Women Now

Good girl gone bad: Why Amy Cheng doesn’t mind playing the bad guy

We also put the actress in the hot seat to find out what she would do if she didn’t like her son’s girlfriend
 

Amy J Cheng

Photo: Amy Cheng/Facebook 

She plays Jacqueline Ling – the scheming granddaughter of wealthy old-money philanthropist Ling Yin Chao and goddaughter of Shang Su Yi, and Eleanor Young’s mortal nemesis.

Yes we are talking about actress and Creative Director of drama school Act 3 plays, Amy Cheng.

Her role in Crazy Rich Asians is a departure from the character, Karen, the long suffering wife of Gary Tay, we are more familiar with in “Growing Up”. She stars alongside her former “Growing Up” co-stars Pierre Png and Fiona Xie.

“One of the best parts of being in this production, for me, was the support for each other. Being Singaporean actors in this Hollywood production was something we all felt very proud of and honoured at the same time.”

“It’s something we don’t take lightly We would often share notes or encouragement for each other. That, plus a good dose of fun and laughter over food and drinks!” shared Amy.

Landing a part in the US$30 million (S$41 million) production is a big deal, so what’s it like playing Jacqueline Ling in her first Hollywood production. Let’s hear it from Amy.

 

In the movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” you trade your good girl shoes to play Jacqueline Ling, the scheming mother of Nick’s ex-girlfriend. Do you prefer playing a good character or a villain if given a choice? And why?

Characters that have both good and bad sides are interesting to play. So, my preference is not so much whether the character is “good” or “bad”, but more of : does this “good” character have inner conflicts or demons to struggle with. Or does this “bad” character have another side to her. Such characters with layers are very compelling for me!

 

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Your character in the “Crazy Rich Asians” movie is in cahoots with Nick’s mother (played by Michelle Yeoh) to take Rachel down. Assuming this happened in real life and you aren’t particularly fond of your son’s girlfriend, what would you do?

Well, from a far less Crazy Rich background, I think the stakes are lower for me. Jokes aside, I would examine the real reason as to why I don’t like her. As long as she is respectful, kind and they are both happy, I wouldn’t interfere.

 

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How did you prepare yourself for the movie?

I read the book!

 

You are an actress, wife, mother-of-two, founder and director of Act 3 Theatrics. How do you find time for yourself? And what do you do for me-time, if you have any?

Breathe (when it gets crazy).

Pray and meditate for at least 5 mins.

Yoga and walks for less crazy days!

 

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You’ve come a long way since you played the long-suffering wife of Gary Tay in the long running drama “Growing Up.” What is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplish is within. I’ve found a greater sense of self.

 

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“Crazy Rich Asians” is the first studio film with an Asian cast set in the present day since the 1993 production “The Joy Luck Club”, why is Asian representation important in the film industry?

It’s the herald of a more inclusive representation in the movie industry. It is start of seeing people as human beings instead of what their skin colour is. It opens the door for other under-represented races to be on the big screen. Most of all, it is a huge inspiration for us all, that dreams can happen!

 

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What’s next for you?

20 Days is now airing on channel 5. It’s my first TV comedic role for a long time and I had a lot of fun doing it. So hopefully more!

 

Here are all of your favourite Singapore stars at the movie premiere of "Crazy Rich Asians."

 

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