out with my group of friends, and that’s basically that. It was only in NUS that life became more colorful for me, because of my high involvement in dance and theatre. But even then, it was vibrant for me in a personal sense, I wasn’t more high profile in any way (not in my opinion at least).
Q: If you had to make a choice between being an actress and a dancer, which would you choose?
I’d be a dancer. Dance is my first love and will always remain so.
Q: Some people have the opinion that you are ‘proud’. How do you feel about this?
I look proud, and sometimes I fail to call out or greet people because I’m blur enough not to see them. So I can’t blame people for having this opinion of me. That’s not how I am though, just talk to me and you’ll find out for yourself.
Q: Were you ever a rebel in school?
Haha no, I was never a rebel. I was very much a teacher’s pet. I always did my work and made sure I knew my work.
Q: Jeanette, we know that u like reading. hehe, then how abt detective books? whats ur opinion of them? Everybody know u like reading books.which book is the 1st book u read and which one u like most?
Yes, I do love reading. But I’m so sorry I can’t remember my very first book. I loved my literature classes most in school, which was also another natural progression for me to go into plays and doing theatre in Uni. I’m open to reading any genre as well.
Q: You mentioned that you’re in fact writing a book. the readers are excited about it. ..is it part of your dream to be a writer?
Yes, it is a dream of mine. I love writing, and I love books. I believe in each book lies a hidden world waiting to be discovered. I believe in the magic of books and it would be lovely to be able to write one.
Q: Will you say ‘yes’ if you are invited to attend events organized by your alma maters
Yes, I would. And I have attended events organized by my alma maters.
Q: If today u r given a chance to travel alone, which place/country do u wanna go? Do you enjoy spending time by yourself? or with a group of friends?
Travelling alone aside, the place I would love to go to is Venice. I do not mind travelling alone, and I actually do enjoy it (yes I’ve travelled alone before). I love spending time with my friends, catching up over tea. But I do believe in me-time as well. I like having some peace and quiet to myself every now and then, I believe that’s important.
Q: Have you ever regretted or find it “a waste” to join the showbiz industry after spending so much on your studies (ie. showbiz industry doesn’t really require ‘papers/certs’)?
Umm.. are you saying that showbiz is a brainless pursuit? Haha.. oh dear, why is there such a perception? Well, I beg to differ. There is an intellectual processing of our mental faculties when we are engaged in role playing. To be exact, role playing happens in all fields, all professions, just that we do it for the drama we are involved in. I definitely don’t think it’s a waste, and I have never regretted my decision. In fact, I think I’m blessed to be doing something that I’m passionate about. How many of us can actually say that?
Q: Family or Career. If there comes a day when you have to give up career for family, would you do it? 5年后的你，你认为你会是继续演戏吗？还是已经嫁人相夫教子呢？Are you willing to give up your career and settle down if you have found the right one (career vs love)?
If I had to choose, my family will come first. When I lost my god-mother a few years back, I had this conviction that my family will always have the utmost priority in my heart. That has not changed since.
Q: It seems that you truly believe in ‘happily-ever-after’s. Did your love for fairytales and Princesses began from when you were a child?
Yes, my love for fairytales began since I was a child. I believe life can be beautiful, it’s just a matter of how you choose to live it.
Q: What criteria the man u love should have?
As much as in interviews I always say “he” should have a dancer’s body and 6 pecs etc, that is really just superficial. I believe what I really want from that special someone is that he be able to treasure me for who I am, and to make me feel loved every single day. I am a romantic at heart. Having said that, I think it says a lot about me already.
Q: You are the legal guardian of 3 young children. It’s very different from just being a godmother. Can you share why and how you made that decision? Have the children changed your life?
They are special to me in every sense of that word. I believe it’s fate that’s brought them into my life. They’ve taught me how to love unconditionally, they’ve taught me how to be simple, how to stay happy. Most importantly, they’ve taught me that the simple things in life are what truly matters.
Q: Since you love your three godchildren and treat them like your own, what do you do when you are busy filming and you do not have much time to see them and what do your three godchildren do when they miss you?
They call me every single day, so I still get to talk to them before I go to bed. In fact, they have learnt how to send SMS-es (they’re only 4yrs old), so when they miss me or they want to tell me something, they text me. I try to make myself free and available for them no matter what, I never want them to feel that they can’t reach me.
Q: What skincare do you use? Your skin is flawless. I notice you have a very good facial skin complexion, may I know how you take care of your face and maintain its flawless smooth texture? And do you go for facial or anything that gotta do with beauty? What’s your beauty secrets? And you do look younger than your age, what do you think is the most important thing to stay young looking?
I am using IZU’s skincare, my favourites would be the Crystal Scrub and the Hydrating Gel. I’m particular about cleansing more than the application of make-up actually. In fact, my screen make-up is concealer and loose powder. I skip the foundation if I can help it, I like it that I allow my skin to breathe.
Beauty secrets? Apart from a proper cleansing regime, I think a big part of staying young is being happy. Keeping things simple, that keeps you feeling and looking young.
Q: You admitted to yourself that one regret is that you are short. Do you think this factor is important? There have been talk on plastic surgery about other stars. Whats your personal opinion on this matter? Will u do it if there is a need?
I think I said that about my height in jest. I do not regret anything about my body or how I appear. On the contrary, I am thankful, I like the way I look and have no wish for change. As for plastic surgery, I think that’s a very personal decision of theirs and honestly, I think it should just stay personal.
What do you consider as a need? Disfigurement? Or a barely noticeable scar? Each individual’s needs are different. If one day, I start to think it is a case of ‘do or die’, then I would I guess.
BaguaTV: After reading her interview, I feel Jeanette is just like many simple girls out there pursuing a simple dream and waiting for that perfect ‘Mr Right’ in real life. She doesn’t have unrealistic ‘world-domination’ career ambition and certainly no ‘可歌可泣’ romance-fantasy. Just simple love. Real happiness is to be contented with whatever you are blessed with. All the best, Jeanette.
(Jeanette’s ‘当我们同在一起 Together’ anniversary drama will launch on 30 November at 9pm on Channel 8. If you haven’t caught the 17mins video, here’s the link: http://video2.channelnewsasia.com/cnavideos/chineseplayer.aspskin=Player1.swf&player=chineseplayer.swf&filename=xinET_112009_together_sneakpreview.flv.
She will begin her imaging session as the ‘Funneral Director’ in ‘红白囍事 New Beginnings’ this week).
(Knock-Knock 敲敲门 is a series of interviews on this BaguaTV Blog that allowed you to become the reporter. Knock-Knock 敲敲门: Rui En 瑞恩 was the 1st star to be interviewed and it can be read here, just mouse over and click: http://blogs.xin.sg/baguatv/2009/10/27/knock-knock-%e6%95%b2%e6%95%b2%e9%97%a8-rui-en-%e7%91%9e%e6%81%a9/)