The New Paper
Friday, Nov 20, 2015
Some critics have said Jeanette Aw's singing in iconic local musical Beauty World is not up to scratch, but she is unfazed.
"We're not out to prove that I'm a fantastic singer; I've never said that I was one... Lulu is supposed to be a sexy singer more than anything," Aw, 36, told The New Paper yesterday at the press conference for her latest TV drama, The Dream Makers 2.
Beauty World, which opened last Friday, is running at Victoria Theatre until Dec 12. Aw plays vindictive cabaret singer Lulu, the antagonist to main character Ivy Chan (Cheryl Tan), an innocent girl who arrives at the Beauty World cabaret to look for her long-lost father.
The musical is by playwright Michael Chiang and directed by local composer Dick Lee.
Some critics have described Aw's vocals as weak but she is taking it in her stride.
"A senior once told me only to listen to the criticism of people you respect. When Michael says that he feels I'm the best Lulu out of the five Beauty World productions, I take it as a huge form of encouragement. And when Dick tells me, 'Jeanette, you sang very well', it means a lot to me, because it's not easy for him to give the nod of approval.
"It's easy for people to criticise when they don't see the effort I put in. But my whole production team rallied around me after the reviews came out and that actually moved me to tears."
Aw juggled filming for The Dream Makers 2 with her Beauty World rehearsals. In the TV drama, she plays popular actress Zhao Fei Er, a tragic character who falls into depression after losing the love of her life.
She said: "Fei Er and Lulu are very different characters. If Fei Er is black, Lulu is red.
"It was emotionally gruelling for me because I would go into a dark place and find it difficult to control my emotions. One time, I actually broke down in the middle of a scene,and everyone was very shocked and worried about me."
Playing the wicked, seductive Lulu turned out to be a great relief for Aw.
"It was very liberating... and lots of fun," she said. "I was happy to get a chance to step out of Fei Er for a moment."
This article was first published on November 20, 2015.
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