Singapore sales assistant goes from nobody to local movie star

6 February 2013 / 3 years 8 months ago

Before last week, Jae Liew was a 22-year-old fashion sales assistant going about her own business.But since last Friday, she has become a newsmaker, being interviewed by various media outlets after it was revealed that she has won the female lead role in actress-turned-director Michelle Chong's new movie, 3 Peas In A Pod, reports The New Paper.Liew, who has never acted before and had auditioned for the role without telling anyone, says she is still trying to come to terms with getting the part."I was so shocked when I was told that I was chosen. I really did not expect it at all." She was handpicked out of more than 800 hopefuls during open auditions held here last month.Liew, who graduated with a communications degree from Australia's Murdoch University last year, adds that although she had "no expectations" going into the auditions, she was "surprisingly not nervous" during the session.All audition participants were given a brief script to read out in Mandarin and English, and were also asked to cry on cue.Liew says: "I was actually not that nervous. I just went in and kept my focus on what I was doing. I was actually more concerned about not messing up, so there was no time to feel nervous.

"To cry on the spot was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to do it somehow. The scene that we had to do was a rather sad and emotional one, so I just tried to put myself in the shoes of the character and the tears flowed."She says that she went for the audition without telling anyone because she wanted to "try something completely different and see whether I could possibly have any potential in acting. If I didn't get the part, then no one would ever have to find out."3 Peas In A Pod, which begins shooting in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Adelaide next month, is a $1.7-million work about three university friends whose lives are changed following a road trip together.It is Chong's second directorial feature, following her debut Already Famous (2011), which is Singapore's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar this season.Chong, 35, says that there was "something about Jae's bubbly personality" that spoke to her during the auditions.She adds: "When she first came into the room, I didn't think much because there were a lot of other pretty girls. But once she started acting, I was really impressed. She was very natural and her ability to deliver the lines was truly outstanding for someone who has not had any acting experience."Photos: Tourism Australia, Huat Films

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