Jeanette Aw steps out of comfort zone -- and oozes sex appeal in new role

7 November 2015 / 11 months 3 weeks ago

Jocelyn Lee
The New Paper
Noc 5, 2015

Local actress Jeanette Aw is known for her goody-two-shoes roles on the small screen. But the 36-year-old is all set to vamp it up for upcoming musical Beauty World, playing bitchy, vindictive cabaret queen Lulu.

Directed by Dick Lee, this rebooted version of the iconic stage production will run from next Friday (Nov 13) to Dec 12 at the Victoria Theatre. Set in 1960s Singapore, Beauty World is the story of Ivy Chan (Cheryl Tan), a girl from Malaysia whose journey to find her long-lost father brings her to a colourful cabaret in Singapore where she meets cabaret star Lulu.

On Thursday (Nov 5), Aw and her co-stars performed one of Beauty World’s musical segments, Welcome To Beauty World, in full costume for the local media.

The New Paper catches up with her as she takes a short break from her hectic rehearsal schedule. 

What’s it like playing someone like the main antagonist Lulu?

It’s quite fun and interesting to play someone very different. I create a sad back story for Lulu, and I explore from there.

Lulu behaves in a certain way because she needs to protect her territory for the sake of her survival. It’s nice to step out of my comfort zone, and to create a character that I don’t usually do. Lulu oozes sex appeal.

What do you think is the sexiest part of yourself?

I think it’s my movements when I dance, as I have to take on the movements of a sexy person. I have done dance performances before in the past, and I think it helps.

I am not inhibited nor stiff on stage, and I have a lot of freedom to explore.

What are the challenges of having to sing and dance for Beauty World?

Singing for me is a challenge, but singing and dancing at the same time is another challenge. I’m a dancer, so dance choreography is not a problem.

It’s just that I can get quite breathless after a while. To build my stamina, I skip and sing at home to practise and control my voice projection.

You’ve had to juggle filming the upcoming Channel 8 drama The Dream Makers 2 with rehearsals.

How do you balance both roles?

My character in The Dream Makers 2 suffers from depression and the role is quite intense, so I’ll be crying in the day for the drama, and then come to rehearsals with my eyes swollen.

Sometimes, it’s quite hard to get out of the role but playing Lulu forces me out of it. In a way, Lulu kept me sane.

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